July 19th, 2019 will go down in history as the day that Peppa Pig dared to drop her debut album the same date as Iggy Azalea. Or was it the other way around? Let’s take a look at the players.
Iggy Azalea, born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, is an Australian rapper who moved to the US as a teenager to pursue a music career. Her 2014 debut album THE NEW CLASSIC featured the hit track “Fancy” that skyrocketed her to celebrity status.
UK-born Peppa Pig has been delighting audiences with her television programme since 2004. She’s used to the spotlight by now, so it’s no surprise she would delve into the music industry after a long-standing career in TV. We know she has the capability to be savage, as demonstrated when she hung up on her friend Suzy Sheep for showing her up with her whistling skills. In fact, it was Miss Pig who initiated beef (or rather, “pork”) with Iggy.
Hot off the heels of their Twitter “spat,” Peppa had big shoes to fill—after all, Peppa has the beginner’s advantage with this being her debut album. But there’s really nothing to compare MY FIRST ALBUM to; our reaction is completely uninhibited by previous experiences. Iggy, on the other hand, has racked up a list of haters that include Azaelia Banks and Kendrick Lamar, and IN MY DEFENSE is her first release since 2014, leading people to wonder: what the *pig oink* has she been up to for the past five years?
Here’s a head-to-head comparison of MY FIRST ALBUM and IN MY DEFENSE. Who comes out on top? Who brings home the bacon?
Song of the Summer
It’s hard to define what makes for a “song of the summer.” It needs to be fresh and irresistibly catchy, and something that rings with pure uplifting energy. “Peppa Party Time” is undoubtedly that track. Although “Bing Bong Zoo” was the official single release, “Peppa Party Time” easily surpasses it in terms of, well, pep. Try listening to “Peppa Party Time” without singing along. “Peppa Party Time” is an age-inclusive number that encourages adults to join in on the fun. “Daddy pig, one, two, three / Clap your hands and dance with me / Mummy pig, one, two, three / Stamp your feet, jump up and down to the Peppa beat.” Who can’t get behind that message?
One of the singles off IN MY DEFENSE, “Just Wanna,” is a sex-positive, cocksure track that’s definitely NSFW. “They call me big Iggy, and I’m a bit freaky / If he hit it, then he love it, there’s a big reason,” Iggy proudly states. The rest of the song is explicitly about sexual freedom, with Iggy describing in detail the kind of acts she would like to participate in. There’s something to be said about her audacity to bare her carnal desires for all the world to see. This new twerking anthem may be just the thing for listeners to kick off their “hot girl summer,” but to me “hot girl summer” is much better in theory than in practice. At this point, I just wanna pull on my rain boots over my overalls and jump in muddy puddles with my friends. Peppa wins here.
Winner: Peppa Pig
Best Shameless Jam
“Started” is the highlight of IN MY DEFENSE. “I started to say sorry but fuck that shit” Iggy spits out repeatedly. It’s the soundtrack for speeding down the freeway on the way to cuss out your ex. Sometimes, we don’t want to do the right thing—the higher road is too much effort.
It’s much easier to go for the low-hanging fruit, and “Started” bottles up that sentiment and shakes it up till it fizzes over.
“Bing Bong Zoo” is the closest thing MY FIRST ALBUM has to a shameless jam, shameless only because Peppa flexes her privilege of being A) an animal and B) not subjected to life in captivity, on display for other animals to imitate for their own selfish enjoyment. But at the end, Peppa and her classmates sing, “Bing bong bing, bing bong boo / We’re all animals at the zoo”. Is Peppa suggesting that all of us live in self-imposed “cages,” never able to free ourselves from the voyeuristic gaze of social media? That’s brave of you, Peppa.
If we’re talking about true shameless jams here, Iggy Azalea takes the cake.
Winner: Iggy Azalea
“Busy Miss Rabbit” vs “Sally Walker”
“Busy Miss Rabbit” is a portrait of a single female individual contributing to society in as many ways as she can. Fire engine driver, underwater diver, TV director, doctor’s aid, helicopter pilot, she “even runs the gift shop on the moon.” What’s next for Miss Rabbit? I hear she’s slated to play the 14th Doctor in DOCTOR WHO.
“Sally Walker” is a new twist on the nursery rhyme, “Little Sally Walker.” Yes, THAT Sally Walker, walking down the street. The one that entertained your Girl Scout troop for hours in between snack and basket weaving. Except in true Iggy fashion, this version is drenched in shade. “All of you bitches is mad at me / Probably mad ’cause you ain’t in my tax bracket / You bitches is broker than glass crackin’ / You ain’t gon’ do shit, you just act ratchet” feels like a very specific attack. Like the original rhyme, Sally Walker is encouraged to do her “thang” (re: twerking).
In this case, “work” trumps “werk.” “Miss Rabbit” is the winner.
Winner: Peppa Pig
The piggest thing in common between these albums is the number of collaborators that appear on them. Nearly every Peppa Pig track has a spotlight on a different character—including a certain “Super Potato”—as well as a chorus of children chiming in every five seconds. It can become quite a slog for anyone above the age of five.
Iggy’s rounded up a whole crew of guest appearances. Lil Yachty, Kash Doll, Stini, and Juicy J all drop in to give their two cents, because they’re presumably being paid much more than that in streaming royalties. Iggy and Kash Doll’s collab “Fuck it Up” is surprisingly catchy, albeit thematically identical to nearly everything else on IN MY DEFENSE.
On MY FIRST ALBUM, we meet all of Peppa’s friends and family, with each track named aptly. That is, except for one. There is a song on this album called *ahem* “Expert Daddy Pig.” Really Peppa? Did you have to do this to us? It’s 2019, and there is no chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that Peppa doesn’t know about PornHub. For that reason alone, Iggy & Kash Doll win this round.
Winner: Iggy Azalea
Despite the frequent guest appearances, Peppa Pig titled her record MY FIRST ALBUM. Not OUR first album. This is an artistic endeavor all her own, a snapshot of a plucky young swine experiencing the world through innocent eyes. Iggy Azalea, on the other hand, fluffs her album with multiple artists to gain credibility. It’s an unashamed, unwavering statement by an artist who isn’t trying to make friends (but perhaps a four-legged rival). IN MY DEFENSE is definitely for someone, but MY FIRST ALBUM is for everyone. It’s time for us to christen our new Queen of Pop, Peppa Pig.