It is! We only have the demoaaliyahman wrote:I tend to agree Liquorice could be fantastic but it sounds unfinished and un mastered.Thriller wrote:Nothing outside "212" has really impressed me so far...
Bambi >>> 212
Catching up with Azealia Banks might run you ragged. Brought to V’s attention late last summer via a Russian social networking site, we made several attempts to get in touch with the 20-year-old Harlem rapper and singer to little avail. When teased that she’s tougher to get ahold of than Britney Spears, she laughs. “I’m usually at home, in the studio, or at a photo shoot,” she reasons. “I don’t go out. When NME said I was the coolest artist of 2011, I was like really? I’m not that cool. I, like, read my Kindle and eat sushi rolls and hang out with my boyfriend. I stay home and play with my cat.”
There’s also a brand new record deal with Universal Music, the ink on which has barely dried at the time of our conversation. “They offered me a deal! And I got a lawyer,” she says. “It’s happening.” A week earlier, she had charmed everyone on the set of her V shoot, including photographers Inez & Vinoodh and style mastermind Nicola Formichetti. The magnitude of her connection with the latter is evidenced by what immediately followed: she joined him in Paris to debut a track at his Mugler menswear show and days later he directed her second music video—his first—for the song “Liquorice.” (In between, Banks managed to squeeze in a private performance at Karl Lagerfeld’s house.) For Formichetti, it marks the most significant artist collaboration since his work with Lady Gaga. ”I love Azealia because we have the same birthday,” he says. “Double Gemini!”
By all accounts, it feels like Azealia Banks is the only girl in the world. Just don’t say it to her face. “Ew,” she replies. “I feel so weird when people say things to me like that because it’s just hype. I never want to be concerned with popularity. I am more concerned with making consistently good music.”
If catching up with Banks in person proves to be difficult, just imagine trying to keep up with her verbal flow. Her rapid-fire, crystalline raps are astounding in their elasticity, punctuated with clever puns, one-liners, and taunting, confrontational raunch. Sex, realness, and power are trending on her breakout single “212,” which announces at the start, “I can be the answer,” before proclaiming at the close, “What you gon’ do when I appear/ W-When I premiere/ Bitch the end of your lives are near/ This shit been mine, mine!” In between lies roughly three minutes of entrancing rhythm (courtesy of producer Lazy Jay) and unclockable verses, interrupted by an unexpected bridge that spotlights Banks’s showstopping singing voice.
There’s a price to pay for such a rapid ascent, and Banks is well aware of her critics. “Everyone’s a racist at the end of the day,” she says bluntly. “I had some random girl on Twitter say ‘Can you just stick to the raunchy raps?’ and I retweeted her to call her out. You know, we’re black, we’re white, we’re whatever, but we all have hearts, lungs, and genitals. We feel the same things. Music is music. Why not pull from the places and the things that you like to mix it all together and create something new? A lot of people think that rapping is easy but it isn’t, it takes a lot of mental work.”
Banks’s defiance toward genre has attracted a diverse fanbase that appreciates her varied musical inclinations (many were surprised to discover her ballad cover of “Slow Hands” by Interpol on YouTube, but its approval rating is resting at a solid 96 percent). That, or her talent is so colossal that it’s tough not to give credit where credit is due. One thing Azealia is keen to make clear is that she isn’t just another rap chick. When it comes to role models, “I don’t have any,” she says, “except maybe Missy Elliott because she is so loved and respected. Everything she puts out is of such quality. To see that is really inspiring.”
Could a collaboration with Missy be on the horizon? At the pace Banks is moving, it doesn’t seem far-fetched. She’s already collaborated with Machinedrum and Paul Epworth, and now that she’s been validated by the fashion industry, it’s tough not to see her as bankable. “It’s been really incredible as a person who does not come from fashion, suggesting something I want to do to Nicola and him saying ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing!’ It gives me the best feeling, like, really?! Maybe I know more than I think.”
Adele's '21' co-writer has strongly hinted that he is working on a collaboration between Lana Del Rey and Azealia Banks.
Billboard reports that Ryan Tedder, who has also written for the likes of Beyonce and Leona Lewis, let slip that he was penning a track for the 'Video Games' songstress and '212' rapper at last night's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles (February 12).
Tedder, who is also the frontman of OneRepublic, refused to divulge any specifid details about the collaboration, but said:
“Yes, they are working on a project together,” our sources exclusively tell us. “But it’s not with Ryan Tedder as a lot of other media outlets are reporting.”
YES! I can see them both being 2012's biggest success stories. Cannot wait to hear this.jamesssxD wrote:Duet with Lana definitely in the works!
http://justjared.buzznet.com/2012/02/19 ... -mulberry/“Yes, they are working on a project together,” our sources exclusively tell us. “But it’s not with Ryan Tedder as a lot of other media outlets are reporting.”
http://www.nylonmag.com/?section=article&parid=7643Are you obsessed with Azealia Banks? Duh. So when we spotted the up-and-coming rapper in the front row of this week's Mulberry show (where she sat next to her future duet partner, Lana Del Rey) we knew we had to interview you. Fortunately, so did Leigh Lezark, who introduced us after the Topshop Unique show. (Thanks LL!)
How's your first Fashion Week? It's great; I love London and all the kids with their style... There's so much energy here, it's exciting!
Karl Lagerfeld made you the face of his Net-a-Porter collection, and Nicola Formicetti used your track in his Thierry Mugler menswear show - the only other person he's used is Lady Gaga. How's the whole fashion muse thing going? It's a flatter, but I'm just trying to stay focused and get my album done, you know? I'm keeping my mind off of it.
