EXCLUSIVE: Azealia Banks, the provocative hip-hop artist who made her debut last year with the album Broke With Expensive Taste, has just landed her first starring role in a feature film. She’ll play the title character in Coco, a drama for Lionsgate and Codeblack Films that will be directed by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. She stars with Common, Jill Scott, Lucien Laviscount, Lorraine Toussaint and Hana Mae Lee. It has a script from Nicole Jefferson Asher and will be produced by Paul Hall. Pic is about to get underway.
In the Brooklyn-set drama, Banks plays an aspiring twentysomething rapper who wants a career in hip-hop but is torn by her parents’ dreams that she finish college. She gives in. While matriculating, she finds herself in the classroom; she experiences the true calling of the power of the spoken word, which helps her goals as a hip-hop artist. It has a bit of 8 Mile edge to it. Banks, who is repped by Prospect Park and The Davis Firm, will tour overseas beginning next month. The film is overseen by John Sacchi, Bree Bailey and Jessica Switch.