Azealia Banks

How Azealia Banks Dispensed With Respectability Politics and Brought the Mainstream to Her Turf

When it comes to Azealia Banks, the most difficult thing to reconcile may be the fact that despite her loose-cannon reputation, she’s actually quite lucid. As an artist, she moves between pop confection and introspective hip hop with a fluidity that belies burgeoning skill and talent as much as it does a rapidly developing sense of music business acumen. As a personality, she’s mastered the ability to create sound bites (and tweets) that keep her referential, controversial, and in the press. … Read More

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7 Musicians Who Should Guest Star on ‘Empire’ Season 2

Along with the addictive soap-opera storylines and the utter perfection that is Cookie Lyon, Empire is a great show because it never stops surprising us with its lineup of guest stars — many of whom are very famous musicians. Last night’s finale brought Patti LaBelle and Snoop Dogg (along with Rita Ora), topping off a season where Mary J. Blige, Courtney Love, and Gladys Knight also made appearances. Now that Empire is the biggest hit of the 2014-15 TV season, it should have access to just about any name on the Billboard charts for Season 2. With that in mind, here are a few ambitious suggestions. … Read More

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You Can Become Azealia Banks, Sort of, Through Her New Interactive “Wallace” Music Video


Azealia Banks’ Twitter feuds are legendary: the rapper has thrown shade at everyone from Perez Hilton to… Read More

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Music’s Most Pointless “Catfights”

Earlier this week, in her new Rolling Stone cover story, Madonna said something that resonated with women everywhere: “We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing.”

This is especially true if you’re a female performer of a certain status. Even Madonna atoned for her feud with Lady Gaga, telling RS, “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs [‘Express Yourself’/’Born This Way’]. It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’” … Read More

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Watch Macklemore Discuss White Privilege and Cultural Appropriation on Hot 97

Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone who literally has a song called “White Privilege,” Macklemore appears to have a solid understanding of…white privilege! The… Read More

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Azealia Banks Is Right About Iggy Azalea and, More Importantly, Race in America

There’s a point during the lengthy interview that Azealia Banks gave Hot 97 yesterday where she laments how what she says will probably be received: “I talk about so many things on my Twitter; [the media] pick and choose what they want to hear. Get your fucking clicks. Here it is! Here it is.” Which, of course is exactly what’s happened: sites like Gawker have pulled out the juiciest quotes, which largely concern Iggy Azalea and T.I., and in isolation serve to perpetuate the narrative of Azealia-Banks-as-the-crazy-girl-who-starts-fights-with-everyone. … Read More

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The 30 Best Albums of 2014

The musical trends of 2014 felt so obvious in the moment: DJ Mustard beats, technophobia, strong female pop duets dominating the charts, polarizing booty-love anthems, a house music revival for the masses, LGBT voices making space for themselves, politicized music that sounded particularly relevant post-Ferguson. But when we look back at 2014, I’m not sure we’ll remember all that. It would be easy to say, “2014 was the year Beyoncé went full feminist, Nicki went borderline misandrist, and Taylor went ‘pop,’ though she’s been it for years,” but that’s just not the whole story. With that in mind, we tried to tell the whole story in this ranking of the year’s 30 best… Read More

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124 Songs You Need to Hear Before 2014 Ends

Music is personal. It’s something that I’m never more aware of than I am at the end of every year, when best-of lists dominate the coverage at cultural publications, but the idea of “best” is one that I’ve never quite been comfortable with. It seems too objective to take into account personal taste, not to mention the reality that there’s too much music out there for even the most ambitious listener to have heard everything, or even close to everything. So let’s not use the word “best.” Instead, here are 124 songs released in 2014 that I would recommend to any music lover. Its goal is to highlight not only the year’s biggest hits, both commercially and critically, but also songs that commented on what happened in our world this year, and songs you may not have heard but that you’ll hopefully love as much as we… Read More

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