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. Read more…
When you can’t stand the heat, get off of Twitter. That’s exactly what Azealia Banks did over the weekend. The upcoming Harlem rapper has had enough of the back and forth Twitter beefs and decided to pull a disappearing act by deleting her Twitter account. Not only is she over social media, she’s also tired of the rap game. When Nicki Minajdeleted her account the Internet was in a frenzy, but luckily for Nicki’s Barbz she returned a week later. We give Banks two weeks tops to rejoin the social media network celebs love to hate. Read more…
In a chain of events few would have expected, Hot 97 Summer Jam was as much about who was performing as it was about who wasn’t performing. By the time Tyga performed “Faded” and “Rack City” there was a dark cloud looming over the nearly 80,000 attendees, and that cloud had nothing to do with the weather. Tyga’s boss, Lil Wayne, had just abruptly pulled the plug on any of his artists performing, including the show’s headliner–Nicki Minaj.
Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg, known for his loose (opinionated) lips introduced Kendrick Lamar during the pre-show and dropped a bombshell that set the tone for the rest of the night. “I know there are some chicks here waiting to sing “Starships” later. I’m not talking to y’all right now. F*ck that bulls*it,” he said to the crowd. “I’m here to talk about real hip-hop s*it.” The YMCMB president got whiff of the perceived diss and tweeted, “Young Money ain’t doing summer jam.” With that one tweet the boss had spoken. But the show did in fact go on. And in a major way.
Opening acts like Maino, Joe Budden and Joel Ortiz rattled through their old hits to a barely there crowd. That didn’t keep Budden from declaring he and his crew were the “best rappers in the universe.” People started filling in once Waka Flocka hit the stage with the wild, crazy, party energy he seems to carry with him anywhere he goes. The signature Waka Flocka move–shaking his dreads from side to side–was in full effect during “Bustin At Em,” “It’s A Party,” “Hard In the Paint and “I Don’t Really Care.” “No Hands” served as a segue into Wale’s set as the two shared the stage. J. Cole proved he’s studied in the School of Jay-Z as he was the first to perform with a live band. No entourage needed, he commanded the stage with his mere talent.
A rapper hasn’t earned his or her stripes until they publicly announce that they’re leaving the rap game for good. Like Too Short, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and The Game who’ve all threatened to retire, T.I. went on Power 105′s The Breakfast Club and said he wants out because the game has changed. How many times have we heard this song and dance before from other rappers? On The Breakfast Club video interview posted on HipHopDX.com, T.I. said he would be more than happy to fade to the background. “This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man,” he said. “What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent.” By that he means he’s real and the industry is fake. “What I embody, this game contradicts that. I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations, contractually,” he disclosed. So, if it wasn’t for those contractual obligations T.I. would be perfectly fine focusing on his artists and other endeavors. Read more…
If scary movies tickle your fancy you’re in for a treat with sort of new rapper 2 Chainz’s new video “Murder” featuring Kreayshawn. In all its bloody gory the video has finally arrived four months after behind the scene sneak peek photos surfaced of the video. In an odd collaboration, 2 Chainz and Kreayshawn make murder look, uh, scary. Directed by Alex Nazari, “Murder” is set in an old creepy house where 2 Chainz sits while looking at double antelope heads. Even the common act of shaving (where blood spurts from his face) looks freaky. The basement is the hub of scary artillery like huge wrenches and saws, plus the unknown substance hanging that could be someone’s guts. Ewww! Read more…
Beef is the new come up for newcomer Azealia Banks. Following the public spat she had with Iggy Azalea and T.I., she now has a bone to pick with Lil’ Kim. Over the weekend, Banks sent a series of tweets expressing her frustrations with Lil Kim for not getting back to her about the collaboration the two had planned for Banks’ upcoming debut album Broke With Expensive Taste. Initially she sent out a subliminal tweet leaving everyone wondering who she was referring to. Finally she named Lil’ Kim and wrote, “Okay so true tea is that Lil’ Kim got mad that I wrote a verse for her on a record I wanted her on,” Banks tweeted. “Everyone knows Lil’ Kim doesn’t write her own raps and I saw this as a faster more efficient way of getting the track done.She then had her assistant write me some long ass offensive email about how Lil Kim writes her own raps and doesn’t need anyone’s help. So….. My question was and is still… IS SHE DOING THE TRACK?”
The Harlem rapper’s fingers didn’t stop typing there. Directly replying to Lil’ Kim she said:
So far the Queen B has remained quiet probably somewhere rapping her own lyrics, “You wanna rumble with the Bee huh? Throw a hex on your whole family.” Her publicist, however, released a statement on her behalf to AllHipHop.com. The statement reiterates that there is no friction since Lil’ Kim and Banks have never met or spoken directly. And taking the high road CJ Carter ends the statement wishing Banks the best, “It seems that this is another sad attempt by someone trying to use my client for publicity. We wish her nothing but the best.”
