Each spring, a few catchy tunes sneak up on the Top 40 charts and quickly become anthems of summer. Two or three months later, these are the same songs that make ears cringe from hearing the all too familiar catchy beat for the thousandth time.
But in spite of ourselves, we sing along every time the music starts to play.
This year, “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea will undoubtedly be a song that is heard blaring from cars passing by with the windows down, pouring out of the entrances of bars and clubs, and bumping in countless sets of headphones across the country without pause. With a little help from English singer-songwriter Charli XCX, “Fancy” has all the features to be a hit.
Azalea, the 23-year-old Australian rapper recently hit the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in the US with this hit from her album The New Classic, which was released in 2014. Many of the listeners taking “Fancy” to the top of the charts are likely teeny-boppers requesting the single on radio stations and buying it on iTunes for $1.29 on their parents’ credit cards.
These new fans probably don’t understand references in the lyrics, like “Rooftop like we bringin’ ’88 back,” but even more ironic, many who can’t get enough of the song won’t understand the synopsis for the music video.
From the typography of the opening credits to the costumes and the scenes featured in the music video, “Fancy” mimics the ’90s classic Clueless in an accurate and clever way — for those who actually pick up on the reference.
There is something sort of perfect about the comparison to Clueless protagonist Cher Horowitz and her, for lack of a better word, fancy valley girl lifestyle to represent the song. But until someone has seen the film, the music video could be interpreted simply as a bunch of rich music artists and dancers wearing outdated, gaudy costumes and hanging out in Beverly Hills (this actually sounds like the theme of an unfortunately high number of pop and hip-hop music videos).
Azalea herself was just a five-year-old living in New South Wales, Australia when Clueless came out in theaters, which makes it an even more interesting choice for the inspiration for the video. If nothing else, the selection shows the pop culture significance of Clueless and tells us that some things from the ’90s may never go out of style. (I guess overalls are making a comeback, too, so nothing is out of the question.)
The only thing we should be left wondering is if Cher would agree with Azalea when she raps “First things first, I’m the realest,” or if her reaction would be, “As if!”