Walk a mile in these Louboutins
But they don't wear these sh*ts where I'm from
For those of you who aren't familiar with Iggy Azalea, she was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly in 1990 in a very small town in Australia.
After dropping out of high school, Iggy helped her mother clean hotel rooms and vacation rental houses. She travelled to the U.S. just before she turned 16, telling her parents she was just going on a holiday with a friend. But she ended up staying here and became a rapper.
"Work" tells the story of Iggy's arduous path to stardom:
Three jobs, took years to save
But I got a ticket on that plane
People got a lot to say
But don't know sh*t about where I was made
Or how many floors that I had to scrub
Just to make it past where I'm from
It's the kind of rags-to-riches story -- or a cheap-flipflops-to-Louboutins story, if you prefer -- that is characteristic of so many successful rappers.
|Brienne Walsh on Anderson Cooper's|
TV show earlier this year
To help me tell Iggy's story -- and hopefully help me attract younger and hipper readers to 2 or 3 lines -- is the young and hip Brienne Walsh, an up-and-coming writer whose magazine articles and provocative blog are the talk of New York City.
2 or 3 lines: Brienne, you attended Brown and Columbia, you live in a very hip neighborhood in Brooklyn, and you write for Art in America, Interview, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and the Huffington Post. In other words, you're kind of a big deal. I find it hard to believe that you've agreed to be interviewed for 2 or 3 lines. But you have, so thank you.
Brienne Walsh: Gary, I am honored that you even asked me. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever been interviewed by someone, because I'm not even a little bit of a big deal. Basically all I do is sit in my apartment in the same tent dress every day, pinching my stomach fat and feeling like I want to kill myself.
2 or 3 lines: I very much enjoy your blog, A Brie Grows in Brooklyn. Tell me why you started that blog, and what it means to you?
Brienne: I started the blog because I was bored all of the time, and it was something I could do to keep me company. At the time, I was living alone, and I was not in a relationship. I actually might have been in a relationship, but the only reason why I was dating the guy was because I had mice in my apartment, and he didn't. I also was in graduate school for art history, so I was seeing a lot of great stuff that made the blog visually appealing. It became an obsession, and remains one. It gives me an identity I don't get from writing professionally.
2 or 3 lines: Your magazine and newspaper writing focuses on art and art-related events, but you talk about anything and everything in your blog. Pretty much the first thing I noticed about your blog is that you use the "F" word a lot -- as a noun, a verb, a gerund, a past participle, etc. I didn't know that young women from Ivy League schools used the "F" word so much.
Brienne: I think most people of my generation use the "F" word pretty freely. One word I still do feel uncomfortable saying (or even writing) is the "C" word, because I feel like it's demeaning to women.
2 or 3 lines: I have twin daughters who are a few years younger than you. I've never heard either one of them use the "F" word. Do you think they use it a lot when I'm not around?
Brienne: Definitely. I don't use it around my father either. One time my sister called him a f*cking douchebag, and he chased her around the house for an hour until she kicked him in the balls while he was running up the stairs. I learned my lesson by proxy. Maybe something similar happened in your family?
2 or 3 lines: My God, no -- nothing like that ever happened in my family.
Brienne: Oh, OK. I thought maybe it had.
2 or 3 lines: You don't let your father read your blog, do you?
Brienne: I don't encourage it, but the unfortunate thing with the internet is that I can't really not let my parents read it. Whenever they do read it, they sincerely regret it. The other day, my dad told my little brother that he thought my blog was "lewd and disturbing."
[NOTE: I didn't want to hurt Brienne's feelings, but I often think the very same thing when reading her blog. I don't know what I would do if one of my daughters wrote a blog like hers -- I might possibly change my name and move to a new city, or I might just cut to the chase and hang myself.]
2 or 3 lines: OK, enough about your constant use of the "F" word -- let's move on to something else. One of the many things that you and I have in common is that we both love to ride bicycles. You recently wrote a fabulous rant about New York City's public shared-bicycle system -- every aspect of which you loathe. (Click here to read that article -- you'll be glad you did.) By the way, I counted fourteen uses of the "F" word in that post -- and not a single one was gratuitous.
Brienne: I'm happy you liked it. I came up with the idea while I was drunk and riding my bike. I'm really all about bicycle safety.
