Iggy Azalea Reminisces of the Good Times With Bad People on ‘The End Of An Era’
There’s never quite been a rap career as assorted and challenged as Iggy Azalea’s. Song after song, tweet after tweet, Azalea has found herself embroiled in an array of controversies, hip-hop feuds and battled constant questions about her authenticity as a white female in rap.
Despite the weight of the industry pushing back on her, Azalea feels accomplished on “The End Of An Era”, showing no hesitation to remind everyone of the success she’s achieved, while also poking fun at her old ways. The album is split into four parts by age, the first half encapsulating Azalea’s early twenties during her mixtape days before finding commercial success in the pop format, with the second half displaying the evolution through her late twenties to today.
The first track rings in with “Sirens”, an electro-rap song calling everyone to the dance floor, before partying “until the sun because I love drugs” on the grungy “Emo Club Anthem”. For fans it’s an immediate flashback to 2012’s “Trap Gold” mixtape, with all the more recklessness and electricity. The party continues on “Nights Like This” and J White Did It (Cardi B, Meghan Thee Stallion) produced “Iam The Stripclub”, where Azalea cruises effortlessly on the bouncy production, proving that she can still deliver sharp and cocky verses alongside a pop hook.
The third quarter of the album sees Azalea continuing the heavier hip hop sound that was present on her last album “In My Defense”, which highlights once again the thinness that money and finger waving has in rap, even when used intelligently.”XXXTRA” and “Is That Right” is one of the biggest offenders of this, with the latter’s production attempting to sound playful with the keys behind the skittering beats, which fails to compliment Azalea’s sarcasm on the hook and instead grows wooden and monotonous.
The last three songs see Azalea return to the more colourful soundscape that was all over her 2014 debut “The New Classic”. The breezy acoustics on “Sex on the Beach”, the elastic sounds of “Day 3 in Miami (End of an Era)” and the trumpets on “Good Times With Bad People” produced by rising hip hop producer OG Parker, all add exoticness and poolside reflection to a so far dark and drama filled dance floor.
For an album that is conceptually a summary of Azalea’s twenties, “The End of an Era” may leave those who were expecting more storytelling, feeling high and dry. Her reluctance to share more intimate details is well reasoned (just look at the recent tabloid headlines), but so is the criticism that for any artist’s final album, there has to be at least fragments of a narrative and not just themes wrapped in your average 808 and trap beat combo.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for sassy rap, catchy cadences and money making anthems, you won’t be left hungry, and “The End of an Era” if anything is a good reminder that we’re all “Here for a good timе, not for a long time”.