Let’s get one thing straight: “Pretty Girls” is a very bad song. It sounds like “Fancy” if it was thrown in a blender with a pack of spotted hyenas, a set of dull knives, and shitty raps (“It’s just so funny…like bees to the honey!”) and set to “desperation.”
The Iggy Azalea and Britney Spears tune attempted to follow the “Fancy” playbook to a T, complete with an identical beat, even bigger pop star to sing the hook, and vintage sartorial stylings, swapping the Clueless parody with ’80s duds.But the radio-ready tune, released May 4, has bombed in the U.S., peaking at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, dropping out of the Top 40 after three weeks, and collecting just 96,000 in total sales to date (digital and streaming).
Azalea, as is her wont, deflected the blame and placed it on Spears. During a Twitter Q&A Sunday night, a fan asked Azalea why the single had “flopped a little bit,” and Azalea chose to go in on Spears: “its difficult to send a song up the charts without addition promo and tv performances etc. unforfunately im just featured…”When Spears’s fans took issue with the shade—Spears did little to promote the track, though that’s been her modus operandi for the last decade-plus—Azalea doubled down, writing to a critical fan, “my comment is factual, it applies to any song. I dont have to suck the womans asshole 24/7 to be her friend, do i? bye girls.”
In 2012, Spears was named the highest-earning female musician in the land, taking in $58 million. The following year, she signed up for a two-year residency at The AXIS at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas that pays her a reported $15 million a year. The first show was December 27, 2013, and the last will be December 31, 2015.On the opposite end of the touring spectrum is Azalea, who was forced to cancel her tour in late May owing to a variety of factors. If Azalea is to be believed, she experienced “a different creative change of heart” and felt she deserved “a break.” The far more likely story, however, is that ticket sales for the tour were low due perhaps to the lack of support slots being filled as well as the mounting backlash against Azalea. According to Billboard, sources claim that certain dates on the 2015 “Great Escape” arena tour “were only 20 percent sold.”
Well, Spears has responded to Azalea’s shade with a dig of her own, presumably aimed at Azalea’s canceled tour:
As far as the Azalea backlash is concerned, well, it’s been brewing for quite some time. Rappers like Azealia Banks have decried the white Australian rapper’s penchant for racial appropriation, history of racist tweets, her rapped claim that she’s a “runaway slave-master,” and her silence on issues affecting the African-American community. Black MCs have loudly campaigned against her, she’s been trolled by Snoop Dogg with White Chicks comparisons, and Q-Tip even offered her a well-meaning cultural lesson.
The coup de grace came when, this month, Azalea was forced to cancel her appearance at a Pittsburgh Pride event after several LGBT organizations pulled out of the parade in protest over her history of tweeting about “homos” and “dyke bitches.”
“I am a firm believer in equality,” Azalea said in a statement. “Unfortunately in the past as a young person, I used words I should not have. The last thing I want is for something so carelessly said to be interpreted as reflective of my character.”
Well, she owes a pop legend an apology, too.