Azealia Banks is doing what any budding music star should be doing, making just the right amount of noise, dropping just the right amount of material, covering just the right amount of magazine and starting just the right amount of debate and discussion over her talent, style, looks and music. Though a bit polarizing due to her eclectic musical styles and mix of raunch and rapid-fire raw spit, Azealia Banks certainly has people talking.
The Harlem MC burst on the scene with “212,” a song (and accompanying video) with an almost implausible mix of infectiousness, crass lines and sex appeal. Since then, Banks has touched festival stages and a variety of venues, sometimes spottily, but always with a flamboyant energy.
Her recent mixtape Fantasea contains a hodgepodge of music styles, ranging from house music/dance/rave to slower, grimy hip hop. On both types of tracks, Banks displays verbal prowess and a good amount of lyrical depth, though there is still a lack of polish, which keeps many opinion leaders on the fence about her overall.
That being said, she is earning points for her unabashed flair, and willingness to experiment. Her growing fan base is becoming increasingly vocal, a loyal and vociferous following extolling her virtues and attacking naysayers, online and in person, seeming to be the start of a cult-like status Azealia Banks very well may achieve in the near future.
Her recent Twitter beef with fellow Harlemite Jim Jones nonwithstanding, Banks is distancing herself a bit from the more traditional hip hop sound, even bypassing the next logical arena, pop, aiming for a more underground dance vibe, and while this can be a bit offputting for rap purists, it can work, as evidenced by “Van Vogue”. In that song, and the matching visuals presented by Hunger TV, Azealia Banks seems very comfortable. It could be her best effort to date, and a fine example of the largely untouched lane she is quite possibly beginning to master.