ESSAY: Tom Hawking on Iggy Azalea, Andrew W.K., and Authenticity in Pop Music

Tom Hawking wrote an essay about Andrew W.K., Iggy Azalea, and authenticity in pop music. The full essay has been published on Flavorwire and can be read HERE. Enjoy an excerpt below where Hawking touches on Meredith Graves recent essay on W.K. and Lana Del Rey:

First, then, to Meredith Graves and Andrew W.K. The interesting thing about Andrew W.K. is that if he’s playing a character — Andrew Wilkes-Krier inhabiting the persona of ultra-positive, white-clad party philosopher — he’s doing it all the time. Andrew WK the character certainly began as an invention — he’s told me as much himself — but also, the character and the man have become so inseparable now that the distinction between the two has become largely irrelevant.

Graves argues that “real women with fake names are somehow considered exponentially less authentic than completely fake men harboring a real, hidden sadness.” In this respect, I think she reads him wrong. His sadness isn’t hidden; it informs everything he does. Arguing that his party-centric persona is an encouragement toward “the ultimate cure for confronting your bleak feelings: getting wasted” is a pretty egregious misreading of the man and his ideas. (It’s not like he hasn’t talked extensively about this, either.) Her vision of him recalls Ryan Schreiber’s review of I Get Wet for Pitchfork in 2002 — seeing him only as a long-haired dudebro who exists to entertain dudebros, perhaps ironically. It’s an easy impression to form, but it sells the man short (as Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen argued on the album’s tenth anniversary a couple of years back). You can understand Schreiber misreading him on face value, but 12 years later, it’s kinda disappointing that Graves can’t do better — and she’s also, knowingly or otherwise, perpetuating some of the rather sillier Andrew W.K.-related conspiracy theories that have been bobbling around in the sewers of the Internet over the last decade.

Read the full essay HERE.