Pop music is a mongrel, forever gaining vitality borrowing and mingling from other pedigrees. It's slutty mongrel. No. Wait. It's a sex-positive mongrel. Iggy Azalea has two massive hits and has taken knocks for being an Australian female rapper with "southern rap" affectations.
Any artist should be free to steal from other sources and try any persona. If it works, it works. We don't look to artists for morals or history lessons. I didn't know who Ariana Grande was by name. I knew her as the girl with the one-note voice on the t.v. show "Sam & Cat" that was forever the background television noise while I was in the kitchen cleaning or making meals, or in the dining room writing, gaming, or doing dark and dank deeds. She's the actress with the dyed red hair in this clip:
That one-note voice affection is, as actors say, "a choice", right? I heard Grande was a recording artist, but ALL OF THOSE Nickelodeon and Disney starlets are recording artists. No big deal. All those songs are boring aspirational or first-love stuff. All the more boring when they go into the inevitable "I'm not a kid anymore!" phase as if they are the first ones to discover the fumblings and grindings that generate us all and so shake the world.
I don't even know if I like Grande's well-produced hit "Problem". She has great range, but I keep hearing her one-note tone sitcom actress "choice" throughout. Iggy Azalea raps during the bridge.
Many articles have criticized Azalea for trying to sound "black" or "urban". A point for debate among music nerds, but not something to be ashamed of. Try everything. Go with what works. Plenty of suburban kids of all races have tried "urban" affectations (Alicia Keys comes to mind). So what? If the music is resonant & fun, let it roll. Any line of music that doesn't draw from other genres and cultural signifiers is doomed to staleness and extinction.
I don't even know if I like Iggy Azalea. There is something sonically interesting going on, but I'm undecided about whether it is good music or not. I confess to a problem with female musicians in their 20s and early 30s. It's my advanced age, but even if I would have found them attractive 20 years ago, to see them carousing about advertising their availability now (fine and their right), my gorge rises at it. They just seem like uninteresting people and I have trouble watching them. It's not them, it's me. Keep on keepin' on, kids.
Ariana Grande mentions meeting Azalea at a party thrown by shouty, shouty Katy Perry where they vowed to work together sometime. They have, and it's a success.
Now, if you want to get upset about Azalea outright stealing a rich vein of music, take her to task for robbing the sing-cheerleader-chant genre from Gwen Stefani. That shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.