Legal name: Azealia Amanda Banks
Azealia Amanda Banks ( ə-ZEE-lee-ə; born May 31, 1991) is an American rapper, singer and songwriter. Raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, she began releasing music through Myspace in 2008 before being signed to XL Recordings at age 18. She subsequently signed with Interscope and Polydor Records before separating in 2013. Banks became an independent artist and started her own independent record label, Chaos & Glory Recordings. She later signed to Parlophone and Warner Records before quitting her label in 2023.
Banks's song "212" has been listed as one of the best songs of 2011 and one of the defining songs of the decade by music publications, including Rolling Stone and Billboard. She has since released two mixtapes (Fantasea in 2012 and Slay-Z in 2016), a studio album (Broke with Expensive Taste in 2014), and two extended plays (1991 in 2012 and Icy Colors Change in 2018). In 2017, Banks had her film debut in the musical drama Love Beats Rhymes, portraying the lead character. Banks's works have garnered acclaim from critics, drawing on various sounds including house, rap, pop, electronic music, and avant-garde.
Throughout her career, Banks's social media presence and outspoken views, especially on U.S. politics and race, as well as disputes with other artists, have attracted significant controversy. Complex noted in 2014 that "she gets more attention for her public feuds than she does for her music".