Azealia Banks

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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Azealia Banks Scolds “Igloo Australia” AKA Iggy Azalea Over Silence on Black Issues

At this point, one should just expect that eventually, regardless of who you are, Azealia Banks will pick a… Read More

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Azealia Banks’ ‘Broke With Expensive Taste': Against All Odds, Worth the Wait!

Presumably the entire story will come out at some point, but the first impression you get on listening to Azealia Banks’ Broke With Expensive Taste, which finally arrived yesterday after two years of false dawns and inexplicable delays, is this: why on earth didn’t Universal just release the thing? Two years of Twitter fights, internecine beefing, and general obnoxiousness have all suggested that Banks isn’t exactly the easiest person to work with, but the ideas for this album have clearly been in place for ages, and it turns out that, after all the fighting and waiting and anticipation, this album is… good! It really is! … Read More

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With New Music and No Label, There’s Hope for Azealia Banks Yet

Today, Twitter beefmaster and onetime “one to watch” Azealia Banks released her second post-major label single, “Chasing Time.” On it, Banks returns to the house influences she navigated impressively in her 2012 mixtape, Fantasea, mixing them with fresh new sounds recalling the work of up-and-coming UK producer SOPHIE. But more than that, she channels her frustrations with Universal Music Group, which signed her in early 2012 to Interscope on the strength of single “212” but delayed her debut LP into nonexistence, into its catchy chorus: “Am I chasing time? ‘Cause I wasted all mine on you/ Shut my watch, I had the future in my pocket/ But I lost it when I gave it to you.” Keep in mind, this is the label she begged to be dropped from, repeatedly, via Twitter. When she finally was dumped this past July, after two years and one EP (2012’s 1991), Banks declared, “Free at last.” … Read More

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Divas Being Leaders and Blowing Things Up in the Desert: A Music Video Treasury

Are you a badass lady with either an impressive vocal range, enviable rap flow, or some flashy couture you’ve been dying to wear under the oppressive heat of a thousand suns? Does your song have a sick beat? Do you want to prove your absolute, unassailable diva-hood by leading troops of loyal followers through the desert, then standing alone in a wide shot, sand and chaos swirling about you, while you remain calm as ever in the eye of the storm? Alternately, do you like music festivals and fluorescent colors? … Read More

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