Spring is an important time for the music industry because it’s when artists start dropping their most radio driven work; the search for the “Song of the Summer” begins. After (divisively) winning that title in 2014 with mega-hit “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea has thrown down the gauntlet and dropped “Team.”
“Team” serves as the lead single for Azalea’s sophomore album Digital Distortion. She had previously released “AZILLION,” a buzz track that absolutely no one needed to hear. Apparently I’m not the only one who thought so; the song was released by Azalea herself on Soundcloud and did not receive any support from her label. They even shot down the opportunity to film a music video.
(FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE, NO. NO. NO. NO. NOOOOOOO!!!!!)
While I wouldn’t call “Team” as hot of a mess as “AZILLION,” I certainly would not label it a song of the summer, or a song of any season, or really a song at all (I guess that depends on what your definition of song is). The strongest thing about it is its production, handled by Chordz, Nezzo and Omega and even that is a bit much. At times, the beat sounds like several different types of songs. With different verses and an artist behind it, I think it could have the potential to be a monster of a song. The hook is pretty solid, though I attribute that to co-writer Bebe Rexha who has demonstrated before she knows her way around a memorable hook:
“Baby I got me/Baby I got me/And that’s all I need/Yeah that’s all I need/Baby I got me/Only friend I see/Playing on my team/Is someone like/Me , baby, no way/Watch me while I do my thing/Me, baby, no way/Are you rolling with the team?”
Azalea drags the whole thing down, however. Her much talked about “blaccent,” the voice Azalea dons when she records/performs her songs in an effort to sound black, is grating, disingenuous and insulting (I implore you to read this very astute and well written think piece by Salon writer Brittney Cooper for more explanation).
No matter how many times Azalea wants to play the part of a rap artist, it will never work. Putting aside the fact that her delivery is stiff and awkward, there’s no personality and just no talent behind the person “spitting” these “bars” (if you could even really call them that). It was already revealed that Azalea had a ghostwriter come in to work with Charli XCX on the verses for “Fancy,” and passed off a previously recorded song’s verses as a freestyle that she couldn’t even really deliver. How am I supposed to buy this woman as a rap artist?
The countless memes that have been born out of Iggy’s floundering attempts to play dress up have been extremely entertaining. That being said, it’s old, it’s tired and no one is laughing anymore, nor are they listening. Azalea’s last several attempts at chart success, “Pretty Girls,” “Trouble” and “Beg For It” have all bombed on the charts in their attempt to capitalize on the “Fancy” formula (pairing Azalea with a female pop star to deliver a mildly catchy hook). “Team” takes her away from the pop-driven offerings of The New Classic and back to the mix tape that brought her attention, but remains overproduced noise with marble mouth delivery.
So no Iggy, I’m not rolling with the team.