Harlem Born Rising Star Female Rapper: Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks is a 20-year-old Harlem rapper and hip-hop’s most talked-about new sensation.  She has been at the centre of an intense industry buzz ever since the release of her first recording, “Seventeen”, three years ago.

She recently release one of the biggest (and explicit) singles of the year in the form of “212” and topping NME’s recent Cool List.

On her debut video ‘212’ featured below, Azealia sings five different choruses over “some messed-up electro” while doing the conga.

For more information see her recent GQ UK interview (excerpted below), NME/Radar Band Of The Week interview, as well as the video an itunes Links below.

Can you recommend a good book?

I can, but I feel like I’m just stealing ideas from Jay-Z. I read his book Decoded and in the back he recommends The Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav. It’s basically about soul versus personality and multi-sensory personality versus the five-sensory personality – the people whose souls operate with spiritual guidance against people who can only see the earth, the beginning and the end. You really find out a lot about yourself when you read that book.


What do you think of the Nicki Minaj comparisons?

It’s not something that I particularly like, but it’s something that I understand. It’s just people making sense of things. If you listen to BOB. for the first time, you might think, “He sounds like André 3000”. If you eat sorbet for the first time, you might think, “Oh, this is like ice cream but there’s no milk in it.”

You went to La Guardia High School of Performing Arts…

I didn’t finish school. I just walked away from it because I had the little rap thing going on. So for the last few years I’ve just been learning about life. I’ve been making mistakes and learning from my mistakes: got dropped from a label, got my heart broken, lost my apartment. I’m lucky that I learned my lessons this early, because sometimes people don’t learn their lessons until they’re like 28-30, you know? “212” makes fun of everything and my reactions to it. I think that’s a lot of the reason why people relate to it so much, because everybody wants to say, “F*** you!” I think by virtue of English culture being so polite, I feel like there’s definitely a part of every English person that just wants to be like, “Aargh!” That’s why it’s picking up so much over here.

What’s your favourite record of all time?

“Alright” by Supergrass. That’s a good-ass song.

212: The Video (warning: explicit)

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