Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea would be the first to admit that she's something of an outsider in the world of rap. As a white girl from rural Australia, raised in the small New South Wales town of Mullumbimby (population: 3,000), how could she not be? It's appropriate that she's risen to the status of one of the most promising new MCs in an era when hip-hop has never been more open to artists from a diversity of backgrounds.

Iggy has had co-signs not only from King of the South T.I. but rap royalty from Dr. Dre to Snoop Dogg; in 2012, she became the first ever woman to be named to XXL's Freshman list. Iggy Azalea has succeeded in gaining the respect of the inner circle as well. It's remarkable to think that, just six years ago, a 16-year-old Iggy touched down in Miami airport, ostensibly for a fortnight's holiday, but with the intention of escaping Australia for good. She knew just one person in the entire USA. To fly across the world to pursue a dream, knowing just one other person: it's the kind of impulsive act that seems insane to even Iggy herself, looking back.

Her musical journey to get to this point has been one of trial and error played out in public: the mixtape which first garnered her mainstream attention, Ignorant Art, was the kind of impressive, raw statement one expects from an unknown with no pressure on her. Since then, collaborations with everyone from Southern rappers to EDM artists have followed as Iggy tried to nail down her sound; the ridiculously catchy single, "Murda Bizness", demonstrated a growing knack for songcraft - as well as a brilliant Toddlers & Tiaras-themed video, cheekily comparing the cut-throat competition of the rap game to child beauty pageants.

Last October, a follow-up mixtape, TrapGold, indicated that she'd found her voice. Almost wholly produced by Diplo, it combines booming, clattering trap production with Iggy sounding more aggressive and confident than ever.  TrapGold also showcases a lot of what makes Iggy so distinct as an artist. In between the shit-talking and gleeful bragging, she sprinkles snippets of interviews with Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and David LaChapelle; as the title of her first mixtape indicated, Iggy is all about combining ignorance and art in a fresh way.

Elaborating on her style, Iggy asserts: "Who cares about real life when it's so much fun to just say all this stuff? If someone tells me not to go in a room, I'm going to go in that room, and even if there's nothing in the fucking room I'm going to have so much fun just because you told me not to be here."

She's firmly in that room now - and she's certainly having that fun right now.