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Azealia Banks Blasts Off on House-Rap Screamer ‘Yung Rapunxel’

Azealia Banks, "Yung Rapunxel"

Azealia Banks joined the Prodigy onstage this weekend to perform their U.S. breakthrough “Firestarter” at Australia’s Future Music Festival. Video isn’t online yet, but what she called “the HIGHLIGHT” of her trip Down Under makes all the more sense in light of the finally unveiled first single from the hot-shit New York shit-talker’s upcoming debut album. Banks has covered “Firestarter” before, and she sampled an earlier Prodigy track on last summer’s Fantasea mixtape. But “Yung Rapunxel,” produced by like-minded online provocateur Lil Internet, is her first track that melds the amped-up musical aggression of something like “Firestarter” with her own ever-incendiary lyrics.

Like Banks’ name-making “212,” this scorched-earth house-rap hybrid similarly comes across as a reinvention for her, though, sure, it doesn’t have quite that track’s instantly memorable catchphrases. If Banks’ contentious “Harlem Shake” remix recalled Kelis’ “Milkshake,” this one channels the “hate you so much right now” fury of Kelis’ “Caught Out There,” another track that goes from regular voice to INSANE SCREAMING on the hook. The insistent instrumentals more than keep pace. Finally, Banks has left #seapunk behind to go where she belonged all along: another galaxy. 

Naturally, Banks couldn’t drop an exciting new single (officially out on March 26) without starting new Twitter beefs. That’s despite insisting “I’m so tired of all this drama” in one of the few moments when “Yung Rapunxel” doesn’t sound like it’s jumping out of its own skin. In case you care, Banks called the Stone Roses “old saggy white niggas” and talked shit at U.K. pop singer Rita Ora, whom she called “Rita Oral.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times asks if Banks might appear on a single with Lady Gaga and Beyoncé called “Ratchet.” Well, anything’s possible! As the cop-like sampled voice on Banks’ new track declares, we’ve “got a situation here.”