Will Playboy help or hurt Azealia Banks?

There seems to be this myth that you pose for Playboy and your career comes back....

For most of us, showing up naked for work would be a sure-fire firing. But for celebrities, baring all can take an otherwise inconsistent career and put it right back in the spotlight. Electro rapper and Twitter bully Azealia Banks is the latest celeb making the decision to pose nude in Playboy.

Banks is a noteworthy recording artist who has yet to turn 30 years old, and the question is, will this help or hurt her career?

For some others who have gone down this path, it boosted more than their egos, and for others, it was a big mistake. Either way, it’s definitely a gamble.

While Banks didn’t get her headlining press with her teaser announcement on March 14, the magazine did preview her racy interview on their website ahead of the forthcoming issue released to newsstands.

Banks is following in a tradition of troubled former music stars posing for Playboy, ranging from Aubrey O’Day to Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell. This would actually be Banks’ first time posing nude, although racy images have become part of her career since its beginning.

Whether it’s a good career move for the Harlem based rapper remains to be seen, but it’s a definitely buzz-builder for media: When Banks releases new music, the response is usually lukewarm; when the Twitter wars emerge, the gossip blogs usually come flocking for grabs to their websites. This feature should bridge the gap between her usual arsenal of controversial statements while promoting her creatively crafted but overlooked album “Broke with Expensive Taste.”

But will it help jump-start her career?

The previously mentioned O’Day graced the cover for Playboy’s March 2009 issue when she sat on a chair in front of grey background for a nude pictorial. The magazine’s online traffic jumped modestly but O’Day didn’t see much improvement in her career and her negative rating for celebrity likability actually increased.

Other than easing her financial situation, it’s not clear how a Playboy spread will help her.