2 or 3 lines: Let's move on to the A Brie Grows in Brooklyn post that featured the video for Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's 2013 single, "Work." That post consisted of an embedded video and this single sentence: "If you make a video of yourself in a Dolce & Gabbana crop top rapping in a desert, I will fall in love with you." Here's a picture of Iggy wearing the outfit you referred to:
Keeping in mind that I'm roughly twice as old as you and grew up in Joplin, Missouri, explain to me exactly what is so special about Iggy's top.
Brienne: The face on the bottom part of the outfit is that of Salvador Dali. I like the references to art history associated with the whole get-up, along with the bold prints. Bold prints are very Beyoncé, and I love her style, even though I don't necessarily love her as a human being. And Katy Perry wore the exact same D&G outfit to Coachella last year. By the way, you can check out the entire D&G spring 2013 collection by clicking here.
2 or 3 lines: So I assume you have a lot of Dolce & Gabbana crop-top outfits?
Brienne: Definitely not. I am f**king poor, Gary.
2 or 3 lines: Tell me about Brienne Walsh's fashion philosophy. What do your clothes say about you?
Brienne: They mostly say "Old Navy." They also say "not washed frequently."
|Brienne (left) at the 2013 Dallas "Art Ball"|
2 or 3 lines: "Work" opens with this line: "Walk a mile in these Louboutins." Iggy is shown walking along a lonely desert highway wearing very high-heeled Louboutin shoes, which are immediately recognizable from the bright-red soles that is the designer's trademark. (Hey, I subscribe to the New Yorker, so I do know some sh*t.) I can't be sure, but it looks like she's wearing the "Decollete" pumps, which go for a mere $625 a pair at Neiman-Marcus. Are you a Louboutin fan?
Brienne: I am not, although I do own two pairs my sister got with her five-finger discount. I think expensive luxury items that anyone can recognize are pretty stupid.
2 or 3 lines: Do you know what kind of bag she is shown carrying at the beginning of the video?
Brienne: It looks like a baby blue Louis Vuitton Epi leather bag, but I really have no idea.
2 or 3 lines: What in the world is in that bag? What's she got in that bag?
Brienne: I would say definitely tissue paper to keep the shape, and nothing else. In her regular bag, I bet Iggy has cigarettes and hundred-dolla bills.
2 or 3 lines: Did you get that Ludacris reference? (You've got to move fast to keep up with 2 or 3 lines.)
Brienne: No, but I would love to hear more about it.
[NOTE: Regular readers of 2 or 3 lines will recognize the reference to "Rollout (My Business)," which was a big 2001 hit for Ludacris. In that song, a nosy fan asks the singer "What in the world is in that bag, what you got in that bag?" Click here to read the post that features "Rollout."]
2 or 3 lines: Some of my less sophisticated readers may wonder at Iggy's rather mannered way of walking at the beginning of this video. But she's a Wilhelmina model as well as a rapper, and I think she's simply walking like catwalk models are trained to walk. Am I correct?
Brienne: Definitely. She's also shaking her fine ass. Because I'm not sure if you noticed, Gary, but Iggy's ass is VERY fine.
2 or 3 lines: Brienne, you're one of New York City's beautiful young people -- a well-educated, well-spoken, and witty tastemaker and trendsetter, and also someone who seems to be more than a little neurotic when it comes to your weight. Do you have anything in common with Iggy Azalea?
Brienne: The one thing we have in common is that I also had a cleaning job. Only mine was cleaning the toilets at my aunt's computer networking store in Chappaqua, New York, where Bill Clinton lives. Also, I can rap mad ill, just like she can.
2 or 3 lines: Is there a trashy Iggy Azalea side to Brienne Walsh that's hidden deep inside? Do you ever dress up like her to go to a party, or sing one of her songs at a karaoke bar? Or are you reluctant to let that particular genie out of the bottle?
Brienne: I'm too fat to wear her outfits, but I can definitely be a ho bag.
I had a rough idea of what a "ho bag" is just from the sound of the phrase, but I looked it up on www.urbandictionary.com just to make sure. The first definition it gives is "a really skanky person who likes to have sex with random people or inanimate objects." If that's not clear enough, here's an example sentences the website provides to illustrate the meaning of the term: "I hope you used Lysol on that [ho bag's] booty before you tapped that!" I happen to know that Brienne is just kidding around here -- she is very far from actually being a ho bag. (You can come in off the ledge now, Mr. Walsh.)
We'll continue our conversation with Brienne Walsh in the next 2 or 3 lines.
Speaking of Rap Genius -- where my rapper name is Madd Powerful -- click here to read the Rap Genius exegesis of "Work."
Here's the official music video of "Work":
Click here to buy the song from Amazon: