Azealia Banks Signs Record Deal With Universal Music

By William E. Ketchum III

Azealia Banks got music fans all over the world listening with millions of YouTube views on her hit “212″ and now major labels are listening too. Today, the Harlem femcee used her Twitter account to announce that she has signed to Universal Music Group. “God just dealt me a new hand today reaaaaaaaaaaallllly good hand,” she beamed. “Wow I just wanna drink a million bottles of champagne and do a million bell kicks right now.”

She also hinted at a May or June release for her debut album. This news comes days after accomplishments of nabbing an official spot at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and landing the no. 3 slot on BBC’s Sound of 2012 list. Next month, she begins an almost entirely sold out tour in the U.K.

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Banks built her buzz over the past couple years with hugely popular YouTube videos to her songs “L8R” and “212.” The latter, named after her home city’s area code, has garnered more than 2.5 million views since it hit the ‘Net in September 2011. The black and white video features a dancing, smiling Banks spitting potty-mouthed rhymes (“I guess that c— getting eaten!”) while standing in front of a brick wall.

Hopefully, Universal is a more productive home than XL Records, which Banks says “started checking out” right around her signing.

“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… and it started to ruin me,” Banks said of the British label that currently houses the likes of Tyler, The Creator and Adele. In December, she would tweet, “I am not going to stay independent. I do not want to be the grungy hipster brown girl you all are begging me to be.”