We're paying attention.
In the entertainment industry, there's no denying that sex sells. Or at least, it gets people to start paying attention to you. Whether you're an A-list superstar gearing up for a Billboard-charting release or a wannabe Instagram model twerking in compression leggings, showing off your body is nearly always more lucrative than any other marketing technique. From Kourtney Kardashian "modeling" her friend's new denim line by posing topless on social media to Nicki Minaj promoting her recently-released album Queen on Instagram while wearing nothing but a bra, virtually no level of fame offsets the need to let it all hang out to sling a product or a personal brand.
In an attempt to rebrand and revitalize her oft-criticized position in the ranks of hit-making rappers, Iggy Azalea has kept her Instagram followers entertained with a near-constant stream of revealing body shots. Heavily censured by hip-hop fans following her 2014 come-up, the "Kream" rapper's career unfortunately failed to maintain an initial upward trajectory. She had a taste, to be sure, when she released her debut The New Classic and her chart-topping single, "Fancy." As most know, though, what followed her break-out was a series of tone-deaf public statements, a public dressing-down about hip-hop's storied roots by rapper Q-Tip and a highly publicized split from NBA player Nick Young. Azalea herself was aware of the down-and-out position of her career, as she stated alongside the release of her attempted comeback: "my career wasn't going well."
Pivoting from a stream of club bangers to a new, mid-tempo vibe on her latest EP Surviving The Summer which features assists from both Quavo and Tyga, there's no denying that Azalea seems now, more than ever, committed to reinventing her public image. Long gone are the days of Azalea bitterly entering into Twitter wars with everyone from Snoop Dog to Azealia Banks because the Mullumbimby, New South Wales native is fully on board with selling her own personal thirst traps and brand to go with it.
In a recent interview with GQ, Azalea directly addressed the correlation between showcasing her sexy curves and selling (records, or whatever) by admitting that she is doing little more than giving her fanbase exactly what they want. As her road to redemption still boasts the scars of her fall from grace, it's no surprise that Azalea is dialing back the aggression and appealing to listeners by being just as transparent on the 'Gram as she now is on wax.
"The point of me putting 'Savior' out was to talk about what I've been going through. But it's a double-edged sword because [people] wanna see my curves, they wanna dance to my music at the gym. People want a million different things," said the Australian rapper. “Of course it's not going to be streamed as much or have as many views when I'm not twerking. Part of me wishes it had the numbers as a measure of success.”
While Azalea has never been shy about baring her sculpted bod during live performances or music videos for the sake of her art-- lest we forget her first viral hit was a record called "PU$$Y," her recent propensity to shed her clothes on social media is a previously unexplored marketing tactic that's now seemingly employed more than ever. Speaking to Complex at the start of her rise to fame back in 2013, Azalea dished on how at one time, her own nudity was only used as an outlet for artist expression.
"I went topless in my new video for 'Change Your Life.' I painted my nipples red and I know that will fuck them up," she revealed. "I don’t consider it exploiting myself because everything I do is conceptual. It’s not just tits out for tits out. I consider it art. I’m only ever in a state of undress if it’s for my own project."
Now as she struggles to find her footing once more, to find her spot in the public sphere-- let alone in the rap game-- Azalea seems to boast an endless supply of nearly-nude pics that get tongues wagging. Surely that's not their only purpose, though. Notably, the rapper even recently uploaded a video in response to body-shamer/haters intent on writing off her bouncy, massive backside as "fake."
We're not just going crazy. If we do the math, the numbers of scantily-clad body photos uploaded to her Instagram feed in the month of August 2018 is over ten-- compare that to the two tame snaps posted in the same month, just one year prior.
Thankfully for Azalea, the Aussie's obsession with showing some serious skin is paying off, too. While her August 2017 fresh-faced selfie garnering a modest 296,991 likes, the 2018 shot of Azalea squatting while wearing nothing but a pair of heals boasts nearly one million. Not just from a numbers perspective, but this habit is setting new expectations for what it means to "follow" Iggy Azalea-- or else, what it means to be a fan of Iggy. She's opening herself up to more fans in the process. She really is managing to blaze a new trail for herself, washing herself of gossip and drama from the previous four years, thanks mostly to twerking videos and curvy views. She is taking control of the media narrative, in a sense. Iggy posts almost-nude pic, media writes about said almost-nude pic. You get the idea.
While many industry heavyweights may still spit on her attempt to return to hip-hop's main stage, there's no denying that the rapper knows how to work the game and put best-selling assets on the face of her personal brand.