Yes, we all know the controversy of Miss Azealia Banks, most specifically the twitter “beefs” resulting from the outspoken nature of one “Yung Rapunxel”. Where most young artists try to tread lightly in the beginning stages of their careers, Banks has lit a firestorm for being unapologetic about her fiery spirit. Nevertheless, it circles back to the music. That’s what the sold out concert at New York’s Irving Plaza was all about. Broke with Expensive Taste , the 2014 debut studio album from Banks is both critically acclaimed, but also underrated of sorts. As she has been very outspoken on artists such as Iggy Azalea and hip-hop in general, that same passion is poured in her music. The night started off crazy for the hometown show. Fans outside were clamoring to get any extra tickets for the show that was sold out for months.
Our opening band was Minnesota’s Strange Names, who consider themselves next wave. Their sound is a mix between 80s new wave and pop. The band played tracks of their recently released album, Use Your Time Wisely to a mix of blue and green light mixed with smoke. Singer Liam Benzvi stated that he has known Azealia Banks since high school and they were really thankful to be on tour with her. The comradery was pretty cool as the band played songs like “I Can’t Control Myself” and “Return”.
The Harlem girl and hometown hero, Azealia Banks, returned home with two dancers and a DJ that kept the energy up all night. During “Miss Armor”, a fight broke out between fans to which Banks briefly stopped the show to reprimand them, but started the show again almost instantly like nothing happened. It was that type of night where if something was bothering you, you forgot about it because that’s where the music took you. Yes, I know that people may roll their eyes at an artist mostly looked at being an antagonist breaking up a fight, but performance wise, Banks is in her element while dancing and smiling. With Expensive Tastes tracks like “Nude Beach A Go Go” and “ATM Jam”, you get the sense that the album was an outlet with how much she put into the performance. To end the night, Banks performed her most well known song, “212”, and fans were drenched in sweat or hoarse from chanting “Aze-alia” all night long. Honestly, I think we need more outspoken artists who are not afraid to fight for their creativity. Whether you love her or hate you, just from watching her performance, you know that Azealia Banks is all about the music at heart.