Azealia Banks Finally Stirs It Up Right With ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’

“I’m so tired of all this drama,” Azealia says.

She finally showed up: Miss Azealia Banks, Yung Rapunxel herself has her very own full-length debut album.



Broke With Expensive Taste has been delayed for over two years. Between then and now, she begged to be dropped from Universal Records, called indie veterans The Stone Roses words I do not say aloud, and canned a planned collaboration with the English music duo, Disclosure, because they were “rude” in an interview.

But she’s managed to turn all the feuds, trash talking, and all the bullshit into a record that is a non-stop ball of energy. Her album can finally speak for her. Stop reading the headlines, it says, and listen to my record. Azealia has tangible sounds now. She’s contributing.

Broke With Expensive Taste is sticky and glossy, and sharp and gooey. Sometimes it’s in Spanish, but mostly it just spills all over you.

“I try all the cultures,” she sings on “Soda” and it shows. Azealia Banks can sing, she can rap, and she can finally show off all the shapes her voice can shift into. Azealia is bending and morphing into electricity on this record. Listen to “Yung Rapunxel”. Hear her scream, moan, and whisper.

Broke With Expensive Taste offers a full palate. The production drips, splashes, and splatters like a jumble. There is so much to hear. First, listen to it to enjoy what she’s made (“Idle Delilah”). Then listen again and you’ll hear the flaws (“Nude Beach A Go-Go”). Then you’ll hear it a third time and start seeing colors (“Miss Camaraderie”).

There is so much to hear between broken, echoing voices (“Chasing Time”), the constant crescendo of the beat and breath control (“JFK”), and her scatting between singing and rapping (“Miss Amor”).

Instead of throwing shade, she’s throwing sound. It’s every sound she could find and some new ones.

Broke With Expensive Taste throbs to the beat of its own pulse (just like Azealia herself). You’re going to hear subway announcements, dogs barking, thunderstorms, and the chirps of chimpanzees. This record is full of her curious and admirable fashion. There are rattles from drum machines finishing an unexpected pattern (“BBD”) and choruses of horns (“Gimme A Chance”).

“Nude Beach A Go-Go” is a demented beach blanket shimmy, the only one of its kind on the record. It’s Azealia singing over a track from Ariel Pink’s upcoming record, pom pom. Both Azealia and Ariel are musical outcasts – due to their public obnoxious behavior – it’s no wonder they’re working together.

Broke With Expensive Taste is just the beginning of Azealia Banks’ professional output. Her narrative, so far, has been cluttered, leaving a sour taste. Now that Azealia finally got out of her own way, we can finally enjoy her fresh, sweet flavors.