as do Pitchfork,Firstly, an apology. 212 by New York producer/MC Azealia Banks isn't exactly brand new. In fact, the song's black and white video was posted nearly two weeks ago and the song has been available as a free download from a site for a while now, but it's incredible so we don't feel too bad. It's basically three different songs fused together to create a startling three and a half minutes of attitude. The first section features a filthy rap about cunnilingus over bouncing electro beats, before the beat drops out around the halfway point giving Banks a chance to show off her singing chops (one of her earlier tracks was this rather lovely cover of Interpol's Slow Hands). For the finale, the beat mutates again, ramping up slowly before disintegrating in a mass of tweaked synths. Runnin' – featuring Lunice – is another free track on her official site and showcases Banks' incredible flow, which at times sounds like Missy Elliott at her most carefree.
You can listen to the song on PitchforkBecause there's such a dearth of visible female rappers, 19-year-old Azealia Banks is inevitably going to elicit more than a few comparisons to Nicki Minaj. Like Minaj, she's a New Yorker who attended Manhattan's drama-friendly Fame school. And while this song's squelching, uptempo beat is more akin to Kid Sister or Amanda Blank, "212" highlights a characteristic both Minaj and Banks share: the unpredictable vocal range of a former theater geek. In three and a half minutes, Banks delivers solid, straightforward flows, guttural yelps, top-shelf singing, triple-X raunch, and a smug talk-rap cadence that shuts down potential adversaries: "I'ma ruin you, c*nt." She clicks between characters and styles casually, effortlessly. No seams. A jaw-slackening demo reel.
Same herealxx wrote:I love how you know I'd love thisUKMusicLova wrote:
Alxx and JamesssxD, you guys need to get on this!!
It's like Missy Elliott meets Kid Sister and Amanda Blank - HOT!
The video is basic but kinda works considering she's a new artist. I want her mixtape! Now! She's like a better Dominique Young Unique!UKMusicLova wrote:Wowwwww, you guys have twitter?! Link me uppp
Also the beaut that is dailymotion has the video! watch
Also looks like her mixtape which I think is called "Broke With Expensive Taste" will be out in December!First she was dropped by XL, now she's back and calling everyone a c**t
"I have a black cat. His name is Lucifer. But I don't have an apartment at the moment, so my ex-boyfriend is still looking after my cat. Which is really ironic, my ex-boyfriend still has my p*ssy."
World, meet Azealia Banks, the 19 year old rapper from Harlem who's about to tear music a new cl*nge
If you've not seen her debut video '212' yet, you're missing out on Azealia spitting five different choruses of pure filth over some messed-up electro while doing the conga. Half Cher from Clueless, half Lil' Kim on the blob, she swills lines like "Imma ruin you c*nt" round her butter-wouldn't-melt mouth.
The track felt like it came out of nowhere, a tapered bullet fired at the Sheeran-Cotton-Birdy axis of beige. The day it went viral, Estelle, Lily Allen and Alexa Chung all tweeted their support. Radio 1 rushed it to the top of the radio edit pile, where they had to make over 40 changes before it could be aired.
In fact '212' is both the product and subject of untold wrangling. At the start of the year Azealia fell out with ex-label XL (who all look "f**king stupid right now, cause y'all don't have Azealia Banks on your roster"). She thought about giving up but instead channeled her anger and frustration into writing the lyrics.
Now she's in a legal battle with Lazy Jay who had the song removed from youtube because it sampled his track 'Float My Boat'. "I guess it makes it a bit more sexy" says Azealia. "People are talking about this song, oh sh*t we can't even find it. It's almost contraband".
And why are people talking about it? Because, for once, the hottest record in the world doesn't come courtesy of some shy bedroom producer from Suffolk or a millionaire Kabbalah rocker from Los Angeles. Instead it comes direct from a teenage girl who doesn't give a f**k about who she offends or how things are supposed to be done. When Eminem and Alex Turner broke there was a similar disregard for everything that went before. Look we're just going to say it: Azealia Banks is cool.
