8 Moments From 'Broke With Expensive Taste' That Make Us Believe In Azealia Banks Again

Written By Sam Murphy on 11/10/2014


Let’s be honest, most people who were fans of Azealia Banks in 2012 have now moved onto Iggy Azalea and forgotten she even said the C word in 212. Who knows what’s happened with Banks over the course of the past two years. She got signed and then left, she’s started beefs with just about everyone and she’s left plenty a crowd disappointed. Despite her increasingly bizarre behaviour, one thing remained a constant - her talk of Broke With Expensive Taste.

On Twitter, she’s constantly spoken of Broke With Expensive Taste even though for a long time it felt as if it would never see the light of day. This weekend, finally she dropped the damn record in a Beyonce fashion and while it doesn’t trump Queen B’s effort, it reintroduces Banks as somebody to keep an eye on.

For somebody who’s managed to piss off everyone in the industry, Broke With Expensive Taste boasts a large list of impressive producers. Everyone from Lone to Araabmuzik to Ariel Pink have production credits on the album, proving that Banks still has her finger on the pulse musically.

Here are a few moments from the record that make us remember why we were so excited about Banks two years ago.

When she opens with the tropical beats of Idle Delilah

For an artist who's made a career on shock value, Idle Delilah is a refreshingly relaxed introduction to the album. Pearson Sound delivers a ridiculously delicious beat of rhythmic sounds that couldn’t sound any further away from the sounds of New York that she usually channels. Banks is on form throughout and completely comfortable with laying back into the beat and leaving her ferocity behind. People will lose it for this one in the clubs.

When Ice Princess flips instantaneously from a hip-hop to a dance beat

Ice Princess is the most likely to be a crowd-favourite from the album. The Araabmuzik creation covers off everything that people came to love about Banks - she slays over a hard-hitting hip-hop beat but is also comfortable taking it to the club. The track moves from being a straight-up hip-hop song into a pop-dance number and then chops back again. It’s completely bipolar but isn’t that the very reason we fell for Banks in the first place? According to Banks herself it’s about “the story of how I met your man in the summer, stole him by September, and moved into the mansion in December.”

When she trades rapping for singing on Chasing Time

If you heard her early cover of Interpol’s Slow Hands you’d be clued into the fact that Banks has a voice on her. Chasing Time, however, is the first time we’ve heard it out in full force on one of her originals. It’s without a doubt the most radio-friendly track on the album without compromising any of her characteristics. It may actually be one of the best RnB-electronica crossover tracks of the year.

When Luxury creeps up and you remember how good it was in the first place

Luxury was originally from Banks’ Fantasea mixtape and even got the video treatment but got lost amongst her myriad of other headlines for things mostly unrelated to her music. It appears on Broke With Expensive Taste, sounding almost identical to the mixtape version, but still sounding phenomenal. It’s an impossibly smooth slice of RnB/dance, that was surely made for the social minglers of New York, sipping on Martinis in The W. There’s so many different facets to Azealia Banks and Luxury proves she’s capable of handling things without quick-witted raps or insults.

When she literally says “Cunt diddle cunt du cunt cunt” in Miss Amor

Yes, it’s true, the C word is back. Apparently Miss Amor was meant to be the first single from the album but we can see why her record label decided against it after a swift read of the lyrics. The ridiculous lyrics don’t stop there either. She continues with “rum diggy dum du dum” and “ump jiggle bump bu rrrump pump”. It’s completely nonsensical but that’s Banks’ charm. She’ll throw in anything to make sure those syllable keeps rolling effortlessly onto the next and it works here. Miss Amore is the slickest rap Banks delivers on the album.

When she finds the perfect partner with Theophilus London in JFK

Theophilus London is a rapper with the same kind of ethos as Azealia Banks. They’re both rappers at heart but are prone to err towards the pop side or the alternative side without delivering songs inside the lines of conventional hip-hop. JFK is a cocktail of personality. It’s an impossibly slick, fashionable track in the same vein as A$AP Rocky’s Fashion Killa. London’s verse is far more manic than Banks’ but together they compliment by operating in the same aesthetic.

When she heads straight for the dancefloor on Soda

When Banks dropped 212, it pleased both hip-hop and dance music lovers and it feels like she’s doing the same here on Soda. Soda brings with it the thickest, dirtiest beat of the whole record, with Banks singing over top. It’s the type of beat that pulsates through the head at 4 in the morning with a certain murkiness to it. It may not have the same energy as 212 but it has a club-ready strength to it which is undeniable.

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When she forgets she’s a rapper on Nude Beach A Go-Go

It’s surprising to see cult alt-hero, Ariel Pink, on the production credits for the album but after hearing Nude Beach A Go-Go, it makes total sense. Well, it makes no sense that she included it on the album, but it does make sense in that Pink is the only person who could’ve produced something like this. It sounds like the Beach Boys soundtracked a sunscreen ad, with Azealia Banks oddly doing her best Christina Aguilera vocal. If Banks is anything, it’s unpredictable and you can’t help but laugh when this emerges after the slick, Luxury.