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Azealia Banks was hailed as the next big thing, like, a million years ago (in pop culture time). But with all the album push-backs, and all the Twitter beefs, it's been easy to forget that the talented Harlem rapper could still be the next big thing! Broke with Expensive Taste is currently slated for a January 2014 release, and even though we were originally expecting it this year (and before that in 2012), there's still plenty to get psyched about. As we patiently wait to hear what a real, live Azealia Banks album sounds like, let's give this Yung Rapunxel movement a little push. Here are five reasons we desperately need Azealia to become a true staple in Hip-Hop.
Her Beefs Make For Some Pretty Good Diss Records
Okay, so we're not really supposed to condone beef, but it is a part of Hip-Hop culture and it has made for some classic songs over the years. Azealia has beefed with everyone from Lady Gaga to Jim Jones (to Angel Haze, to Perez Hilton, to Lil Kim, etc.), and some of the tracks -- like "No Problems" -- have actually been pretty dope.
The Sausage Party Is Getting Old
Kanye West, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rcoky, J. Cole, Drake, Lil Wayne, etc.-- we love you guys. Really, we do. But the sausage party is getting old, as sausage parties are wont to do. And although it's cliché to point out the lack of women in, well, anything, we simply need more women in Hip-Hop! From what we've seen, Azealia has her own brand of femininity that could definitely liven this party up.
We Need More Of Her Super-Dope Videos
Azealia is not afraid to pull on influences from a variety of genres, which makes her way more fun to watch than the average person. R&B, pop, rap, rave -- all genres are up for grabs. And when her eclectic style gets translated into visuals, it's always an experience.
She’s Sexy And Sexual, Without Making That The Foundation Of Her Appeal
This is hugely important, and almost impossible for a woman in Hip-Hop (or any other artistic movement) to achieve. Even though she was featured on the cover of Dazed & Confused blowing up a condom, and she definitely plays up on her sex appeal, Azealia manages to come off more New York funky-fashionista-turned-rapper than anything else. While artists like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Nicki Minaj have surely influenced her (and paved the way for her to do her own particular thing) it's refreshing and exciting to see a femme rapper take a slightly different approach to her image.
"212" Is Still The Jam
It's hard to believe that Azealia's debut single dropped back in 2011, mainly because it is still the jam! "212" introduced listeners to a unique style, and it was seriously difficult to place Azealia in one particular box. All good signs of good things to come.
More:Azealia Banks Gets Political On Twitter5 Reasons Azealia Banks Will Be Huge In 2013Azealia Banks Beefs With Perez Hilton
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Robert Kardashian's widow Ellen allowed 24-year-old journal entries, allegedly written by her late husband, to be published in In Touch magazine this week (begs21Jan13), and the damning excerpts paint Jenner in a bad light as a mother and a cheating wife.
One of the diary excerpts reads: "Kris couldn't get her act together (to spend Christmas with her children). I was home alone with 4 kids."
Robert also alleged Kris abused Kim, writing, "Kris was kicking and beating her and said she was going to kill (Kim)! Kim was hysterical."
Jenner's publicist shot down the sensational claims when the reports first surfaced on Wednesday (23Jan13), and now Kardashian has waded into the controversy.
In a series of Twitter.com posts on Thursday (24Jan13), she writes, "So my dad's ex is selling ridiculous stories again to tabloids! Do not believe it! Sad when people need $ (money) & get desperate. 10 yrs (years) since dad passed &this woman he married 4 2 wks (weeks) before he died needs 2 get a job instead of trying 2 destroy families w (with) fake stories... PS that story that my mom beat me & threatened to kill me hahahhahaha! I'd beat her! JK (joking) truly laughable! NOTTRUE (sic)".
The sexy socialite, who is expecting her rapper boyfriend Kanye West's child, has also tried to put a stop to speculation suggesting her sister Khloe is jealous of Kim's pregnancy after struggling to conceive with her husband, basketball star Lamar Odom.
