She’s messy; she’s brilliant; she’s talented. At times insecure; has frequently been problematic; and at some point made a very illogical endorsement of Donald Trump. And if she sounds like someone else who made major headlines this week, it’s because both have their sanity questioned on the regular.
But try as we might, we’re not quite ready to give up on Azealia Banks. After watching her make the rounds this week to promote her latest single, “Anna Wintour,” we admittedly raised an eyebrow; but in the end, Banks still has her own brand of #BlackGirlMagic, and we’re still rooting for her salvation and success.
So it’s oddly fitting that for multiple reasons, we’ve chosen “Anna Wintour”—named for the famed editor-in-chief of Vogue—as The Glow Up’s Anthem of the Week. Aside from being a ballroom-ready, house-heavy, out-and-out banger, lyrically, it’s also surprisingly spiritual, empowering and self-reflective (which is more than we can say for your other fave’s latest single). As Banks explained in an Instagram post introducing the single:
I wrote this song about finding myself and finding God. Not at all specific to any religion, this song was written to embody the feeling felt when you connect with the universe. Sometime we feel afraid to take chances that will bring us out of our comfort [zones] and it’s always in those moments that God finds you and [lets] you know that you are exactly in the right place .. at the right time. ...
My choice to name this song “Anna Wintour” is telling; I relate to Anna Wintour So much as a strong, powerful and larger than life soul in a petite, tidy and feminine body. While others may see Anna as intimidating , I see a woman who was born into this world with an absolute certainty about her place in it. ... A woman with an abundance of personal power who influences and defines the world around her. In my case, having such power can lead to self-indulgences. Meaning, i can become so consumed with a power and an ability to affect the world, that I may have forgotten or in fact - may have never learned to use my power to influence and define myself!
The song is also musically based on Banks’ 2015 single “Ice Princess,” which also made reference to Wintour. As she told MTV News:
[T]he whole tone of the song ‘Ice Princess’ was about being like, you know, just this cold, frigid person who doesn’t need anyone’s help ... all of the rainbow stuff that I’m killing in the ‘Ice Princess’ video was supposed to be love entering my frozen kingdom.
With “Anna Wintour,” it sounds like Banks might be ready for love to enter her life—and she’s also self-aware enough to know that she looks like a “fucking weirdo” (her words, not mine) with glitter smeared all over her face. And though she’s been (rightly) accused of homophobia in the past (and since apologized), it sounds like she’s now hoping to spread some love, predicting that her new single will be the gay wedding anthem of the summer. (At the very least, it may be this generation’s “100% Pure Love” or “Finally.”)
In the weeks since its release, “Anna Wintour” has already been embraced by both the ballroom and high-fashion crowds alike. With the 2018 Met Gala coming up on Monday (hosted by the formidable Wintour herself), we can’t think of a better soundtrack for the festivities (and whoever thought to make it the soundtrack to a montage of Naomi Campbell’s runway walks is an outright genius).
We don’t know what the future holds for Banks, but for now, we’re still holding out for her to win. When you know better, you hopefully do better. And since most of us are still figuring it out, it’s nice to think there’s still a possibility that “diamonds and dreams come true for girls like [us].”