Track-By-Track Album Review: Iggy Azalea – “In My Defense”

We have been waiting for Iggy Azalea’s second studio album for many years, and it is finally here. Technically it can be considered her third studio album, as she did work on an album titled Digital Distortion, but it never got officially released. She soon decided to become an independent artist and that has sure allowed her to shine, as this album titled In My Defense, is incredible. This marks her first album release in five years.

Iggy Azalea, real name Amethyst Kelly, is an Australian hip-hop artist, who really started at the bottom and has now really earned her place in the rap music industry and she continues to prove herself time and time again. She’s had a bunch of various hits, namely “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX, “Black Widow” featuring Rita Ora, as well as featuring on Ariana Grande’s “Problem”. She’s one of these acts that keep us all guessing, unsure of which path she’s following, and so she creates her own path when it comes to music. She is now an independent artist, releasing the music she wants. Her first single, “Sally Walker”, did moderately well chart-wise, and the second single, “Started”, followed suit but managed to chart better in the UK. In promotion of the new album, titled In My Defense, she released instant grat single “Just Wanna“, and a music video on the day of the release of this album for “F**k It Up” featuring Kash Doll. The album is totally epic, but that is no surprise since she had originally planned to drop Digital Distortion as her second studio album, but it got cancelled – so the five-year wait for her sophomore album has definitely been worth it.

The album has been primarily written by Iggy Azalea herself, with “Just Wanna” containing a sample of Salt-N-Pepa’s track “Push It” and lines from the film Superbad, as well as “Freak of the Week” containing elements of “Slob on my Knob” by Tear Da Club Up Thugs. J. White Did It acted as the executive producer, and the album contains four features from Lil Yachty, Kash Doll, Stini, and Juicy J. Each song is beyond brilliant, so here’s our track by track breakdown of the songs.

Thanks I Get

Unapologetic from the get-go, it’s clear Iggy Azalea is ready to make a statement with this album, although her album artwork does just that, all by itself. Full of confidence and sass, this opening track is all about her and we are loving it. Some may call it arrogance but we call it self-assured as she talks down to her haters and professing the achievements she has made in the music world. She’s had it tough, which is clearly evident in the fact that it took her five years to release a sophomore album and to do so she had to become an independent artist all the while she stayed on top of her game regardless of the rising female hip-hop artists that have appeared in the last few years; so of course, she’s going to mention her accomplishments all the while calling out her haters. We needed a track like this from her, and she sure does not disappoint, what with an addicting chorus we can’t get out of our heads and some real lyricism in her verses. What a way to start this album!

Clap Back

Following on from the first track, Iggy Azalea continues to paint the story of how her haters can bring her down but she has never given up. “Clap Back” focuses on the controversies and hate surrounding her ever since she rose to prominence in the music industry which has made it difficult for her to maintain chart hits and now that she’s an independent artist she’s made it back on to the charts with her singles from this album (“Sally Walker” and “Started“). Lyrics are on-point throughout this track and we attest that you’ll be repeating the title of this song again and again.

Sally Walker

Here it is, the official first single from the album, “Sally Walker” literally takes a playground nursery rhyme, “Little Sally Walker”, and turns it into this awesome hip-hop track that easily gets stuck in one’s head. It’s beyond catchy with a great twist on the nursery rhyme whereas the verses work brilliantly with some great lines that definitely made an impact upon the release of the single. This was Iggy Azalea fierce and back on top form in 2019, and we loved every minute. This is one track that is going to continue to gain traction because it’s so catchy – it’s already charted worldwide, but it shall continue to rise in streams, no less.

Hoemita (feat. Lil Yachty)

Now, this is the typical twerk track that we have come to expect from Iggy Azalea, prior to the release of this album we had the awesome track “Kream”, but this album has brought a total mix of dance-ready tracks that would certainly get us all moving. “Hoemita” is set to become iconic, the more that people hear it, because of the instructional lyrics within the chorus. This is the type of song that made Iggy Azalea be a rising star years ago, and now she paid homage to her early days whilst still giving us a current track. Lil Yachty’s verse breaks up the song brilliantly, and this is one track we can’t fault and it’s quickly becoming our favourite song from the album.

Started

This became the official second single from the album after a clip of the track was added to the end of the “Sally Walker” music video, hyping this track up, so much so that it actually charted better on the UK’s Official Singles Chart. The song itself is an unapologetic statement of how she started with nothing and managed to rise to the top – for those of you who don’t know, Iggy Azalea was raised in a little town named Mullumbimby, in New South Wales, Australia, in a house her father had built by hand; she decided to move out to America after saving up money which she earned by cleaning houses with her mother. Now that you know her backstory, she has every reason to be proud of what she’s done over the past few years and has every right to include her achievements in her songs as she really did start from the bottom, and now she sure is on top. This is one of those songs we all wish we could sing out-loud, proudly, and maybe we will be able to do just that one day because we’ll also be rich, but until then we’ll still sing it out-loud but with a dream-like wish rather than our own integrity. The song interpolates Drake’s song “Started From The Bottom”.

