Named by The Guardian newspaper as the second best song of 2011, Azealia Banks’ breakthrough single, “212,” was unarguably worthy of all the plaudits – a thrilling attitude-laden, if utterly potty-mouthed, electro hip-pop banger which virtually rendered Nicki Minaj obsolete in one foul swoop.
However, after threatening to become a global superstar, the 21-year-old has almost wasted all of the goodwill she built up with the track by spending the subsequent twelve months getting into needless Twitter spats with a whole host of her more established peers.
Indeed, barely a week goes by when Banks isn’t launching a questionable tirade of abuse with Rita Ora (‘Rihanna’s understudy’), the latest act to feel the wrath of her vicious tongue. But it was her hostile response to the Stone Roses just a few days earlier that grabbed the most headlines, when after checking their equipment during her set at Australia’s Future Music Festival, Banks accused them of colluding with her former manager to deliberately sabotage her performance. A wish of ‘nothing but excrement and death’ and a near-scuffle with Ian Brown only added to the whole drama.
Just a few weeks previously, Azealia Banks became embroiled in a feud with German ‘trap music’ producer Baauer after he asked for a remix of his viral hit “Harlem Shake” featuring her vocals to be taken offline. Elsewhere, she’s accused Lil’ Kim of not writing her own raps, swapped diss tracks with fellow emerging MC Angel Haze after insinuating that she wasn’t an authentic New Yorker, and traded barbs with Kreayshawn after the California rapper allegedly tweeted a link to “212” from a pornographic website.
But her most troubling verbal attack was aimed at celebrity blogger Perez Hilton when she called him a ‘messy f****t’ on Twitter. Protesting that she was using the homophobic term to refer to a male who acts like a female rather than a homosexual male, Azealia Banks was still condemned by the likes of GLAAD. But unrepentant as ever, she has continued to use the word, claiming that the gay community currently has more to worry about.
It’s a shame that someone who showed so much potential has become little more than an online troll more renowned for posting vile messages to fellow musicians than her own output. Recently premiered lead single “Yung Rapunxel” shows there are still few who can match Azealia Banks when it comes to pent-up bass-heavy aggression. But if she isn’t careful, everyone will have lost interest by the time parent album, Broke With Expensive Taste, hits the shelves, if they haven’t yet already.