Kim continues, "These ridiculous stories of Khloe are complete BS (bulls**t)! She isn't preggo (pregnant), she's so happy 4 me, her & Lamar r perfect... (sic)".
And the TV regular admits she's sick of addressing tabloid lies, adding, "Prob (probably) done responding to fakeness for a while but I knew this weeks stories hurt my mom & I will set record straight 2 protect her (sic)!"
Robert Kardashian divorced Kris 13 years before he lost his battle with cancer in 2003. She has been married to former Olympian Bruce Jenner since 1991.
I don’t think most people realize just how much a billion dollars is and in comparison how poor most celebrities are. For example, you'd have to star in 50 movies and get paid a record $20 million to be a billionaire. Another example, in Arthur Russell Brand plays the son of a billionaire and his inheritance is in question when he refuses to marry Jennifer Garner. Now I would marry Jennifer Garner in a heartbeat for a billion dollars. Hell, I'd settle for a Big Mac and a Sprite. But there are some things I absolutely wouldn't do for a billion (like cheer for Duke). But that got me thinking, what would our lovely celebrities do for a billion dollars? Well, we sent out our little reporter gad-flies and asked some celebrities what they would do for a billion dollars (we're direct like that). There answers were thoughtful, humorous, insightful, and sometimes a little creepy but it goes to show that some people will go to any lengths for a buck. Well, a billion bucks, but same thing.
James Franco - After putting down a tome of Old English baking recipes slash poetry, a brief sparkle appears in his eyes before saying, "Hmm, I'd probably sit still for an hour. Can I write a thesis on this?"
Christopher Nolan: "I’d direct Alvin and the Chipmunks the Threesqueequel but only if it can kill off Alvin in the third act. And there's a giant speed boat chase that takes place IN YOUR DREAMS."
George Lucas: "I wouldn’t rape Star Wars again. JK! I’m already a billionaire! Suck it nerds! Star Wars 3D coming soon!" Skips off into the night yelling something that sounds like Jar-Jar over and over.
Hayden Panettiere: In a picket line protesting dolphin poaching cruelty, "I would slit a dolphin’s throat." Her fellow protesters turn on her and make fun of her tattoos.
Charlie Sheen: "I already starred in the worst fucking TV show in history and I’m not even close to a billion. DAMN. Wait, how much Sheen could a billion dollars buy?" He runs off to find a calculator and a sword. What the sword is for, no one knows.
Kim Kardashian - "I would endorse anything for that kind of money. Oh, no ones asking me to endorse anything? Fine, I guess I'll make another sex tape. But again, NO AERIAL SHOTS!"
Mark Zuckerberg - "That’s not cool. You know what is cool? TAKING OVER THE INTERNET." He tosses a lighter into a giant stack of money, "Good lunch break."
Paris Hilton - Sniffs, "I wouldn’t do coke for a week. Ok, 6 days. No, five. Yeah, I could probably do five."
Britney Spears - "Not make my own decisions." -issued through a publicist.
Conan O’Brien - "I guess I'd perform one of Leno’s monologues." He pulls out a rubber chin. "Oh, this was rhetorical? Crap."
Tyler Perry - Emerges from a bathtub of money, "How about I give you a billion dollars for an Oscar?"
Jaleel White - " *sigh* Did I do thaaaaat?" Another chunk of his soul dies.
Matthew McConaughey - He puts down the bongos, never bothering to cover his exposed nether-region, "Wear a shirt, bro. A button-down shirt. With all the buttons."
Paula Deen - "I would give up butter" she says while licking butter off a spoon. She was mixing a bowl of sugar and butter.
Richard Gere - A single tear falls on his cheek, "I'd make all those rumors true and stick a hamster up my pooper." He goes off into his daughter's room. A child's scream is heard through the locked doors.
Tyler, The Creator - After stopping running around the studio, he thinks and says "Wipe My Ass."
Gary Busey - *bites head off a goat* "What was the question?"
Brooklyn Decker - "I would get a breast reduction surgery."
(NOTE: NO ONE GIVE BROOKLYN DECKER A BILLION DOLLARS)
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.