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Azealia Banks

As well known for her music as her proclivity for controversy, Azealia Banks makes genre-noncompliant tracks that bend rap, house, indie, and whichever other styles she approaches around her uncompromising star presence. She broke through in 2012 with her amped-up track "212" while still unsigned. Her debut album, Broke with Expensive Taste, arrived in 2014, and Banks continued down a chaotic path of public relations while consistently delivering artistically bold mixtapes and attention-grabbing singles like 2021's "Fuck Him All Night" and 2023's "Dilemma." Azealia Banks was born in New York City in 1991. She became involved with theater and acting at a young age, and had roles in off-Broadway productions before becoming disheartened with acting in her late teens and switching her focus to music. In 2008, she began releasing original songs online under the name Miss Bank$, with a Ladytron-sampling track entitled "Seventeen" attracting the attention of XL Recordings. XL signed Banks to a development deal, and she began working with producer Richard Russell, but the two quickly had creative differences and Banks cut ties with both Russell and the label. She floated for a few years, uploading videos of herself performing new material (including a cover of Interpol's "Slow Hands") and spending time in Montreal before returning to New York. In September 2011, Banks self-released her first song under her given name, the uptempo rap/house/club hybrid "212." The track's infectious energy and hyperconfidence made it a charting hit in several countries and signaled Banks' arrival in the public eye. Though she released "212" without the help of a label, she connected with Interscope/Polydor for the release of her 1991 EP in May 2012, and followed that with the mixtape Fantasea a few months later. Label issues held up the release of her debut studio full-length, Broke with Expensive Taste, but the album finally arrived in November 2014 to great critical acclaim. Banks' output from that point forward would be staggered and often clouded by either clashes with label representation or her overwhelmingly outspoken public persona. Amid squabbles with other artists or a series of problematic social media rants, she released the mixtape Slay-Z in 2016, the EP Icy Colors Change in 2018, the mixtape Yung Rapunxel: Pt. II in 2019, and multiple new singles that intertwined rap, EDM, house, trap, and other unlikely combinations.
© TiVo Staff /TiVo


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