Kids grow up fast these days. Take 20-year-old Harlem rapper/singer/actress Azealia Banks, who was already a murderous gold digger at age 16. Onstage, at least. As a student at Manhattan's famed LaGuardia High School-- which counts Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, and Nicki Minaj among its alumni-- Banks starred in a production of the comedy-noir musical City of Angels. She recalls the role fondly in a phone interview earlier this week. "I played a woman in her 40s who married this guy on his deathbed because she wanted to get his money and sh*t, and then she tried to kill his kids-- but his kids killed her. I died onstage, whatever." Here, she inserts a self-conscious laugh, her inner theater geek battling her rising rep as an acid-tongued rapper whose most memorable line thus far happens to be "I guess that c*nt gettin' eaten," as heard on her club-ready breakout track "212".
Growing up with a nurturing mom and two older sisters (her dad passed away when she was two), Banks gravitated toward the spotlight early. "As long as I can remember, I've been doing something artistic," she says. "It's just like having freckles-- it's been a part of me forever." This drive initially led her to acting, but after a few disappointing auditions, she decided to try rapping instead.
And even though she's gained notoriety largely based on her rhymes, this multi-talent actually prefers to sing. Right now, she's "very close" to signing a deal with an undisclosed label as she works on her proper debut release with British producer Paul Epworth (Florence and the Machine, Adele). Banks promises a mix of "212"-style, house-heavy pop along with some "rap-bitch shit" and "winter wonderland R&B that's kind of like Aaliyah." She's planning to release four new tracks before embarking on a UK tour in February, with the album to follow soon after, a coming-out strategy she summarizes thusly: "Boom, boom, boom, boom, bam, bam!"
Pitchfork: What kind of rap music did you listen to growing up?
Azealia Banks: Just the commercial stuff-- I was more into musical theater and Broadway and jazz and voice lessons and going on auditions. But once I tried getting in commercials and all that weird shit I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to be on stages. So I started f*cking around with rap. Remember that remix of [Shawty Lo's] "Dey Know" with Weezy on it? That verse right there made me wanna rap, it seemed like so much fun.
Pitchfork: I feel like a lot of rappers might think musicals are corny.
AB: I guess so, but they're really fun to watch. And rap and musicals are congruent in that they're both trying to tell a story or convey a message. I still like singing way more than rapping; rapping is more like a nice tool or accessory for writing songs.
Pitchfork: You're about to sign with a label, but you've gotten pretty far without one. Have you considered a more independent route?
AB: Yeah, but for how I want to do this thing-- and I don't even really know what the f*ck "this thing" is yet-- but considering how ambitious as my ideas are musically, I definitely need a label that will really get it out there. I'm not really scared of major labels. I just want to work where I'm allowed to make mistakes and do my own thing rather than getting into a situation where someone else has their own agenda of what they want me to be.
Pitchfork: Have you started recording your next release?
AB: Yeah. I'm moving to London next month, and me and Paul Epworth are going to bang this sh*t out. He's doing the whole thing. The idea is to make it fun-- not like a musical, but event-ful-- so it's not just me rapping over beats. I want to make it sound polished, because a lot of my shit that's out sounds kind of bootleg. [laughs] I'm most excited about this one song called "Licorice" that's sort of about interracial dating. I want to make feel-good music.
Pitchfork: Is it going to be a proper album or a free mixtape?
AB: Because I'm finding a label and it's becoming much bigger than I thought it would be, the ideas is: If you can make an album, maybe you don't want to give it away for free. Not to be on some "f*ck you, pay me" sh*t, but it just makes sense. That way you can license the beats and you can own it, and other people can own it, too. I have a big feeling-- and so does Paul Epworth and everyone around me-- that this is going to be classic, in a sense. And even if it's not classic, it's going to be really interesting for music. I think. I hope. [laughs]