The Australian rapper talks turnoffs, the difference between sexy and beautiful, and being mistaken for an adult film star.

This feature appears in Complex's 10th Anniversary Issue (April/May 2012).

If you’re wondering why Interscope Records signed Iggy Azalea consider this: The 21-year-old Australian rapper has stunning model looks, an “A$VP” tattoo on her left pinkie, and rhymes that’ll make your daddy blush. She first got attention for her viral hit “PU$$Y,” but she swears she’s not all about sex. She just wants to feel special.

 

I wouldn't want to date the guy version of me. If I were a man I'd be a womanizer.

 

Does every rapper you meet hit on you?
People think every guy is trying to get my number. I don’t have people asking for my number every day or even every week. I often meet people in working environments where it’s professional.

Do you like guys who are as sexual as you?
No, they turn me off. I wouldn’t want to date the guy version of me. If I were a man I’d be a womanizer. I like reserved guys. When they give you attention, it makes me think, “Aww, I’m special.”

When do you feel sexy?
There’s sexy and there’s beautiful. Sexy is: I have the power, you want me, and I can fuck around with it. I like that feeling. At home, I want to feel beautiful—not like I’m dominating someone. If I come home dressed like I am in my videos, that would be weird. [Laughs.]

Are Americans uptight about sex?
So much of what I do that’s controversial in America wouldn’t be a big deal back home. America is a highly sexualized society but people are afraid to admit what they like. When people tell me that I have to be sexy that’s demeaning, not powerful.

You’ve been criticized for being overly sexual.
To a lot of people, a powerful, sexy woman is vulgar. When I first came out people said, she only raps about her vagina. I’m not a vagina rapper! [Laughs.] I talk about many other things.

With a song called “Pu$$y” it’s hard not to be considered sexual.
The video for that could’ve been way more sexual. I held back because I didn’t think people could handle it. [Laughs.]

In the “My World” video you dressed up as a cheerleader. That was a short skirt you had on…
I didn’t mean for the skirt to be that short. [Laughs.] I got that off eBay. I knew my ass was hanging out of it but whatever. When we were shooting the video the police were like, “We heard you guys were filming a porno.” They thought we were filming Bang Bus. [Laughs.] I told them, “I’m a sexy boxer lady and these are my two cheerleading friends—this is art, guys!”

Beautiful art indeed.

WATCH IGGY'S BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO:

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ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (HAIR) Christian Mark. (MAKEUP) Joanna Schlip. (CLOTHING) FIRST & SIXTH IMAGE: Swim Bottoms by Handsome / Rings by Luv Aj. SECOND IMAGE: Swimsuit by Ashley Paige / Necklace by Luv Aj. THIRD IMAGE: Bustier by Motel Rocks / Leggings by Alexander McQueen / Rings by Luv Aj.