Music Video Relapse: "Bounce" by Iggy Azalea

Posted by Adam Fairholm on March 31, 2014 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post

When a video gets pulled off of YouTube, they usually tell you who made them do it. Usually it's a record label, but sometimes it's a random name. For instance, Iggy Azalea used to have a video called "Pu$$y," but it now says "This video is no longer available because of a copyright claim from Bobby Alonzo Taylor." Who is Bobby Alonzo Taylor? I truly have no idea, and I cannot find any reference to his person online. Bobby, if you're reading this, why'd you do it, Bobby? That was a good video.

I can't imagine Iggy Azalea had anything to do with it. Even if it was a little different than her current image, Iggy (I call her Iggy hope she's okay with that) has shown that she is not afraid of experimenting with music videos, and not just in the direction of being provocative.

Case in point is a video that seems very strange on paper but comes together amazingly on screen - her 2013 video for "Bounce" directed by BRTHR.

On paper, this is an odd combination of things for a video. First of all, you have Iggy Azalea taking part in an Indian wedding reception, covered in more or less traditional Indian clothing. All of this is happening in India -  directing duo BRTHR and Iggy actually went to India to do this video, which was funded partially by Azalea's own money.

Aside from an almost all-Indian crew, BRTHR had a Bollywood producer on set to make sure nothing they were doing was inadvertantly offensive to Indian culture. For someone who had and continues to thrive off a certain level of shock value (even the cinematic video for "Work" has a lot of twerking), this is a marked change of pace in tone and style. It's not that Azalea has shied away from more high-concept pieces aside from this, it's that she's never let herself be integrated into a concept so tightly as in this video.

Iggy Azalea straddles the line between being a part of the environment of the video and outside of it - consistently appearing a version of Indian clothing, but always set apart in some way. There's an interesting sequence in the middle of the video where it cuts quickly between Iggy and some older Indian men that makes this point, not to mention the sequence where she is dressed in all gold and riding an elephant through the streets.

It's interesting to note that around this time Selena Gomez was being criticized for wearing a bindi, something that caused people to accuse her of "appropriating" another culture for herself. "Bounce" is so deftly handled, though, that it seems to remove that criticism from that equation. Although a lot of credit goes to BRTHR, Azalea is such a likable character in this video that she plays a major role in making it just a fun music video instead of something someone is going to write a college thesis on.

That being said, does anyone know Bobby Alonzo Taylor? Email me.

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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