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Lorde, Iggy Azalea Call Out ‘Spineless’ Music Publications

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By Anne Lu | April 29, 2014 1:18 PM EST

Lorde and Iggy Azalea are up against “spineless” music magazines. The Kiwi pop star and the Australian rapper are offended by how some publications want them on their cover, but write unflattering criticisms about them in another issue.

On Saturday, Lorde posted a photo of Iggy’s Complex magazine cover feature along with the same magazine’s unfavourable review of the hip-hop star’s latest album on her Tumblr account. The Complex cover was from an issue in 2013, while the review of “The New Classic” appeared on its Web site in April.

Lorde has taken an issue with how Complex magazine praised Iggy, but later on wrote that it hates its record.

“bugs me how publications like complex will profile interesting artists in order to sell copies / get clicks and then sh** on their records? it happens to me all the time – pitchfork and that ilk being like ‘can we interview you?’ after totally taking the piss out of me in a review. have a stance on an artist and stick to it. don’t like you respect them then throw them under the bus,” she wrote on her Tumblr.

Considering that she was Lorde’s example, Iggy agreed with the slightly younger singer.

Canadian singer Grimes also got on board with the young stars’ mini revolution, reblogging Lorde’s post and writing, “hahaha – i agree with this.”

Although the three women performers probably meant well and only wanted a fairer treatment of artists in publications, they are missing some key facts in their argument.

As Complex explained in its rebuttal piece, having a stance on an artist and sticking to it “is a bizarre notion for an organisation like complex, which is to say bizarre for any media organisation that claims to have any journalistic integrity.”

The article, written by Insanul Ahmed, added, “No one should stick to their opinion when new facts (possibly in the form of new music) are made available that can alter your views. Art and artistry are fluid things.”

It further continued, “If Complex – or the media at large – operated the way Lorde wished, it would do away with journalistic integrity all together.”

The magazine also reiterated that the cover stories and the album reviews were written by different authors.

“There’s a very important distinction between what the individual members of the Complex staff think about an artist/album versus what Complex does as an organisation... This is the nature of all media organisations.”

The writer pointed out the difference between music profiling and criticism, where the job of a journalist profiling an artist is “to bring their story to life for an audience,” while the job of the critic writing a review is “to put an album in the proper context for listeners.”

“Lorde, Iggy Azalea, and Grimes are all talented young artists who we hope will have long careers. We have covered them in the past and will continue to do so in the future. And we hope they’d be down to more interviews with us because we like hearing their stories.

“But we’re not going to treat artists like they’re above reproach just because we profiled them. Why? Well, because that would just be plain spineless.”

Read Complex magazine’s full rebuttal here.

To contact the editor, e-mail:

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