Azealia Banks. Where do I even begin? You might all know her as the rapper who released “212” waaaaaay back in the day (read: 2011). You might know her as the artist who dominated the blogosphere with the aforementioned song: brash, flagrant, but oh-so catchy. Everyone from Slate to the New York Times to the ever-omnipresent Pitchfork was talking about her. Then what happened? For the sake of keeping a very long story short (we’re all #blessed with Google these days. Feel free to further explore as you will.), I’m going to give you all the abbreviated version of her story, as I understand it. She was signed to a record label. She dropped the record label. There was loads of Twitter beef in there somewhere? Add a hearty sprinkling of announcements about the release of her debut album, which kept getting pushed back to the point of it being a joke that it would ever be released, a mixtape and a stellar EP, a few artist collaborations that never came to fruition, and here we are today. It is the Year of our Lord 2014 and Miss Banks has released Broke With Expensive Taste.
In case you’re living under a rock, I just want to tell you that you read that right. Miss Banks’s album is OUT. (BUY BWET ON ITUNES!) She pulled a total Beyoncé by Beyoncé on us and just released it out of the blue! When news of this broke, I texted one of my friends (the one who introduced me to her music in the first place) and he asked if we had time travelled to 2020. Ouch. It was that bad.
As much as I pride myself as having stuck by her side (figuratively, since I don’t actually know her personally? Azealia, if you’re reading this: Hi. WRGW’d love you have you in the studio.) throughout all of this turmoil, even I had my doubts as to the legitimacy of an album release.
All skepticism aside, this album goes so HARD and is almost, almost, worth the three year wait. For those that have absolutely no idea who this woman is, what type of music she makes, what her sound is, etc., that’s why we have this column! Azealia Banks is a rapper with a slick tongue and even slicker beats. Seriously. She’s tapped everyone from Lone to Machinedrum to AraabMuzik to Pearson Sound on BWET. I’m going to leave you all to listen to it, but let me recommend what I think are some of the stronger tracks on the album: Ice Princess (I’m getting major Le1f vibes. Can we get a collab, please?), Soda, Heavy Metal and Reflective, and Miss Amor. Enough of my ramblings. Go listen to BWET and hear what I’m talking about for yourself.
– Lotanna Obodozie