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Azealia Banks Goes Full-On Queen of Darkness in Police-Battling ‘Yung Rapunxel’ Video

Azealia Banks, "Yung Rapunxel," video

Azealia Banks looks to be positioning herself as the demonic overlord of electronic dance music. Her Lil Internet-produced new single “Yung Rapunxel” relies more on visceral, hair-raising intensity of tracks like recent onstage collaborators Prodigy’s “Breathe” than the filthily quotable rapping of her earlier peaks. Her more recent video, for “No Problems,” proudly guest-stars EDM figurehead Steve Aoki. Now the “Yung Rapunxel” video, directed by previous Aoki collaborator Jam Sutton, makes Banks’ evolution fully visible: The sassy rapper from her breakout viral “212” clip has been replaced by a mouth-eyed monster, attacking the police sampled on the track and holding court from a mechanical bull like she’s a postmodern Tolkien villain. The owls that surround her recall Twin Peaks, where they had deeply sinister implications. When she kept telling us she was a “bad bitch,” who knew she meant, like, really evil?