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Azealia Banks Needs To Get Out Of Her Own Way

Azealia Banks Is Back On Twitter

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…

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2 Chainz Arrested At The Airport, What Was He Doing With Brass Knuckles?

2 Chainz Arrested at Laguardia Airport

Here’s a little PSA: Airports have security checks. Now repeat. Upcoming rapper 2 Chainz was arrested today at LaGuardia airport after airport security learned of a rather unusual weapon in his carry on bag. No, it wasn’t a gun or knife; 2 Chainz was packing brass knuckles. TMZ reports 2 Chainz was on his way to a show in North Carolina in the Delta airlines terminal when TSA discovered the weapon in his bag. We can’t help but chuckle–not at the arrest, of course–but the fact that a southern rapper was carrying brass knuckles around all willy nilly.

Once police were called to the scene, the rapper known for his hit track “Spend It”  was charged with possession of a criminal weapon, which is a misdemeanor. He was taken away to jail and per TMZ, a rep for 2 Chainz would only say his team is “handling the situation.” Now, about that team. Is this the same team that potentially packed his bags (yes, famous people have people to do that for them)? We can concoct a hundred funny stories of why 2 Chainz had the brass knuckles in the first place. Is this a part of his every day attire? Was he using them earlier and forgot to them out of the bag? Whatever the reason  these types of incidents are totally avoidable with a careful double check. Last week 2 Chainz released the video to “Murder” featuring Kreayshawn. Perhaps he was listening to his own song  right before he headed to the airport and thought, ‘Hey, I might need these.’

2 Chainz Rapper Arrested for Brass Knuckles [TMZ.com]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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2 Chainz And Kreayshawn Play With Knives And Blood In “Murder”

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…

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Is Iggy Azalea Rising To The Top Or A Fad Of The Moment?

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?

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by (@kat_george)

Last Lap: Beef Alert! Kreayshawn Disses Lana Del Rey Then, Ummm, Poops In Front Of A Reporter!?!

Beef Alert! Kreayshawn Disses Lana Del Rey Then Does A Poop
Kreayshawn knows how to get everyone talking about her again — diss the hottest music act of the moment, Lana Del Rey, then poop semi-infront of a reporter. Click the link at your own peril, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. [Complex]

Lily Allen Speaks Up About Adele’s Brits Acceptance Speech Being Cut Off
We miss the days when Lily Allen had a whole lot of stuff to say. Talking about Adele’s controversially cut short Brit Awards acceptance speech, Allen said “I’d rather hear Adele’s acceptance speech… I can’t say I’m surprised. It was like the music industry’s attitude to women played out as a metaphor.” [NME]

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by (@kat_george)

6 Reasons Why You Must Know Azealia Banks Right This Instant

If you’re not familiar with 20-year-old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks, now’s the time to get acquainted. She released her first track, “Seventeen,” back in 2009 (which was produced by one of her biggest fans and supporters, Diplo), but the hype didn’t really start building around Banks until last year. With her brand of aggressive, dance led rap, reminiscent of East London’s garage scene, Banks is kicking up a storm in the music world, taking girl rap back to the no-holds barred days when we first met the potty mouthed Lil Kim. Except that Banks is a little bit ruder, and much more raw. There are a million reasons why you need to know Azealia Banks right this instant, but here are the top 6:

1. “212″
Banks got a lot of attention for her 2011 release “212,” which was one of the biggest, most critically acclaimed tracks of the winter. Half dance club, half rap, “212″ is unavoidably infectious, and comes with a generous helping of dirty words. Watch the video for “212″ here.

2. The Cool List
NME put Banks at number one on their Cool List in 2011. Out of 50 musicians, that’s no mean feat for the newcomer. And we definitely don’t disagree with the decision — Banks has that “cool without even trying” nonchalant defiance about her.

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by (@kat_george)

Last Lap: Baby Bey-Z Is (Almost Certainly) A Girl!!!

