New York rapper Azealia Banks debuted with
the single 212 (2011), an upbeat blend of rap and pop,
the mixtape Fantasea (2012), which included
the soulful Luxury, and the EP 1991 (2012).
Broke with Expensive Taste (2014) felt more like a career compilation
than an organic album because it spanned so many genres and styles, from
the disco-salsa fanfare of Gimme a Chance (produced by Enon and Oskar Cartaya), with a Shakira-infected break,
to the Phil Spector-ian surf-rock of Nude Beach a Go-Go (produced and co-written by Ariel Pink).
Ice Princess (produced by AraabMuzik) swings from a gloomy rap to a house beat;
Idle Delilah (produced by Pearson Sound) mixes dubstep and rhumba.
For soul-music lovers the album provides the
soulful Soda (produced by SCNTST) and Along The Coast (produced by Kaytranada).
The best rap is probably Desperado, drenched in noir-jazzy atmosphere,
and the worst the pointless single Heavy Metal and Reflective.
The single Chasing Time became her signature song.
The album was followed by the mixtape Slay-Z (2016), which contains
the single The Big Big Beat, and by the
single Anna Wintour, another hodgepodge of styles.
The 30-minute tour de force of Yung Rapunxel Pt II (2019) was her most ambitious work yet.
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