Tracking 2012’s Best Songs #11

Tracking
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This week on Tracking––a weekly series in which we discuss our favorite songs of the year (you can check out the official list as the year progresses)––you can listen to additions from Yeasayer, TEAM SPIRIT, The Walkmen, Kirin J Callinan, Icona Pop and Azealia Banks. (Click on the arrows to navigate through the songs.)

Azealia Banks – “JUMANJI” (2 of 6)

As much as we like when Azealia Banks brings sexy R&B (“NEEDSUMLUV”) or esoteric spoken-word (“Bambi”) to the table, nothing can touch her when she raps – after all, it was the blistering “212” that won us all over in the first place. Her new single is “Jumanji,” and Banks lays it down like she does best over a pounding beat that’s all massive percussion, steel drums, and huge horns (courtesy producers Hudson Mohawke and Nick Hook). In a zeitgeist where most mainstream rappers drop one or two languid, done-before verses over some canned strings and then call it a day, Azealia’s jittery, relentless, rapid-fire energy and smart, sarcastic lyrics make her one of the most exciting new talents in the hip-hop game, and “Jumanji” is a perfect example of what she’s capable of. –– Genevieve Oliver

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