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.
There are probably more people who have seen Jacques Greene’s face than people who know his name. Flash back to mid-late 2011 with Azelia Banks’ “212”–that’s him wearing the glasses while Azealia Banks proclaims “I’ma ruin you cunt” in his ear.
His unabashed visibility is ironic since the 22-year-old Montreal-bred producer tends to keep his identity under the radar. Even the name–Jacques Greene–is just an unusually normal alias reflecting his Anglo and French-Canadian roots.