Azealia Banks Channels Aaliyah In ‘Yung Rapunxel’ Video

A Still From Azealea Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

Having just watched Azealia Banks’ new video for “Yung Rapunxel” about, oh I don’t know, 300 times, I can tell you that the world feels a little intense. An obvious homage to Aaliyah’s iconic “Are You That Somebody,” the atmospheric, graphic clip is a logical next step for Azealia aesthetically. Why so obvious, you ask? The first shot depicts Azealia, her eyes two different colors, wearing a bandana, with a bird of prey flying out of her third eye. Now, Aaliyah was as much known for her bandanas as for her washboard abs, and hawks feature famously in “Are You That Somebody.” Since the influence is so clear, it’s a true case of looking back while moving forward—pushing the aesthetics originally introduced in that video through even more evocative images. And the clothes! Azealia is giving us some major 1999 flashbacks with her raver steez, and as traumatic as U.F.O. pants were for me (we don’t speak of that again), Azealia is WORKING some classic late ’90s looks.

FUN FUR & PARACHUTE PANTS

A Still From Azealea Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

From the first frame, we knew that this video was, in many ways, going to be an homage to baby girl. Nobody wore nylon pants and crop tops better than Aaliyah, so much so that the combination now makes us think of her immediately. For her first “Yung Rapunxel” look, Azealia wears a pair of baggy white nylon raver pants with contrast zippers, some of which are undoubtedly totally decorative, paired with a blue, black, and white fun fur bikini top.

BREAKING BAD

A Still From Azealea Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

I’m not sure what it is about garments made of clear plastic, but I’m INTO THEM. Besides rapping while surrounded with illuminati artwork and owls (we will get to that later) in this video, Azealia lays down the law against the state. Smashing bottles over helmeted heads is dirty work, and requires clothes you can get dirty in.

GOTHIC COWGIRL

A Still From Azealia Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

Naturally anarchy leads to…riding a really creepy looking mechanical bull, right? Azealia’s version of a cowboy outfit consists of a white curly fur shrug and structured bra top, as well as a pair of sweats, the provenance of which will soon be revealed…

I CAN SEE CLEARLY

A Still From Azealea Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

Upon further examination, it appears that Azealia’s plastic blouse is in fact either a dress or a jumpsuit. How very Breaking Bad of you, Azealia. This extended shot of the look also reveals that the rapper is wearing one of the Clinton era’s most important accessories—GOGGLES.

GOOD LUCK NAILS

A Still From Azealia Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

We also get a closer look at Azealia’s nails at this point in the video, and they are amazing. A mix and match of acrylic talon goodness, Azealia is rocking a gambling theme, with an ace of spades and a domino on her middle and pinkie fingers, respectively, and a textured coral and gold design on her ring finger. We wish there were more shots of the rest of her digits, but unfortunately, no amount of pausing could reveal the others to us.

BABY GIRL

A Still From Azealia Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

And here is where Azealia goes fully Aaliyah on us with a cropped halter top and plaid, low-rise pants. I may have actually had those pants in 2000, copped from Trash & Vaudeville on St. Marks Place and paired with about 50 chokers (no shame game, my mom wouldn’t let me wear belly shirts, though), but that’s neither here nor there. Surrounded by owls, Azealia is taking Aaliyah’s avian legacy of the hawk and making it her own. This is about when the fever pitch of the video is starting to reach its height, and the costume change is a welcome one.

DKNY

A Still From Azealea Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

Azealia’s mechanical bull riding pants are undoubtedly DKNY for Opening Ceremony. Although they don’t appear to be for sale on the Opening Ceremony site, you can see them here.

AAAAAAAND…THIS

A Still From Azealia Banks’ “Yung Rapunxel”.
Photo: Polydor Records

This might not exactly be an outfit, but it had to be mentioned, as it’s going to be outfitting our nightmares for the foreseeable future. There are tutorials for how to make your eyelids look like mouths on YouTube [Ed Note: and on the flip, lipstick that looks like an eyeball], if you want to totally creep out everyone around you.

+ WATCH AZEALIA BANKS’ “YUNG RAPUNXEL (EXPLICIT) NOW

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