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Azealia's album, Broke With Expensive Taste, is still pending. StillStyling by Karen Langley, photography by Sharif Hamza

Azealia Banks breaks free from major label deal

Months after begging to be signed to Sony, the rapper has wriggled out of her Universal contract

Rapper Azealia Banks, who by her own admission has been "riding off mixtape fumes for the past two years", has finally wriggled out of her much-maligned record deal with Universal. Banks has endured an unhappy stay at the major label, with her slated album Broke With Expensive Taste consistently pushed back amid complaints that she's "tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about my black girl craft. They don't even know what they're listening for or to".

In a series of tweets posted last night, Banks told followers that she's dumped Universal and is headed for a career on an independent label, where she hopes to enjoy greater creative freedom and have less old white guys around to cramp her style. Spoiler alert, Azealia: they're everywhere. 

But things didn't go too well when Banks was at an independent a few years ago. She penned a development deal with XL in 2008, but left shortly after signing. At the time, she said: "There were a good seven to eight months where I was just sending them texts and no-one would say anything or pick up the phone or respond to my emails. Nothing. And it started to ruin me."

Where Banks ends up remains to be seen, but it'd be interesting to see a full-length release from the artist who undoubtedly has potential – let's face it, "212" was the shit. A European tour is scheduled for this September.

Reminisce about the good old days with "212" below: