T.I.'s 23-year-old protégée scrubbed floors as a teen to afford a plane ticket to Miami, eventually shaking up rap circles with her 2011 mixtape Ignorant Art, which answered doubts about whether an Aussie girl could rhyme with lines as pointed as her Louboutin heels. This EP aims to convert more skeptics. "Change Your Life" offers a sturdy movin'-on-up hook and T.I. support, and "Bounce" tosses dollars into the nightclub air with Pitbull-esque glee. But it's on "Work" that Azalea adds personal heft to the underdog narrative: "White chick on that 'Pac shit/My passion was ironic and my dreams were uncommon." It's a bombshell-next-door move that demands attention.
From The Archives Issue 1196: November 21, 2013