Rapper Azealia Banks burst onto the music scene in late 2011 with her huge underground hit ‘212’, a blistering flurry of delightfully filthy lyrics delivered in a style that is somehow both lightning fast and laid back at the same time. At just 21 years old, Banks has already shown some serious skills and savvy when it comes to the music business. She followed up the release of ‘212’ with her EP, 1991, along with a mixtape, Fantasea.
Banks’ formal debut, though, is the upcoming full length Broke With Expensive Taste, which will allegedly contain collaborations with Kanye West and Lady Gaga along with tracks from 1991 and possibly Fantasea. Banks has been releasing a lot of content from a lot of different sources, so it’ll be interesting to see what she chooses to put out for her official first major release.
For the tone of the album, Banks told Hip Hop DX “The vision and vibe that I have for Broke With Expensive Taste is just for it to be stylish and authentic like anything I do. There isn’t a genre I’m trying to go for or a specific vibe that I’m trying to go for. I’m going for authenticity.”
The album was originally slated to be released in September 2012, but was unexpectedly delayed with no real reason given (though some rumors and deleted tweets point toward it being a dispute between Banks and her producer, Munchi). The album’s current release date is stated as February 12.
It’s indisputable that “212” was one of the most catchy, fresh hip hop tracks to come around in a long time, and follow-up tracks such as “Liqourice” (from 1991) and “Atlantis” (from Fantasea) show that Banks has the skills to carry her unique style for an entire album, but, overall, Banks’ work up to this point has been exciting, if a little uneven. She seems to have a penchant to merge R&B into her more electronic/techno songs, which seems to always fall flat. Even though Banks can sing pretty well, she raps much better, and it just feels like when she’s indulging her singing, she’s depriving us of the exceptional rap skills she’s proven she has.
Because of all the hype surrounding her, Banks has a lot to prove, but if her previous work is any indication, Broke With Expensive Taste will be, if nothing else, a new artist making her voice heard, and if she proves she can rise above the hype and deliver even a couple more tracks that match the levels of “212”, it’s pretty certain she’ll be around for a while.
To get notified of when the album leaks, head over to our album page dedicated to Broke with Expensive Taste for the latest news and download updates.