Mo Bounce sounds like the name of a DJ who is also your aunt Sharon in a baseball cap and knock off Ray Bans, playing student nights in horrible deadbeat towns up and down the country because since the divorce she’s gone a bit funny. It sounds like a name Honey G considered but then rejected for being a bit too crap. It sounds like the name of a kids TV presenter whose career is cut short after a tabloid exposé involving cocaine and puppets.
But actually, it turns out, Mo Bounce is none of these things. No, it’s the name of the new single by everyone’s favourite white Australian rapper with a name that sounds like it was born from some sort of parlour game involving folding bits of paper and picking them out of a hat. Or Iggy Azalea to you and me.
Iggy Iggs hasn’t had an easy ride of late – not in a long time really, not since the success of her breakout single ‘Fancy’ back in 2014. Since then it’s all been cultural appropriation this, homophobia that, terrible freestyling, celebrity feuds and bad collabs. That’s a lot to pack into three years. No doubt Azalea is hoping to put all that behind her with her new release, a track that will weedle its way into your unwilling brain and stay there, whether you like it or not. And you won’t.
‘Mo Bounce’ throbs with an unrelenting, blaring drone, the kind of noise you imagine they use in prisons to quell riots. Azalea raps – or whatever it is she does – over the top, bleating on about the club and the beat and, of course, the bounce, which it turns out she is really quite keen on. It’s terribly trashy, very catchy and generally quite a lot of fun given that this is essentially the epitome of ‘white nonsense’. But for some reason, as soon as the pre-chorus starts, I can’t help but be reminded of this scene from Community…
‘Mo Bounce’ is a cartoonish, completely ludicrous track – and this is no bad thing – but it is completely lost on Azalea herself who appears to be taking the whole affair quite seriously. In the video, she writhes in front of a Barbie pink sports car, lazes on the back of a motorbike and demonstrates her quite gruesome ability to move her buttocks independently from the rest of her body. All of these laughable rap cliches are delivered with apparent sincerity, Azalea seemingly completely unaware of the farcical nature of her track and video – humour never having been her strongest suit.
Azalea could learn a few tricks from her arch-rival Azealia Banks, whose breakout track ‘212’ surely served as some inspiration for ‘Mo Bounce’. Both high-energy, driving club tracks, Banks’s video was undeniably tongue-in-cheek with its Micky Mouse sweater and close-ups of Banks’s mischievous smirk as she repeated the C-word. ‘Mo Bounce’ would have benefited from a similar sardonic edge or at least some recognition that this is no more than a bit of throwaway fun.
There’s no denying ‘Mo Bounce’ is highly derivative, not only of Banks’s ‘212’ but also of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’, and no doubt Azalea will be in for a grilling on social media for her lack of originality. That said, ‘Mo Bounce’ for all its ridiculousness – and there’s plenty of that here – isn’t to be sniffed at. For any serious rap fan, it is of course utter garbage, but for those looking for a bit of pop pap to soundtrack a messy night out, you’d be hard pressed to do better than this.