Broke With Expensive Taste is, hands down, my favorite album to be released in 2014. Azealia Banks’ artistry is something to be admired. Banks is a self-proclaimed “anti-pop” artist and is dead set on letting everyone know that she is not the next pop princess. Imagine Lauryn Hill riding a dragon with a synthesizer in one hand and a laser gun in the other, and that is what Banks delivers throughout BWET. Her use of caribbean, trance, and trap beats is particularly odd for a mainstream dance album, but it comes together with such fluidity and precision that there isn’t a single song that sounds out of place.
With that being said, Banks has caught a lot of heat in the media. She is known to have no filter and has very strong opinions on social issues in society. Over the span of her four year career, Banks has had feuds with Iggy Azalea (with whom she refuses to acknowledge her as such and refers to her as Igloo Australia), T.I., Kreayshawn, Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Jim Jones, Angel Haze, Diplo, Rita Ora, ASAP Rocky, Lily Allen, Lady Gaga, Pharrell, Action Bronson, Lupe Fiasco, and Perez Hilton. The majority of her feuds are through her, admittedly entertaining, twitter feed (@azealiabanks). She recently made headlines due to her comments in the latest issue of Playboy magazine. She told the magazine:
“I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma—that’s really America.”
The issue I personally have with Banks is that she goes about voicing her opinion in the worst way possible. It is clear that she feels very strongly about the racial injustice in our country, and I applaud her for being passionate about an issue that most people in her position like to turn a blind eye to, but offending an entire nation, especially the nation you are a part of, is not the way to express your frustration. Her heart is in the right place, or at least adjacent to the right place, but she has no self-control. I understand that her anger is towards a deeply-rooted social injustice, but it’s hard for people to connect and understand her message when she is being prejudice to an entire race of people. Maybe if she incorporated her inhibitions in to her music, people would listen.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: Azealia, take a chill pill and stop being so damn angry.