Skip to content

Azealia Banks Does It Well on Future-Rap Showcase ‘BBD’

Azealia Banks

Rihanna — and Kanye West (and MNDR, too!) — have diamonds. Azealia Banks, flexing some midtown Manhattan knowledge, claims the whole goddamn Diamond District on “BBD,” a new song she shared on New Year’s Eve.

With the squiggly high-end and wobbly sub-bass of what we’re really calling trap-rave now, huh, plus some masterfully timed quiet-loud dynamic shifts, the track displays the virtuosically foul-mouthed rapper’s usual immaculately stylish beat selection. Unfortunately for Lupe Fiasco, Banks also pulls off the remarkable feat of rephrasing M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” hook as “bad bitches do it,” thereby transforming the line into a sideways reference to ’90s new jack swing heroes Bell Biv Devoe. Her typically filthy, staccato verses? Well, she’s still above the rim, kids.

That said, “BBD” isn’t the first official single from Banks’ upcoming album, Broke With Expensive Taste, per the artist herself. Rather, she tweets, the single will be titled “Miss Amor,” backed with a B-side called “Miss Camaraderie.” We’re still holding our collective editorial breath for “Miss Homie Lover Friend.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian checked in with the song’s producers, Sup Doodle and Apple Juice Kid. The latter, a professor at the University of North Carolina named Stephen Levitin, said he’s been e-mailing Banks beats every few months, knowing “she wanted some futuristic, original, genre-busting music.” He puts on a terrific class on that concept here.

Don’t miss SPIN’s cover story: The Making of Azealia Banks