Today, May 31, is the 26th birthday of Harlem rapper Azealia Banks!

Ever since her emergence in 2011, this talented, eccentric and outspoken MC has made waves within the music industry. Azealia Banks was born and raised in Harlem and developed a passion for performing at an early age, performing in off-Broadway theatre productions. Banks attended La Guardia High School of Performing Arts. However, after shifting her focus from theatre to music, she dropped out of La Guardia to pursue her dream of becoming a recording artist.

Mashing up the sounds of "Float My Boat" by Belgian DJ Jef Martens and Toon (also known as Lazy Jay), Azealia Banks dropped her debut single, “212" in 2011. The single received high praise from music critics, and introduced music fans to her unique flow and performing style. Since then, Banks has dropped her debut album, Broke with Expensive Taste in 2014, spawning the singles and flexing her alter egos of "Yung Rapunxel" and "Ice Princess." Often melding sounds of dance, trance, and house-rap, Banks has continued to grow her fanbase with mixtapes and EPs like 1991, Fantasea and most recently Slay-Z in March of this year.

Unfortunately, the young MC has come to be known more for spewing hate and getting into feuds with fellow celebrities, even everyday people on social media. Last year alone, Banks has made headlines for fighting with Wale, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Talib Kweli. Whether you love her or hate her, Azealia's polarizing but talented personality isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Happy Birthday Azealia!

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