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Tag: Azealia Banks (1-10 of 11)

Azealia Banks' 'Broke With Expensive Taste' is a new kind of breakup album

As Azealia Banks made clear with her explosive lead single “212,” the Harlem-born rapper isn’t the type to mope around after a breakup. Like “212,” her new album Broke with Expensive Taste is a brash, bristly thing—heavy on the sex, light on the romance. The closest thing to sentimental is a song called “Soda”—but its successor, “Chasing Time,” dries its tears and seems to say, “We’re so much better than him.”

Broke with Expensive Taste isn’t a breakup album in the traditional (Taylor) Swiftian sense. Rather, it’s a breakup album of an entirely different sort: Azealia’s kiss-off not only to Universal—a relationship that ended this summer—but also to anything and anyone who tries to put her in a box and wrap her up for a wide audience. Released with independent label Prospect Park and A&Red entirely by her, Broke is all Banks—with not a Universal fingerprint to be found. READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks drops long-delayed debut album by surprise

When Harlem rapper Azealia Banks first announced the impending release of her debut album Broke With Expensive Taste, all the way back in early 2012, the world was a different place. Her addictive single “212” was making the Rap Internet go bananas, her nemesis (or at least one of them) Iggy Azalea was just another newcomer with one hot song, and Universal was willing to gamble big that she was going to become the first female rap superstar of the new decade.

Since then she’s seen first Nicki Minaj and then Iggy take the spots she seemed destined for, she’s burned through most of the goodwill she’d acquired with a seemingly interminable series of poorly judged Twitter beefs, and Universal’s dropped her. But as of today, the multiply-delayed BWET is actually available for purchase.

Earlier today Spotify posted a placeholder for the album, and Banks has since released the album through iTunes on her own Azealia Banks Records imprint. Many of the 16 tracks have been previously released, including “212,” “Yung Rapunxel,” and “Heavy Metal and Reflective.”


Azealia Banks releases first single since splitting from label

Rapper Azealia Banks has spent more time over the past couple years starting Internet beefs than putting out music, but after her recent split with Universal Music Group she seems to be turning that around. Yesterday she released her first new song as a lead artist in nearly a year, and she didn’t insult anyone on Twitter in the process.

“Heavy Metal and Reflective,” which she’s released through her own label Azealia Banks Records, is an odd choice as both a comeback single and a declaration of independence. The rumbling rave-trap beat by producer Lil Internet—the Beyoncé video director who inspired the seapunk aesthetic that Banks has been accused of ripping off in the past—is sufficiently banging, but Banks approaches it with a low-key, conversational flow that doesn’t do much to suggest a take-no-prisoners rapper who’s just been let off her label-imposed chain. READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks splits from Universal, celebrates on Twitter

Controversy-courting NYC rapper Azealia Banks has split from Universal Music Group, according to her Twitter. In one of the extended tweet-tirades that have become her trademark since her 2011 single “212” elevated her to underground stardom, she declared, “IM ABOUT TO GET OUT OF MY DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS THE BIG SURPRISE!!!!!,” fantasized about becoming “the cool indie chick I imagined I would be when I was 14,” and repeatedly compared herself to Celie, the protagonist in The Color Purple.

Banks signed with the mega-label in 2012, just weeks after “212,” a nearly seamless fusion of rap, dance music, and pop, became a viral sensation. While she’s released a mixtape and several singles since then, her musical output has been consistently overshadowed by her outspoken online presence, which includes publicly feuding with a wide range of musicians including Lil Kim, Lady Gaga, Diplo, Iggy Azalea, T.I., and “Harlem Shake” producer Baauer, as well as the occasional shot at her management and label.

The fate of Banks’s official debut album, Broke with Expensive Taste, which most recently had been slated for release this summer, remains unclear.

Azealia Banks cyber attacks Lady Gaga over 'Red Flame' theft

Azealia Banks—who, we’ll remind you, still has yet to release her oft-delayed debut LP Broke With Expensive Taste—has decided to go back on the offensive with Lady Gaga. 

In a series of tweets, Banks took Gaga to task for jacking the song “Red Flame.” “Make sure u let them know where u got the title for red flame from. U stole that from the demo I sent u,” she said in a (since deleted) tweet at Gaga. “You can have it. Plenty more where that came from. Seriously. . . This one is free. Next time I’m charging.”

