Some might call her an Aussie interloper, but with two singles at the top of the charts, Iggy Azalea’s popularity is undeniable. How popular is the “Fancy” rapper? Well, now there’s a study that shows just how far Iggy’s “Work” has gotten her.
Over at the Next Big Sound blog (h/t Liv Buli at Forbes), they’re picking apart Iggy’s popularity by the numbers, comparing Azalea to her other pop peers by looking at how her popularity stacks up against commonly and uncommonly used words in the English language.
“The Eminems and Rihannas of Facebook (i.e. those with over 80 million page likes),” they write at Next Big, “are about as popular as words like “it,” “with,” “for,” and “and.”
Still nothing? They explain further:
“Imagine you’re reading a novel that is approximately the size of To Kill a Mockingbird but where all the words have been replaced by their artist name popularity equivalent (“it” replaced by “Eminem”, “turn” replaced by “The Black Keys” and so on). Divide the number of Facebook page likes for the artist of interest by 80,000 and that’s the number of times you could expect that artist to appear in the words-to-artist-names novel.”
Where does Iggy Azalea rank in this imaginary novel? She’s about as popular as the words “apparent,” “bigger,” “vision,” “sick,” and “imply” would be in such a book. Pretty common words, no? So, Azalea’s pretty popular. Fancy that.
An easier way of putting it would be just to point out that Azalea has two million Facebook likes for her artist page, whereas less popular artists have Facebook fanbases numbering in the hundreds, tens, and single thousands. But there are some reasons to take the long way around:
- Where’s the fun in just comparing Facebook likes?
- When are you next going to see Iggy Azalea’s name anywhere near the term “sick.”
- Unless, of course, it’s in a phrase like “You’d have to be ill to describe Azalea’s lyrics as ‘sick,’” or some derivation thereof.
Of course, you likely didn’t need a metaphorical novel word count to tell you how popular Iggy Azalea has become. Just as Iggy did with a faux-southern African-American accent, Azalea has adopted the top of the charts as her own. With both “Fancy” and “Problem” burning up the Billboard Hot 100, Iggy is in rarefied air, having accomplished a pop music feat matched only by the likes of The Beatles.
Besides, Iggy isn’t too big on words herself, despite her chosen profession. In a recent interview, the pop star denounced haters that said Azalea should, among other things, rap in something more akin to her native Australian accent.
“We get so caught up, especially in rap, with what’s authentic, and I wish people would think more about what the f**k that even means,” Azalea said of her detractors.
Authentic, for the record, means “of undisputed origin” or “genuine.” But Iggy’s probably more popular than that word, too, so who cares?