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Making Rihanna “Rated R” Fenty look like Taylor Swift is no easy task, but the brilliantly foul-mouthed rapper Azealia Banks managed it with the deliciously obscene ‘212’. The 21 year-old Harlemite tells Celina Murphy all about fancying Paul Banks – and why that Nickelodeon audition never worked out.
Celina Murphy, 16 Jan 2012
In the increasingly unlikely event that you're unfamiliar with singer, rapper and ace provocateur Azealia Banks, please find below a selection of her lyrics by way of a neat ‘n’ tidy introduction.
“I’mma ruin you, cunt!”
“I’m a hoodlum, nigga”
“I’m a taker and a fibber and a faker”
“I make hits, muthafucker, do you jiggle your dick?”
“Take a lick up on my genital”
“Try something slick and get your dick hacked up, you can either hit the door in peace or watch your meat hit the floor in pieces”
It’s unlikely to charm your gran, but through Azealia’s high-octane dance-rap, I’ve learned several new words for vagina, one new word for cocaine and countless new ways to intimidate the male of the species. Excellent. Not only that, but since I began following her on Twitter, I’ve witnessed my use of the English language become considerably more vulgar, as Banks floods my daily feed with outlandish exclamations of varying coherence.
Her online shtick is so consistently brazen, even writing this profile has become damn-near impossible, as I struggle to decide which impressively bizarre outburst to pluck off the conveyor belt. Perhaps the decidedly indiscreet, “Lost my really expensive, fancy USB powered vibrator in Berlin (sad face)”? Or the totally mad, “I’M IN VOGUE MAGAZINE!!!!!! HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!”?
As if torturing myself over which tweet best illustrates the wildly inappropriate Ms. Banks isn’t enough, someone has gone to the trouble of setting up a Twitter account for the singer’s lady parts, which she celebrated by proclaiming, "Everyone go follow my twat!"
Of course, pretty soon Banks will need no introduction at all. Kele Okereke was an early convert. Hot Press hunted Banks down for an autumn interview that I handled. Mumford & Sons, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kanye West are already fans. She made the BBC Sound Of 2012 list and she’s just topped the NME’s Cool List for 2012, all without the help of an album, an EP or a single. Most of Banks’ success comes care of one song, the unblushing and triumphant ‘212’, which has featured on every ‘Track of the Year’ list not compiled by a herd of gormless llamas. Blunt, crude and boasting not one, but a handful of choruses, the song is easiest described as the music biz equivalent of Cee-Lo’s ‘Fuck You’.