There are a handful of problems with this. First, it’s unclear whether or not Banks is upset that Gaga took the song “Red Flame” wholesale (was that supposed to be the collaboration between Banks and Gaga that she jettisoned from ARTPOP?) or if she’s just bummed that she’s using the title “Red Flame” (which makes even less sense, considering the ARTPOP track list has yet to be completed and Broke With Expensive Taste doesn’t contain a song with that name). Gaga did not respond to the tweets, and as mentioned, the initial message was deleted from Banks’ Twitter feed.

This isn’t the first time Banks has gotten up in Gaga’s cyber-business. Following Gaga’s show-opening, seashell-centric performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, Banks took umbrage with Gaga’s adoption of mermaid couture, a non-trend that Banks has claimed as her own. (Was that the reason Gaga abandoned The Little Mermaid in favor of The Wizard of Oz?)

The saddest thing about this whole exchange? As a punctuation mark on her latest Twitter outburst, Banks tweeted, “Team Katy,” as though anybody on the Internet was still talking about the chart showdown between Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the 2013 Fall Diva Wars. Doesn’t Banks know that the real cyber juice comes from writing about Miley Cyrus?

Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP will be released on November 8. Azealia Banks’ Broke With Expensive Taste will be out eventually, probably.

Azealia Banks premieres 'Yung Rapunxel': Hear it here


What is a Yung Rapunxel anyway? As Azealia Banks explains on her Twitter, it’s the name of a “mad scientist” and the title to her latest single to drop online.

The “212” provocateur has finally taken a break from her various beefs to premiere the lead single from her upcoming debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, theoretically due sometime this summer. And, well, the Lil Internet-produced track is a doozy. Banks’ spitfire raps are delivered in a low register over a busy background of punishing beats and chaotic screams. “Jumanji” this ain’t.

Give Azealia Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel” a listen below:


Azealia Banks takes a dip in 'Van Vogue' video -- Watch here

Azealia Banks is on the verge of inspiring some excellent Halloween costume ideas with her recent music video fashion. She’s also really obsessed with mermaids, so it comes as no surprise that the Harlem rapper’s new music video for “Van Vogue” finds her swimming around a pool like Daryl Hannah.

In her last video for “Liquorice,” Banks was a baseball bat-swinging desperado who proudly rocked the American flag and some Satan horns. Here, Banks keeps the same director, fashion photographer Rankin, as well as her love of wide-brimmed hats, but swaps the baseball bat and black leather chaps for a cane and some funky pant suits. Upgrade!

The track is off her 1991 EP, which was released in May. Banks also released a free mixtape, Fantasea, last month, but she isn’t done with 1991 just yet — she shoots the video for the EP’s title track on Wednesday. Watch the video for “Van Vogue” here: READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks releases 'Fantasea' mixtape as a free online download

It must be International “Get Free Music From Up-and-Coming Hip-Hop Artists” Week. First there was Ocean’s Tumblr stream, and now we’ve got Azealia Banks dropping her anticipated mixtape Fantasea for free via Twitter. Get the 19-track beast here and then return to the comments section below to let us know if the “212” wunderkind is living up to your expectations.

Azealia Banks heads to the country in ‘Liqourice’ video: Watch it here
Azealia Banks drops rhymes, balloons, confetti at NYC Mermaid Ball
Azealia Banks, Patti Smith, Haley Reinhart invade our weekly Spotify playlist

Rapper Rye Rye drops new truth-in-advertising video for 'Dance' -- Watch it here


There are two things we can count on in a Rye Rye music video — an ever-evolving hairdo and a feisty dance routine.

Fitting, then, that the 21-year-old Baltimore rapper’s new music video for “Dance” features plenty of popping, dropping, rocking, shaking, and whatever else the kids are doing these days. The video doesn’t show off Rye Rye’s own moves quite like her “Party in the U.S.A.” remix video, but thankfully she has a posse of bikini-clad dancers to do most of the heavy lifting (thrusting?).

Rye Rye’s much-delayed debut — seriously, Go! Pop! Bang! was in gestation longer than Rye Rye’s own baby daughter — came out last month, but new music is already on the way. Rye will join Missy Elliott and Azealia Banks for a remix of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” a snippet of which has already been circulating on the Internet: READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks heads to the country in 'Liqourice' video: Watch it here

Fashion-world favorite and noted non-rapper Azealia Banks has teamed up photographer-director Rankin to make your day feel fancier.

Their new, Star Spangled video gives the 1991 track “Liqourice” some striking visuals, taking the “212” girl out of the city and into the wild, wild west. Liberated from Manhattan, Banks gets a chance to ride around on horses, shoot toy guns, and put horns on her head.

Of course, she inevitably works up a hunger — but luckily, she’s got a supply of hot dogs and popsicles to keep her satisfied. Check it out in the video below:


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