Spend It

Following on from her claims of being rich in the previous track, “Started”, Iggy Azalea now unleashes her money, buying the stuff she wants, spending it the way she wants. She makes claims to her dedication and hard work in the rap industry especially by using a typical line found in many hip-hop tracks, “Married to the game“. In doing so, she has no problems in spending her hard-earned cash, because her money is hers to do as she pleases. She also states that she’s been at a point where she had no money, and refuses to go back to being broke. It’s a great concept for a song, especially after “Started”, and although the words are constantly repetitive in the chorus, it makes for a catchy, addictive song that we’re sure will be stuck in your head for some time.

F**k It Up (feat. Kash Doll)

This is the latest single to be released from Iggy Azalea’s In My Defense album, with the music video officially being dropped on the day the album was released. The song starts off with an instrumental that has a tonne of anticipation involved – you just know this is going to be something big, from the get-go. The chorus is repeated lines, again, but with a brilliant rhythm that you can’t help to love, turning it more into a chant-like track. She also references the leaked topless photos which saw her deactivate her social accounts due to the messages she was receiving. It’s known as a twerk anthem, but we feel like it’s more of a sing-out-loud anthem as we keep our past in the past and focus on the now.

Big Bag (feat. Stini)

We all know that Iggy Azalea is an independent artist, but did you know that she has signed a new artist to her Bad Dreams Records? Well, this new artist is Stini, and they had planned to collaborate on a song titled “Princess Cuts”, but it wasn’t included in the album and so Iggy Azalea decided to have Stini on this track instead. “Big Bag” is full of rhyming words, allowing an incredible flow within the verses. It’s a groovy track and feels more like an interlude track for the album than anything else. Stini fully shines during her solo verse, and her voice is simply magical. This was a brilliant way for Iggy Azalea to introduce Stini, to those of us who haven’t heard of her before.

Comme Des Garcons

The song’s title, “Comme Des Garcons” is French for “like boys”, but also is a reference to the Japanese fashion brand of the same name. Iggy Azalea raps about her expensive clothes and jewellery which she has, showcasing that she’s earned every bit of it. It’s a nice wordplay on the chorus lyrics which we are obsessed with. This is one of those tracks where you wish a music video is created as you just know it would be flashy with some incredible designer brands and high-quality items. This is another track that is bound to get stuck in one’s head, and Iggy Azalea simply brings it with her vocals, rapping, and lyricism.

Freak Of The Week (feat. Juicy J)

This is the second collaboration for Iggy Azalea and Juicy J, with their previous collab being “Flexin’ & Finessin'” which can be found on her 2012 mixtape TrapGold, so it’s been seven years since they released a song together and we are living for it. The song interpolates “Slob On My Knob” by Tear Da Club Up Thugs – a hip-hop trio that Juicy J was a part of; this is not the only song, in recent years, to have interpolated the original track, you may have heard it on G-Eazy, Cardi B & A$AP Rocky’s “No Limit” and on A$AP Ferg’s “Plain Jane”. Constant, repeated lines make up the chorus leading it to become a bit too much after hearing this song over and over again, however, upon first listen it’s not too bad. The song is all about sex, which isn’t anything new from Iggy Azalea bringing some great lyrics within her verse, but it’s Juicy J that manages to take the spotlight in the song, possibly because he tells a story throughout.

Just Wanna

Here is the instant grat single which was released in promotion of the album. It contains an interpolation of “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa, which is totally iconic and something you may miss if you’re listening to the track without even thinking about it; however, more clearly heard is the two samples used from the 2007 American teen comedy film, Superbad – they’re iconic scenes and works perfectly with the song, which is all about sex. It’s a tease track that is filled with innuendoes that are bound to make you laugh or squeam. It’s one track that is brilliantly rhymical and one we can’t help but love. Definitely one of the best tracks on Iggy Azalea’s In My Defense album.

Pussy Pop

The final track was set to be a track titled “I Know”, but Iggy Azalea decided that track was too soft and didn’t go well with the overall message of the song, so instead we have “Pussy Pop” as the outro song, and it clearly was the right decision. The title has an alternative meaning, and although can be considered sexually (nothing new there from Iggy Azalea), it actually references confidence and to be who you want to be and go out there and do you. As an independent artist, that’s exactly what Iggy Azalea has been doing with this era and we are living for every single moment! This song is the perfect way to end this album, full of confidence and sass, this is the Iggy Azalea we all know and love.

Overall, this album is everything we ever dreamed, and more so, from Iggy Azalea’s sophomore album. It’s been a long five-year wait for another album from this Australian hip-hop artist and it was totally beyond worth it. As an independent artist, she’s able to make the music that she wants and it’s clear throughout this whole album that she has a love for every single track. Flat-out brilliant, this is one album we really cannot stop listening to. Iggy Azalea is purely an inspiration to one and all, some people better start taking notes! We really cannot wait to see what she does next.

In My Defense is available to download and stream right now, via Bad Dreams Records and Empire. To accompany the album’s release, she also dropped the official music video for her Kash Doll collaboration “F**k It Up“, so go and check that out right now.

What do you make of Iggy Azalea’s sophomore album, In My Defense? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni