A few questions regarding Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’

Iggy Azalea performs Friday, August 1, 2014, at Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park. (Photo Courtesy of Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Iggy Azalea performs Friday, August 1, 2014, at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park. (Photo Courtesy of Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Like it or not, Australian hip-hop wünderkind Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” was undoubtedly the song of summer 2014.


Off her debut album “The New Classic,” “Fancy” is an infectious little ditty that has cemented Azalea into the public consciousness. Not only has she inspired a Weird Al Yankovic parody track, Azalea is now the subject of countless think pieces asking questions about the ramifications of her success as a white female hip-hop artist.

Is Iggy Azalea appropriating African-American culture? What does the crossover success of artists like her and Macklemore say about the impact of race on the music industry?

Questions like these have been answered and subsequently questioned again at great length. A much less complicated question has yet to be posed, however: What the heck is Iggy Azalea even talking about?

First things first, what does Azalea mean when she claims to be “the realest”? Is the implication that reality is not binary, but rather a spectrum where people, places, and things can be more or less real than other things? From the very first verse, Azalea insists on tackling a dense philosophical concept.

Why then does she veer from a philosophy discussion to teaching a lesson in physics no less than seven seconds later? There is a reason qualitative and quantitative science are kept separate whenever possible, especially in the context of learning. This is already very confusing.

A few moments later, Azalea mentions that she has something on her wrist that is worth “half a ticket,” but at no point does she explain the value of a ticket in terms the listener would reasonably understand. What is the exchange rate on a ticket? Assuming she is “fancy,” one could assume that half a ticket is worth quite a lot in dollars, yen, pesos or maybe even Dogecoin.

Finally, after delivering a cerebral quandary that would make Matthew McConaughey’s character in “True Detective” confused, Charli XCX’s contribution of the song’s chorus begins. This does not mean it becomes any less mystifying.

In the chorus, it is stated that she is traveling in the fast lane from Los Angeles to Tokyo. According to Google Maps, not only is there not a fast lane between the two cities, there is not any road at all. In fact, there is a body of water known as the Pacific Ocean making such a road impractical, which begs the question: Soes being rich and fancy provide you access to an intercontinental bridge that “normies” are not allowed to use or even know about until now?

After this point, Azalea begins to make reasonable declarations regarding her way of life and her decision making process. She is not fond of haters. Her abundance of swagger makes it difficult for her to shop at department stores. She has a lot of money.

Later, Charli XCX returns to describe less than appropriate behavior inside of a hotel room with an unwisely placed chandelier inside; another sequence that is fairly self-explanatory. This bleeds into the final verse, which poses a particularly brain-racking question only a Gallifreyan Time Lord may be able to answer.

If “Fancy” is the reason most people first heard of Iggy Azalea, then how in the name of Sam Hill did she allegedly get the whole world asking how she does that? “That,” of course, is never defined, complicating matters even more. Was “Fancy” written in an alternate time loop after the song made Iggy Azalea a worldwide phenomenon? Is everything in this song based on a lie?

The last word in this song is “blow.” Fitting, considering what analyzing it does to the mind.

 

Reach the reporter at zheltzel@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @zachheltzel