Rapper Azealia Banks has spent more time over the past couple years starting Internet beefs than putting out music, but after her recent split with Universal Music Group she seems to be turning that around. Yesterday she released her first new song as a lead artist in nearly a year, and she didn’t insult anyone on Twitter in the process.
“Heavy Metal and Reflective,” which she’s released through her own label Azealia Banks Records, is an odd choice as both a comeback single and a declaration of independence. The rumbling rave-trap beat by producer Lil Internet—the Beyoncé video director who inspired the seapunk aesthetic that Banks has been accused of ripping off in the past—is sufficiently banging, but Banks approaches it with a low-key, conversational flow that doesn’t do much to suggest a take-no-prisoners rapper who’s just been let off her label-imposed chain.
Still, people seem to be digging it. “Heavy Metal” briefly topped Billboard’s Twitter-based Trending 140 chart, and in the UK, where she’s come closest to crossover pop success, it’s already made it onto iTunes’ Hip-Hop/Rap chart.