Quitting Twitter only to return days later is the new publicity stunt for celebrities —no matter how big or small— looking to make blog headlines. Harlem-bred Azealia Banks is easily one of our favorite upcoming artists of any genre. Her dance sound, reminiscent of garage music, is refreshing, yet her raw lyrics are the epitome of “real” hip-hop. The fast eccentric flow on “212” is unlike anything any other artist — male OR female — is currently doing in hip-hop. As odd as the sound seemed upon first listen, we have been hypnotized by the 21-year-old woman that rapped, “What you gone do when I appear? When I premiere?” Apparently we weren’t the only ones intrigued by what she had to offer. To date, over 19 million people on YouTube have watched the “212” video, and that’s with her still being a somewhat underground artist.
Buzz has continued to grow around Banks’ music career, as many are hoping that she will eventually become the female rapper to give Nicki Minaj a healthy dose of competition. However, just as the excitement about her music began to burgeon, so has the controversy. Since Banks is not quite mainstream, there are few interviews or TV appearances that fans can turn to for perspective on her personality or who she is as an artist. Therefore, Twitter became the platform where she seemed the most comfortable expressing herself. Fans connected with her there, and onlookers were able to gauge the burning question, “Who is Azealia Banks?” Although her tweets would never be able to define all of who she is, it did reveal some disturbing traits that would turn out to become consistent patterns.
For those who follow her Twitter, it’s readily apparent that she doesn’t possess a filter. Banks will say whatever she wants to whomever she feels like. At first, it didn’t seem like anything to be alarmed by. Most brushed it off as knowing that as a new artist she’d eventually take a few etiquette classes —all celebs are polished on how to present themselves to the public— and learn how to censor her thoughts a bit. Unfortunately, the rants and beef have been making more headlines than her actual music.
The Twitter beef with Kreayshawn was one of the early signs that Banks had no desire to avoid conflict. The very ugly feud with Iggy Azalea is still ongoing, which led to Azealia Banks calling T.I. a “clown” and “snitch,” simply because he defended his artist on the radio. Oh, and how can we forget her gushing admiration for Lil’ Kim, which quickly and bizarrely turned into a very public diss of the Queen Bee. Word to the wise: a beginner never goes after a veteran. Not to mention the minor tiffs we’ve witnessed her engage in with popular bloggers.
Fed up with everything, she quit Twitter and the rap game over the weekend, blaming “bullsh*t urban media” for her “getting into trouble.” Only three days after her tirade, though, the drama queen returned to Twitter. Too bad not much has changed. She subtweeted an accusation of an anonymous short bald man blasting fake stories about her. Eventually she dropped the topic, but not before saying she wants a woman manager because women are smarter. Mysteriously, all of the farewell tweets have vanished, but the troublemaker known as Azealia Banks is here to stay.
Amidst all of the unnecessary controversy Banks has had some great music moments. Performing at Coachella as her first official U.S. show is nothing less than major! Her single “Jumanji” was lyrical fire, her Mermaid Ball seemed to go well and her EP 1991 received fairly good reviews. Problem is: Banks is standing in her own way. The noise of her outrageous spats drowns out what people should be talking about — the music. No matter how much talent one has, and Banks has loads, likability of a new artist is a huge factor in getting people to buy what you’re selling. Judging by the countless comments on blogs (even those that applauded her for calling Iggy out for her runaway slavemaster line) are sensing Banks has a major attitude that they don’t want to rock with.
If Banks was simply some talentless rapper perhaps this article wouldn’t be written. The fact that she is so dope with crazy creativity is why we even care. She has the potential to be something great, something out of this world, if only she could stop getting in her own way with the kinds of antics that will definitely come back to bite her in the ass. Please, Azealia, stick to creating the music we fell in love with and let your talent speak for itself.
[Photo: Interscope Records]