Azealia Banks has opened up about almost giving up on music.

During an interview with The New York Times for a feature on the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the rapper recalled almost giving up her career to go to college.

Azealia, 32, told the publication that after submitting her song 212 to her then-record label XL, she was “dropped”, causing her to re-evaluate her career.

“I was thinking maybe I should go get a GED (General Education Development certificate) and go to college,” the Count Contessa rapper confessed. “Then I just get this phone call from Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1, and he’s played it (212) like a million times.

“I didn’t even know what BBC Radio 1 was. And then very quickly you go from getting paid $150 and a bottle of Smirnoff to perform to getting like, €5,000 at some weird charity event. I’d never had 5,000 anything all at once in my hands, ever. All I could think was, I’m going to get a weave and a laptop.”

As a result of her growing fame, Azealia even found herself at the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s house.

“One thing leads to another, and then I’m at Karl Lagerfeld’s house,” she said. “I didn’t even know who Karl Lagerfeld was when he invited me to perform at his house in Paris.

“I didn’t know what Coachella was when I got booked for Coachella. That Coachella date in 2012, it was like, all right, I’m here. I’m a star.”

The performer self-released 212 in December 2011 as the lead single from her 2012 debut EP, 1991.


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