It’s always a really strange thing to see a musician or actor ruin their professional careers by being personal messes. Take Lindsay Lohan or Shia Labeouf, for example: their insane escapades and subpar talent are leading them down a road to ridiculed footnotes in snarky blogs, sad would-have-beens that are so deluded that they think they’ve already been given Oscars and enough praise for three lifetimes when they’re the acting equivalent of potatoes that have been left in the cupboard too long and have rebelliously sprouted. They are so out-of-touch with their own reality that they’re losing jobs.
Why does it happen? It is an unfortunate natural consequence of unchecked ego.
Enter: Azealia Banks.
Once upon a time, there was a lot of buzz and hype surrounding Azealia Banks. She released 212 in 2011 and people collectively went crazy; assuming she was going to release her album on track, the hype bubble would easily elevate her star to a household name. Banks doesn’t have typical commercial appeal, yet critics were citing her unique style to bring a new, unique flavor to the radiowaves. I may not have necessarily understood it, but it was practically guaranteed that she’d have at least mild success—until Azealia Banks started being Azealia Banks. Label drama aside (she’s on her third since her career started in 2011), the real shining moment has come from mature feuding with anything that moves….on Twitter.
Here is an incomplete list of people Azealia Banks has made a point of fighting with within the past year:
- Iggy Azalea
- Lil’ Kim
- Nicki Minaj
- Angel Haze
- Perez Hilton
- Stone Roses
- The Future Music Festival
- Rita Ora
Somehow, somehow, I’m having issues thinking that it’s the other party always attacking her first.
And then she released her first single: Yung Rapunxel. The Prophet Blog cites this as “bait for the haters,” yet goes onto say that “[Azealia’s] music is some of the best coming out of the pop and hip-hop world right now. Her stuff is on another level, and Yung Rapunxel is no exception.” If it’s bait for haters, it’s unsuccessful, because the single is legitimately horrible and patently unlistenable. Successful bait would be a song where haters hated before they listened to it, where they then became filled with hatred because they actually loved it. My reaction to listening to her first official single Yung Rapunxel could be summed up in the wheeze of pain that came from trying to shove my fingers into my ears to burst my eardrums before the song did it for me. The mixture of screamo, dubstep, “rap,” and 90s techno was so abrasive that I thought the glass of water I was holding at the time was going to splinter and shatter, comically mimicking the shattering glass sound effect in the song—then again, I would have readily taken the distraction from the throbbing vein in my forehead.
You have to listen to it more than once, the internet cried. I tried. Ultimately, the combined smell and sound of a toilet flushing chorus after a spicy burrito eating contest with a dessert of sixteen consecutive espresso shots leave a better sensorial feeling than this hunk of shit.
If Azealia Banks was just a diva or just made shitty music, she would be fine. It isn’t like the music business has not catered to divas since cavemen first started singing arias and it isn’t like the music business has not fostered horrible musical talent, but it’s more than that. Azealia Banks is confrontational, rude, trashy, and puts out subpar music. She may have (highly speculative) collaborations with artists of actual merit, but in two years, no one is going know her name. She’s the new Kreayshawn and you know what? She did it to herself.