Azealia Banks releases debut album…and it’s about time!


Eric Casey, Staff Writer

Well here it is folks. The long awaited debut album Broke with Expensive Taste from “Yung Rupunxel” aka Azealia Banks.

The 23 year old “witch house/ hip house” rapper has been releasing music since Myspace used to be popular. At age 17 she received her first recording contract with XL Recordings. Soon after she signed with Interscope and the rest is history.

During her brief tenure at Interscope she released “212.” The song was basically the worlds first taste of her music. It came off of her 1991 EP.

It was the song that was supposed to launch her into the spotlight as competition against other female rappers like Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Rye Rye, etc. However, she fell from the center stage as fast as she entered it.

After “212” was released in December of 2011 she failed to repeat any accolades with her follow up singles. Soon she became known for her Twitter fights with rapper Angel Haze and then Perez Hilton after using a homophobic slur against him. She would also create rivalries with dubstep producer Baauer after she released a remix of his song “Harlem Shake.”

Multiple times she announced her debut album would come out, but nothing ever formulated. In the summer of 2012 she independently released a mixtape called Fantasea to critical acclaim.

It was produced my notable people like Diplo and AraabMuzik. One of the more memorable songs released from it was “Atlantis.” Although the song wasn’t that memorable, the video for it was. It spawned some of the greatest internet memes of all time because of it’s hilariously bad graphics which I’m sure was on purpose.

After having troubles with her record label due to creative conflicts, she was able to leave the label with her music that she had created in the sessions. She released it on November 6th via help from Prospect Park production company. The collaboration helped make it available on online music stores.

The album doesn’t really have a consistent feeling. It feels a little all over the place which kind of works, but not entirely. Earlier she had said, “everything on my album is going to be like, anti-pop, or just anti-what’s-happening-now.”

A lot of her songs are not that memorable or even radio friendly, which is probably just dandy with her. Also, many of the songs don’t even seem whole. They have some memorable parts in them, but nothing that really sicks in your head except for “212” , “Heavy Metal and Reflective”, and “Chasing Time.”

Other obvious things that stick out is the use of trap, obscure mashed up samples and industrial sounds that sound minimalistic. Another song that stands out is her cover of Ariel Pink’s “Nude Beach A-Go-Go” which unfortunately stands out like a sore thumb.

Some other enjoyable songs include “Gimme A Chance” which features some fantastic Spanish lyrics over a salsa themed background. “Soda”, “Miss Amor”, and “Miss Camaraderie” are interesting tracks with a cool mid ’90s Hi-NRG vibe that’s guaranteed to make you dance.

Honestly, there’s something for everyone on here that is interested in hearing something that’s not on your typical Top 40 station. Although not the best release of 2014, it still stands out. Maybe her next album won’t take five years to be released. I give it 3 ½ out of 5 stars.