The most recent addition to the Def Jam fam just released her next video, an appropriately titled club hit called "Bounce." Instead of her simmering hip-hop tracks, Iggy Azalea gets a bit dance-y, with big breakdowns and super fast rapping, demonstrating she's aiming not just for rap fans, but for the late-night crowd, too.
With a party hit like this, one would assume Azalea would want to set it off in a club, but instead she appears sari-clad and bindi-adorned in Mumbai. She throws a party, does Bollywood-esque dances, and hangs out atop an elephant. Already, YouTube commenters point out Azalea's cultural appropriation — but it just looks like the rapper (who is from Australia) is having a good time and hanging out in the incredibly ornate costumes of modern Bollywood movies — which is the entire inspiration of the video. Whenever someone dresses in "garb of a culture that isn't theirs," people tend to get upset, but "Bounce" feels more like a tribute to the energy of Mumbai rather than an appropriation — made even more obvious by the amount of fun the city's residents are having. For us, Azalea's getting down in South Asia feels more respectful because no one is playing to type and she is actually embracing/celebrating the city — but, after the Selena Gomez debacle, maybe bindis are best left alone.
Readers, weigh in: Is dressing up in another culture's traditional garb, even when done respectfully, accurately, and in a positive light, ever okay?