With her feisty charisma and outstanding athleticism, many predicted big things for Azealia Banks after she emerged with her upbeat debut single “212” in 2011.
Indeed, the well-spoken Banks, who emanates a strong personality and sharp intelligence that allows her to stand out from the gaggle of generic, one-dimensional rappers that usually make up hip hop’s stagnant ‘femcee’ division, was well on her way to a top spot in music’s elite with endorses from prominent media outlets such as The Fader, Pitchfork, and even SPIN Magazine. If anyone was cut out to fill the gaping hole between Nicki Minaj and the rest of the pack, it was the multi-talented Banks.
Alas, this didn’t exactly happen, and in the years since Banks was anointed the next big thing, the Harlem native has seen her considerable talents wasted in one mediocre, time-wasting issue (mainly on social media) after another.
Is Azealia’s latest issue, which is embroiled in a feud with black media outlets over their degrading treatment of her and lack of support of her music, much better? Eh, not really.
Although, on the bright side, it has garnered Azealia considerable attention from those same outlets, allowed her to engage in a controversial but sensitive discussion and put those black outlets in the middle of a double edged sword: why only report on Banks if the news depicts her in a negative light or to ridicule her?
So, basically: the campy, convoluted women’s arm of hip hop may not be much, but it’s better than what the scene was roughly 5 years ago, and Azealia’s antics has propelled her into an interesting alternative look for those who cannot get into Nicki Minaj as an artist. She now shares press time regularly with Iggy Azalea, another artist who has her own share of controversy, although due to other reasons (alleged cultural appropriation).
So after this, where exactly does Azealia go from here? She seems to be at a loose end after a nude Playboy photo spread earlier in 2015 garnered mixed reviews and feedback. Her debut album, “Broke with Expensive Taste” has been labeled an under the radar gem, but has failed to generate any buzz with it’s singles.
Either she can remain in her twitter rant mode and wait for Azalea to finish avoiding the criticisms by hip hop purists regarding her cultural devotion to hip hop), in which case their cheesy feud can pick back up again, or, and this may be a more enticing possibility, she can join the EDM community, where her personality, lyrical ability, and occasional rants fit like a glove. It would hardly be a winning move for her, but entertaining nonetheless.
Certainly, no one seems terribly interested in the floundering Banks/Azalea feud—the two do not have enough of the journalists respect to get the headlines it deserves—so a drastic change in the direction for her music journey may be just what is needed to rescue her career.
For one thing, it would be a fresh, new challenge for Banks, who has already toyed in EDM elements with her sound, and she would likely relish the chance to work with some of music’s elite DJ’s and producers. One record with Calvin Harris or Tiesto could do more wonders for her career than floundering with DJ Mustard or Mike Will. The former thinks worldwide, while the latter thinks blogs and strip clubs.
Take our advice, Azealia: join the EDM community, where there’s less gossip, and more appreciation.