That must be hard in the front row of a show! Yeah, well I'm not trying to withdraw, but I am trying to find that personal space again because I have an album to finish. All the praise from the fashion world is great but now everybody wants a piece and everybody wants an interview, but I need to step away and get my music done!
Tell us about your album. It's gonna be amazing!
Tell us something we don't know about your album! Aw, thank you. Okay, it's called Broke With Expensive Taste and it's coming out in September. The theme is a young girl trying to find it, you know?
Find what? Success! Herself! Her path! The young girl trying to make it! That girl who's at the end of her childhood trying to get a job and make some money, you know? She needs to get what she can get! She needs to go out there and show people she knows how to work for it.
What's the first designer thing you ever bought? I think the first piece of designer clothing I ever owned was a Louis Vuitton bag that my boyfriend bought for me when I was eighteen.
Good boyfriend! Yeah, right?! (Laughing.)
Last question for now - are your eyelashes real? Because they're hypnotizing. Yes my eyelashes are real! Of course they're real! I was born this way. Oh, and I use this mascara by BeneFit called "They're Real." And they are! Everything on me is real!
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/t-magazine/culture/azealia-banks-hothouse-flower.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&ref=t-magazine&adxnnlx=1330749641-8eNwQIGnFxh2PFCT4z/dlw“We lived in Harlem just, like, at the beginning of its gentrification . . . but my mom had our apartment since she was 18, she worked a retail job, but she worked on commission, so she made like, maybe, 75 or $80,000 a year, but our rent was so cheap since it was, like, rent-controlled, so our rent was, like, $300 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, so we always had extra money. I grew up very spoiled . . . like I had everything: I had computers, I had video games, I had dress-up clothes, I had lipstick, I had heels — not like, actual heels, play heels — I had dolls, I had birds, I had hamsters — my mom did a really good job of keeping me stimulated.”
So you can’t really do the —
“ ‘I’ve come from the ghetto and it’s really hard’ thing? Well, I came from the ghetto but it wasn’t hard for us, y’know what I mean? Because I lived on the block with kids who were, like, crack babies. I had other aunts and uncles who lived in other parts of Harlem, and I’d go with my cousins and we’d be out on the street, y’know . . . I had a healthy juxtaposition of, like, good and bad.”
Here we have Azealia Banks in her own words, transcribed from a recording I made (minus some words not allowed to be printed in this magazine) in the plush schmoozing room above the tony White Cube art gallery in London’s so-hip-it-needs-replacing neighborhood of Hoxton. The 20-year-old rapper, whose irrepressibly jaunty — and equally salacious — chant “212” is a weird paean to her native island, has nonetheless come to rest on our sceptr’d one. She told me that “like Europe and the U.K. have just been sucking me up,” and that she was currently living in London — although when I pressed her for details she went all Garbo and would only vouchsafe, “Southwest.”
But the important word in the above is “juxtaposition,” because this is one smart young woman. “212” may contain such apparent solecisms as “I just wanna sip that punch with ya peeps and / sit in that lunch if ya treatin’ / kick it with ya bitch / who come from Parisian / she know where I get mine from and the season,” yet when I asked Banks for an exegesis, her tone — while not exactly that of a Harold Bloom — was nonetheless professorial. She told me that “212” was largely recounted from the point of view of a hugely self-confident Manhattanite, a “young Rapunxel” — her own coinage — whose street smarts and farouche attractions lead her to be pursued by all ages, ethnicities, genders and orientations, until the point in the song where she considers what a waste of time this gnarly hurly-burly really is.
Professor Banks was poised, unflappable and utterly unembarrassed when it came to explaining the distinction between the c-word and the k-word (the c-word spelled with a k), both of which bedizen her lyrics. Apparently the former is soi-disant “nasty vagina,” and therefore a synonym for “bitch,” whereas the latter is gay argot for the desirably feminine. Properly corrected, I ventured that possibly her material was more acceptable on our foulmouthed side of the pond than in her own linguistically correct homeland. But Professor Banks nixed this, saying that there were always going to be haters everywhere. I thought I’d been doing pretty well at engaging with her outré material, but when I mused that I probably wasn’t the ideal audience for songs like “212” and “L8r,” Banks observed tartly that half of her fans were, like, middle-age white guys. I suppose I could’ve bridled at this stereotyping: in common with most middle-age white guys, I have delusions of being sui generis — but she speedily set me straight, pointing out that for a long time her songs existed only in the iTunes libraries of record company execs, and that, as I was no doubt aware, most of them are indeed middle-age white guys.
Banks’s sound has now broken out from this digitized ghetto and is rattling around the wired world. In Britain she’s been seized upon by NME and recently finished its multidate tour with other hot new acts. After 45 minutes in her presence, alternately infuriated, charmed and deeply impressed, I told her: You’re going to be huge — but probably first you should consider being normal size.
She is indeed a rearview-mirror dingle-dangle of a woman, but her ego is huge. She’s also extremely beautiful, yet she’s no ingénue: she attended the LaGuardia performing arts school and cut her teeth early doing musical theater with the TADA! Youth Theater. When, in the course of our talk, she burst spontaneously into song I almost swooned at the coloratura and melodic purity of her voice.
I would say look out for Banks in the future, but that would be more of a solecism than any of her k-words, because it will soon be absolutely impossible to avoid her.