Dim Mak Studios
The rumbling began in September when Perez Hilton posted the video for Iggy Azalea's "Pu$$y." In a rainbow-striped tube top and lemon sorbet-colored leggings, the Australian glamazon rapper spoke on tasting her "Skittles." Within a few months, she was seemingly everywhere; she released a mixtape, signed with Interscope, and announced that T.I. is executive producing her debut album.
She even invented a new nationality ("Azaleans") for her fans and confirmed rumors of dating another music-blog darling, A$AP Rocky. No wonder her show last night came close to spinning out of control. There were arrests. There were purses stolen. Two girls got in a fight.
A sense of restlessness kicked in around midnight, a sure sign trouble was brewing. Doors opened at 9, and by 10:45, a throng of people clumped against the stage were throwing withering looks at anyone trying to push past them to get closer. Brenmar, a New York-based DJ and musician, saved many from boredom; though he began his set with house music, he quickly sized up the crowd and switched gears. Spinning a flawlessly executed hip-hop set with a few surprising twists and turns, he kept one eye on the audience, gauging their reactions.
Still, one guy was playing video games on his iPhone, a girl had plopped down on the stage and two other girls looked exasperated as they complained about the wait. No one came just to party. They came to see Iggy, and she didn't appear until 1:05 am.
When she did, though, the crowd went bananas. Like, dangerously close to Michael Jackson-type hysteria. One dude behind me started screeching her name over and over, almost crawling up my back. (He later was the only guy onstage for the "ass shaking" contest Iggy held, during which she flicked dollar bills at the volunteer dancers). Cameras flashed, arms flailed, 'bows were thrown.
Though she was dressed to dominate -- red pants, black boots and a bodysuit with Tupac's image emblazoned on it -- Iggy was much sweeter onstage than I'd predicted. She smiled and made every effort to connect with her fans.
While the demureness (nervousness?) was endearing, it didn't serve her well as a performer. Admittedly, her voice was hoarse, and she probably was trying to conserve as much as possible so she wouldn't lose it completely. But her hype man, not she, set the tone and pace of the show. In a symbolic gesture, Iggy repeatedly leaned on him physically.
That's not to say her live show doesn't have potential. She's appealing to both men and women, gay and straight, and obviously engaged in the physical aspects of performing. She danced and seemed to have good breath control, although she rapped over her tracks, a personal pet peeve. The most interesting moment of her short set was the announcement of a new song with the 'Pac-lifted refrain, "Picture me rollin'," produced by none other than Boi-1da, megastar beatmaker for Drake and Eminem. You can bet that will draw some ire.
By 1:45, she was heading to the back of the club. Security began shooing people out, causing issues with the quick meet-and-greet Iggy was doing. Outside, cops had arrived and a kid, nose bloodied, was handcuffed. A fight between two girls apparently had broken out in the audience during Iggy's show. In the valet line, a girl was comforting her crying friend, who told me that while she was onstage for the ass-shaking contest, a drunk girl had grabbed her head and started banging it on the stage. A bruise was blooming on one of her cheeks.
Iggy addressed the strange energy within a couple hours of the show on her Twitter. Apologizing profusely, she mentioned the few people who had been arrested and some who had their purses stolen.
Just checked the calendar. Last night was a full moon.
Personal bias: I've interviewed Iggy Azalea. She's more than just a pretty girl.
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The crowd: Groups of sexy, stylish girls dancing with their gay guy friends.
Random notebook dump: Is that guy in the baseball cap Brody Jenner?