If Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora have taught me anything about style, it’s that déjà vu is so hot right now. Their music video for “Black Widow” is riddled with pop culture references, and it's clearly well received: Almost four million people have watched the video since its release two days ago. Read on to see the similarities to other music videos deconstructed, the value of monogrammed weaponry discussed and other tips for becoming a femme fatale. (Please note, Noisey was all about Iggy way back in 2012 when we interviewed her at her first every UK show. Watch it here.)
Let me be clear: I’m not saying that this video is bad because it mirrors a lot of pop culture. Pop culture is inherently referential and Iggy's most-watched video to date, for "Fancy" with Charli XCX, is an outfit-by-outfit play on Clueless. There's a lot fun in picking up on her references—especially when they cater to our nostalgia. I’m probably the world’s biggest fan of Clueless, so I loved the Fancy video.
But Iggy should be careful with how much she imitates. This is her first solo song since “Fancy” became the hit song of the summer and it doesn’t do much to define her as a unique artist. Of course, she's released music before "Fancy," but for her casual fans, we're just living in the post-Fancy era. That song is the standard people now hold her to, and right now it seems like she’s establishing a pattern.
I’ll say what every other music blogger is saying, this video is channeling serious Kill Bill vibes. Iggy, is this your new thing? Reenacting cult movies? This is starting to be too much of a good thing. As far as movie tributes go, this is a clear parallel. You’ve got the vengeful girls, and the object of Iggy and Rita's hatred, played by actor Michael Madsen, was actually in Kill Bill. Throw in some weaponry training scenes and a similar skintight jumpsuit voila, parallel complete.
But wait, there’s more! The opening setting of a diner smacks of the diner in Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s "Telephone," another Thelma and Louise tale of girls getting revenge. Iggy Azalea’s dramatic, slow motion motorcycle ride? It parallels Aaliyah’s motorcycle adventure in “More Than A Woman” down to the white jumpsuit.
Iggy Azalea is seen as a unique rapper, mainly because she’s a white Australian girl. Both in her identity and style she is unique, and I think she should expand on that. If she wants to forge her own path, she needs to remember to forge her own image as well, and that means doing more than making tributes. It means making a video where Iggy Azalea plays her own character to the audience she has now.
DAYDREAM ABOUT THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO IN REAL LIFE
Rita Ora, are you seriously going to let that guy order your food for you? And talk all over you? And yell at the waitress? I appreciate you at least semi-protesting but asking “why do you always have to be so loud?” is an understatement that doesn’t seem to do much.
“I’m going to love you/until you hate me” is your opening hook, but I don’t think that’s the best way to go here. Cornering your guy with a katana isn’t exactly legal, so how about we try to find some middle ground. The next time this happens, try asking “why do you have to act like an asshole?” If you find yourself in this situation a third time, just walk out the door.
BLONDE HAIR IS ESSENTIAL FOR KICKING ASS
Whether you’re peering out from bangs at a poker game or wielding a katana in slow motion, hair is your most important accessory. I’m not sure if this would be as striking if you weren’t living your life in perpetual slow mo, but it seems Iggy and Rita Ora are so this works. Special props go to whoever did Iggy’s dip dye look, it is 100 percent beautiful and perfectly matches her lipstick.
MONOGRAM YOUR WEAPONS
Is there anything classier than a monogrammed sword? Sure, Zorro had a signature tree slash, but this a whole new level. How badass is it to have your name on your giant katana? Very cool. However, you should never lose your weapon Iggy, because it would be very easy for the police to tie the crime to the Black Widow girl gang. If "Orange Is The New Black" taught me anything, it’s that personalized leather jackets aren’t part of a prison uniform.
GIRL GANG JACKETS ARE BACK IN
Even when there’s only two members of your crew, you’ve still gotta represent. The Black Widow jackets are just like a darker version of the Pink Ladies. They even follow the formula of color + female noun, but imitation is the highest form of flattery.
WORK UNIFORMS DON’T HAVE TO BE UGLY
As I write this, I have a tab open looking for a place to buy a Big Wanda’s Killer Burgers uniform. Everything about it rules, from the killer logo to the tiny black buttons. I’m sure it will not make my ass look as good as Iggy Azalea’s, but there’s no harm in trying.
TAKE CARE TO KEEP YOUR CLOTHES BLOODSTAIN FREE
For a video that’s supposed to be Tarantino 2.0 there’s a notable lack of violence. Death by spider bite? While I get the allusion to the song title, what was the point of your straight outta the 80s training montage if you don’t get to use your skills on your target? Then again, getting bloodstains out of that white jumpsuit would be tricky. Iggy and Rita made a big sacrifice for fashion, and they should be commended on their restraint.
If you find where Aliza can buy a Big Wanda's Killer Burgers uniform, let her know. She's on Twitter - @AlizaAbarbanel.
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