Watch Iggy Azalea’s ‘Artist to Watch’ Live Highlights and Read an Interview With Her From the Show

Iggy Azalea is fast becoming an unstoppable force in hip-hop…and she hasn’t even dropped a debut album yet. The 23-year-old Aussie has turned heads with her stunning looks (she’s signed to Wilhelmina Models) and raunchy raps, snagging the attention of T.I., Diplo and several major labels; not to mention, her fair share of haters. Before hitting the stage for the first of two sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, -- one of which was part of our Artist to Watch live series, highlights of which are posted above -- Iggy snacked on cold lunch meat and caught up with MTV Hive.

You said you took the subway to get here. Really?

Yeah. The subway. The A train, then the D train? I don’t know. The traffic was so bad and I didn’t want to be late. I wanted to make it to soundcheck because I have new dancers today.

The subway is so gross in New York, especially in the summer. Have you seen those big rats that scurry inside the tracks?

It’s gross. I haven’t seen any of those. [Laughs]. It’s funny because [fans] gawk on the street but they don’t recognize me on the train.

Your latest music video “Work” is officially “viral.” Congrats. Did you know it would be a hit while you were shooting it?

I think I know what people want to see. I think I know what makes a video good and what makes people rewatch something. When I made “Work,” I hadn’t had the opportunity to have a budget since “Murda Bizness” and that was over a year ago. So I had a lot of ideas and things to put in the video and I kind of put them all in to this one video because it’s the first chance I had. I thought, I might not have another chance.

I’m sure that sexy lap dance sequence had something to do with the video’s popularity.

It’s a homage the Quentin Tarantino movie Death Proof. She [actress Vanessa Ferlito] doesn’t twerk like that… I think Quentin Tarantino is a director who always has badass girl characters, which I think is really cool. I just liked when [Ferlito] gave that lap dance. She was a lot dirtier than I was. She was out all day in her shorts and flip-flops, but she was so sexy. I noticed so many girls recreated it on YouTube. I’m like, “People really like it and they’re remaking it.”

Yeah. Good audition tape for a stripper job at King Of Diamonds.

[Laughs]. True. True. True. You should definitely use that as your audition tape.

I spoke to you a year ago and your debut The New Classic is still not out. Does your album have a release date? I hear summer 2013?

When’s summer? Is summer September?

Maybe in Australia? I don’t know. Summer here is June through August.

Early September. It’s done. Do I have all the songs done? Yes. Do I have songs that I think should have features on them and stuff? Yeah. That part of it is not done. There’s certain parts of it that need to be cleared, samples and stuff. Have I rapped on every song and every song has a name? Yes. I’m not going to go in and record anymore.

I hear your bff Rita Ora is going to be on the album as well as Ellie Goulding.

Rita’s not on it right now, but she might be. See? I hear everyone’s going to be on it. I heard Rihanna’s on it. They’re not yet. There’s one person who’s going to be on the remix to “Work,” but it’s gonna come out next week. I’d love to collaborate with Missy Elliott at one point. I idolized her. I think she did a great job on J. Cole’s “Nobody’s Perfect” but I’d like to hear her rap as well. I would like to see her rap a verse.

That’s funny. When I interviewed Pusha-T last year, he said the same thing. He shared that he literally was stalking Missy on Twitter.

Oh, my God! We all are, man. We all love her. We all love her. I don’t have a song right now that she would fit on, but I would love her one day.

You recently interviewed Brad Pitt at the World War Z premiere for MTV News. I’m sure he was smart and interesting, but let’s get down to brass tacks: How hot was he in person?

He was pretty hot. This is what I’ll say: Brad Pitt is not really my type and he’s in the same lane of elements as my father, in terms of hair. My dad’s 42 and he looks like Brad Pitt if Brad Pitt got shipwrecked on a deserted island and never shaved his beard. The point is, he has the same haircut as Brad Pitt, so I can’t really check him out because it’s too “daddy” for me.

Your dad can totally call me, as an aside. So what kind of guys are you into? Let’s hook you up!

I need to meet some more guys. I like creative guys -- not necessarily artists -- guys that are out-of-the-box thinkers. That’s what I like. I like visionaries. I just like creative thinkers, people who like art. You can do anything. You can run a fucking website.