The last rapper to successfully build a career based on beef was 50 Cent. And he had a handful of hot singles and a hit album before he did it. Banks’ talent is undeniable. We just want her to pump her brakes just a little bit. If this is how Banks comes at her “idol,” we’re scared, very scared, of what she’ll do to someone she doesn’t like. Yikes.
B.o.B. continues to think outside the box with his sophomore album, Strange Clouds. Elements of various musical genres —from hip-hop to jazz to country— can be heard throughout. The singer, songwriter, rapper and producer skyrocketed to success with his two monster smashes “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes”, both crossover tracks that featured somewhat unlikely artists singing the hook (Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams, respectively). Based on how commercially successful each of these songs were, it seems as if B.o.B. is eager to try replicate their success, as he’s recruited a number of collaborators for tracks on his new album. Whether they are household names like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, or newcomers like Lauriana Mae, the variety of artists on the album is quite impressive. We ranked each of the songs that feature other artists, and it’s not what you’d expect.
9. “Strange Clouds” feat. Lil Wayne – We don’t know what’s up with Weezy, but his flow hasn’t quite been the same since he got outta the joint. A song about partying, drinking and smoking all night has to have an element to it that makes the listener want to partake in the fun. We don’t know if it’s believable here.
8. “Out Of My Mind” feat. Nicki Minaj: We’re getting an outer space vibe on this one. And is it just us or did B.O.B. slightly sound like Ludacris? Either way, Nicki does what she does best on this track. She plays with different animated voices, she raps, she sings. Repeat. It’s fine, but it’s nothing transcendent.
7. “Arena” feat. Chris Brown and T.I.: It’s Chris Brown and T.I., folks! Not sure that much else needs to be written other than with this trio we’re certain it will be a fan favorite.
The saga continues like a played out soap opera between Azealia Banks and T.I. In the latest episode of Azealia/Azalea gate, Bossip reports that T.I. stopped by Chicago’s Morning Riot to promote his new album Trouble Man, and once again he commented on the “beef” between his artist Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks. In a non-politically correct move T.I. added his two cents. When asked about the girl drama T.I. responded with a rather interesting response:
“Now you see the thing is about that. Guess what. I didn’t even know nothing about it to just now. I ain’t even see it. Now I know they going through they thang. But the fact that she’s speaking upon me and mine. And I never, I ain’t even see it. That is what I consider and excuse my language, but that’s bitch sh*t. I’m a man. You ain’t got no business addressing me. You got a man, get him to address me and he and I can speak on it. But you and me – naw, keep dealing with that woman. Y’all handle that. Me and you we ain’t got nowhere to go with that. I do what men do.
Everyone needs to just breathe. Remember: “No comment” is a sufficient answer. Use it; it is your friend. Not one to stand by idly while being talked about, Banks took to Twitter and replied to T.I. directly. And she did not bite her tongue, calling T.I. both a clown and a snitch.
There’s been a great deal of incessant chatter about rap newcomer Iggy Azalea. While some question the 21-year-old Australian rapper’s authenticity, others know all the words to her latest single “Murda Bizness.” Iggy first made a few splashes on the Internet after the release of her video “Pu$$y.” To date, “Pu$$y” has over 835,000 YouTube visits. In September 2011 Ignorant Art dropped as her first official mixtape. “My World” directed by Alex/2Tone was the next video released that garnered Iggy the much needed attention to get the ball rolling on her career. Her high fashion look and undetectable accent was captivating. People wanted to know who the latest white female rapper to hit scene was. She wasn’t anything like Kreayshawn. Her southern influence, apparent in her sound, set her apart from the competition–if there ever was any. People quickly wondered if she had the chops to break through the genre dominated by black males.
This year, Iggy’s career hit big. In January, she was signed to Interscope Records by none other than Jimmy Iovine himself. According to Iggy, she restructured her deal so she could sign with Grand Hustle, T.I.’s label, having the best of both worlds. In April, XXL featured her on their Freshman Class list. With a nod from the self-proclaimed King of the South, coupled with XXL’s stamp of approval, Iggy seems to be on her way to a skyrocketing career. But what about longevity? Does she have what it takes to weather the ever-evolving world of hip-hop?
The 2012 SXSW Music Festival is in the books, y’all. Your friendly neighborhood VH1 Tuner team was down in Austin for five days, but it felt more like a month (in a good way!). By that, we mean that Austin is a very inviting place, the kind of city that is big enough that you don’t get bored by it, but small enough that you get familiar with the layout quickly. In short, by the time we left the city on Sunday afternoon, it sort of felt like home.
If you’ve never been down to Austin —this was actually the first time down there for both myself and our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano— we wanted to give you a vibe of what the city is like during the festival. So, in this special SXSW edition of our long-running Music Seen feature, you’ll get a sense of what we experienced during our short trip to the Lone Star state. You’ll see some of the artists that we spent time with (like B.o.B, T.I., Neon Hitch, Train, Kimbra and more!), the crowds of people who fly in from all over the world to see live music at intimate venues, and how music truly takes over this awesome college town for six days each and every March. Enjoy!