The campaign leading up to Iggy’s long-awaited follow up to her Grammy-nominated The New Classic was promising. The lead single, “Sally Walker” (review here), was a well produced bop that was tailor-made for dance challenges. The follow up single, “Started” (review here), was actually really great. Iggy stepped up her lyricism, the hook was immaculate, and the production was pretty interesting.
Unfortunately, on In My Defense, Iggy really has nothing to say. Regardless of the terrific production, the album is far too repetitive. In My Defense is stacked with empty one-liners about strip clubs, money, twerking, and being a bad bitch. Iggy doesn’t offer anything innovative or anything that will set her apart from other rappers, male or female. Songs like “Spend It” and “Just Wanna” are passable, but they, along with most of In My Defense, feel vapid in the grand scheme of things. An album doesn’t have to be a grand political statement, but it should respect its audience enough to not have the same song 12 times with slight variations. At the very least, In My Defense would have benefited from one or two more straightforward pop song or production that didn’t solely rely on trap influences.
In My Defense works well when Iggy shares space with featured artists. Lil Yachty (“Hoemita”), Kash Doll (“F**k It Up”), and Juicy J (“Freak of the Week”) all bring something fresh and new to songs that would have otherwise sounded stale. Kash Doll bring a particular fearless and feminine energy that supports the empowering theme of “F**k It Up.” Juicy J on the other hand helps reimagine the cadence of “Slob On My Knob” into a more female-driven and sexually empowering song. On the other hand, the opening two tracks, “Thanks I Get” and “Clap Back” had so much potential, but they ultimately fall flat. The lazy and uninspired hook on “Clap Back” ruins the entire song, and on “Thanks I Get,” Iggy raps that she’s “the one that made it possible for you to get a deal.” I really hope that this is a shot at Bhad Bhabie, because I’m hard-pressed to name a female rapper that Iggy Azalea has paved the way for.
There really isn’t much to say about In My Defense, because the album itself says nothing. At least Iggy still has excellent music videos, a bright future in modeling, and social media savvy.
Key Track: “Freak of the Week”