Azealia Banks
1.18.2012

Azealia Banks Signs to Universal Music

Azealia Banks is officially off the market. The much-buzzed-about Harlem rapper-singer has signed to a major label and plans to release her debut album later this spring.

The 20-year-old Banks, who was named one of Rap-Up.com’s 10 Artists to Watch in 2012, inked a deal with Universal Music. “I am now officially signed to Universal Music,” she announced via Twitter.

Kanye West, who was reportedly interested in signing Banks, called her “the future of music” and her video for “212” has become a viral sensation, racking up over 2.5 million views on YouTube. Banks was previously signed to U.K. imprint XL Recordings under the name Mi$$ Banks, but never released an album. She is now eyeing a May or June release for her debut.

“God dealt me a really fucked up hand at birth. Half the shit I’ve been through & successfully gotten through would blow some of your minds,” she tweeted. “God just dealt me a new hand today. I reaaaaaaaaaaallllly good hand.”

The LaGuardia High School alum plans to celebrate the big news. “Wow I just wanna drink a million bottles of champagne and do a million bell kicks right now,” she wrote. “Lol, my mom says first thing I have to buy her with my money is this Sean John comforter set she’s been eyeing at Macy’s. Classic.”

Expect to see more from Banks, who recently shot a video for “Liquorice” directed by Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti and released a collaboration with Machinedrum called “NEEDSUMLUV (SXLND).”

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