the name game

musings on miss banks and madame iggy.

by kelsey hutch

In October, we discussed Bleech and Bleached, two sister-act rock groups with tangled names. This Spring, a similar Name Game surfaced in the music world between our style crush Azealia Banks and Interscope newbie Iggy Azalea - but it seems to have a little more drama than usual. 21-year-old Australian Iggy Azalea (born Amethyst Amelia Kelly) gained notoriety when she uploaded cheeky freestyle videos in 2011 via YouTube. Since her viral rising, Iggy signed with Interscope (the same label that repositioned Lizzie Grant as Lana Del Rey), started working on her debut album, The New Classic, released a mixtape, Ignorant Art, and somewhere in the middle of all that, collaborated with T.I.'s label, Grand Hustle Records. (If I make a mixtape, will you sign me, Mr. T.I.?) T

his year Iggy was granted the cover of XXL as part of their annual anticipated "Top 10 Freshman" List. (Think our "Young Hollywood" issue, but with hip hop artists instead of actors.) Meanwhile, 20-year-old Harlem native Azealia Banks (born Azealia Amanda Banks) started her career at age ten, performing in Off-Broadway musicals. After her debut single "212" became a YouTube phenomenon, Azealia's talent landed her the #9 spot on Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2011 and a Best New Music nomination. Like Ms. Azalea, Azelia is signed Interscope Records; unlike Iggy, she's gotten a bit more formal fashion world exposure, sitting front row at Mulberry and Topshop's fashion shows in London, and accompanying Alexander Wang to the Costume Institute gala next week. (Depending on which fashion blog you believe, she may also be the featured performer at that party - a spot held by Lady Gaga in the past.) The two have never performed together, but they've interacted via Twitter, when Banks tweeted, "Iggy Azalea on the XXL Freshman :ist is all wrong. How can you endorse a white woman who called herself a 'runaway salve master'?" (She is referring to the controversial rhyme in Iggy's song, D.R.U.G.S.)

Iggy responded with, "You can't block my blessings! Today I'm Celebrating! Get with it or kick rocks! First female freshman. Ever. Period. Thanks world!..." We don't like taking sides, but we do like watching great music videos. Below, one from each Azealia / Azalea. Enjoy! --KELSEY HUTCH See also: The Insider - Azealia Banks