Review: Azealia Banks Starts a New Chapter on Broke With Expensive Taste


Few artists have foretold their own futures as prophetically as Azealia Banks did on “212.” The Harlem hotshot made a splash in late 2011 when she promised over a twitchy club beat that she was “the answer” — to post-Nicki Minaj female rappers, to New York rappers, to rap in general, to pop music, to something. (It was never entirely clear exactly what, and it didn’t need to be.) But after two verses of x-rated threats and shit-talking tongue-twisters, she interrupted the fun to deliver a warning — one sung not at her rivals, but at herself: “Why you procrastinate girl? / You got a lot but you just waste all yourself / They’ll forget your name soon / and won’t nobody be to blame but yourself.”

How prescient. Banks followed up her breakout track the next year with the one-two punch of the voguer’s paradise EP 1991 and the…

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