Kelly Rowland Confirms Baby Bey-Z Is Indeed A Girl
The Internet has been rife with rumors that Beyoncé & Jay-Z‘s baby is going to be a girl, and Kelly Rowland (accidentally?) confirmed this to be the case at London’s Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards. [NME]

Rihanna Rides London’s Tube To Her London Gig
Rihanna: A performer of the people, for the people. RiRi caught London’s subway, the tube, along with some breathless fans, to her concert at O2 Arena. Watch the video at Billboard.com. [Billboard]

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by (@kat_george)

Be Relevant This Halloween: How To Dress As 2011′s Biggest Music Moments And Memes

Halloween is coming up and it’s time to start getting serious about costumes if you don’t want to be a sexy [insert noun here] or a regular-person-but-just-covered-in-blood-because-that’s-all-you-had-time-to-buy. This Halloween dare to be a little bit braver, a little more irreverent, and a little more clever with your costumes. That’s right folks — no more Lady Gaga get ups, lest you be deemed “like, sah 2010!” There’s a wealth of cultural reference at your disposal this year, with 2011 being renamed the Chinese Year Of The Meme (it hasn’t really, I just said that to get your attention). We’ve picked out some of our favourite musical memes of the year in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to trick yourself out in the spirit of a wickedly self-aware Halloween…

PREGONCÉ

Why? Only the baby of hip-pop royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé could become an Internet meme and every GIF aficionado’s wet dream before the little tyke is even born. Barely beyond conception, Baby Bey-Z hit the Internet harder than “Friday” (see below) and made “Pregoncé” a word faster than you can say, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” For Halloween, go as Pregoncé in the costume she wore at the VMAs earlier this year when she unleashed unveiled her newly rounded belly to the world.

How? We’ll start from the top down: first you need some crazy 70′s flicked blonde hair, wig it if you’re a brunette or a dude, and if you’re already blessed with the golden tresses, heat up those rollers, girl! Next you’ll need a white shirt (stuffed with a pillow, of course we don’t expect you to actually get pregnant) and black pants; easy. The sparkle blazer might be a bit harder. I suggest taking a cheap / second hand blazer, a can of spray on glue, a butt-load of glitter and having the absolute time of your life. Add some velcro to the inside of the blazer so it’s easy to rip open over the course of Halloween as you constantly re-enact the big reveal. Carry around a fake microphone so you can throw it down dramatically before you rub your belly emphatically and smile, smile, smile!

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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Rick Ross: Gentleman Rap Boss
Devin Friedman admits that he’s “basically eating out of [Rick Ross's] hand” for the majority of his time with the rapper, but manages some good insights (e.g. “Rick Ross is always both inside and outside a joke he’s making about hip-hop music”) and many more entertaining observations about the kindly boss, whom he describes as “the fat black McConaughey,” in his profile for October’s GQ. [GQ]

Complex On Kreayshawn In Brief
Ernest Baker‘s profile of Kreayshawn for Complex is less intriguing; luckily for us (and you), Katherine St. Asaph sums it up at Popdust. Key facts: she wants to slap The Game in the face, and she bought that Game Boy Color she always wanted after she got signed. [Popdust]
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Rick Ross vs. Kreayshawn: World’s Most Lopsided Rap Beef Continues In The Pages Of XXL

The altercation backstage at the 2011 Video Music Awards between Rick Ross and Kreayshawn‘s manager Stretch now looks to have been the fulfillment of a promise made by Ross to XXL contributor Ben Detrick for the cover story of XXL‘s October 2011 issue, due out next week. KarenCivil provides an excerpt from the interview:

He even threatens Kreayshawn, the fledgling Bay Area rapper who called Ross “fake” in a recent freestyle. “I can’t wait to slap the s?t out of whoever carries her bags,” he sneers. “And I hope it’s her n?a. Dirty b?h. You better know the f?k you talking about. I?ll pay 50K to mess up your whole week.”

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