23 year old Harlem-born rapper and singer-songwriter Azealia Banks released her long-awaited debut studio album Broke With Expensive Taste November 6th. Banks began her official career as “Miss Bank$” back in 2008 at the age of 17 when she dropped out of high school to pursue her career and was quickly picked up by XL Recordings. Banks spent the following years building herself as an artist and eventually broke out with her hit single “212” released in 2012. Prior to Broke With Expensive Taste, Banks had only released an EP, 1991 and a mixtape, Fantasea despite the relatively long amount of time she had spent in the industry.
Banks’ path to her latest release has been a bumpy one though. According to her, the album has been in the works for over six years now and during that time she has had faling outs with several record labels and two years worth of release date delays, not to mention her countless PR intrigues. The rapper has become known for instigating beef with other artists, ultimately building a public image of having a bad attitude and being a drama queen; many speculate that this attitude may have played a large role in the prolonged delays of her album release.
Regardless of its background, Broke With Expensive Taste offers the fresh and distinct sound that’s come to be expected of Banks. Throughout the album, she seamlessly switches back and forth between singing and rapping over beats that meld jungle sounding drum and bass, spacey atmospheric synths, and Vogue inspired trap. She even throws in some Latin and 60’s surf rock inspiration. The result is something entirely unique that exudes her Harlem tough girl meets inspired artiste aesthetic.