Review: Azealia Banks – 1991 EP

Azealia-Banks-1991
Need more awesome? Listen to our FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014. Make sure you don't miss any tunes: FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.
Azealia Banks
1991
out on 6.12
Stream | MP3 | CD | Vinyl
B

If you mute the audio for Azealia Banks' "212" music video from last year, it would be hard to believe that innocent looking smiling girl in pigtails is spitting out some of the most crass proclamations of the year. And if Banks looks like she's barely 21 (20 when that video was released), that's because she is. Her official debut EP 1991 is named after the year of her birth and is just as eye-catching as the hype says it is, if only because Banks forces it to be.

The four-track EP holds a steady, bouncy bpm throughout as Banks blazes through with rapid-fire lyrics that jab at other female pop rappers du jour. Unlike these other of-the-moment starlets, Banks demands the spotlight with minimalist back tracks that focus on her fast and quippy lines. Littered with loads of assonance, consonance and every kind of literary device imaginable, Banks proves that she can not only spit eloquently at a million miles per hour but can also back up her blown-up self-image. And while Banks incorporates metaphor on metaphor galore, she's probably most memorable with she's bluntly bashing.

The previously released "Liquorice" unfortunately closes the EP with what could have been the perfect introduction to Banks: fast rhymes and controversial lyrics all over a pop vibe beat and tongue-in-cheek delivery. With lyrics like "Since you vanilla men spend / can my hot fudge bitches get with your vanilla friends? / Hey, I'm the liquorice bitch, you know I'm looking for these niggas if these niggas is rich," Bank's knows when to be cheeky to balance her forwardness elsewhere. In "Van Vogue," Banks more blatantly proclaims "You been with that / you been-been that, bitch / But they all forget you when I spin this shit" over a punchy back track (yes, that is the bark of a dog.)

Finally, the star of the EP is still "212," Banks' show-stealer from last September. It seems like this track will never really lose it's stamina, if Banks has anything to do with it. Her vocals are slightly more abrasive on this track and the lyrics are as vulgar as Banks can get. With a refrain of "I'mma ruin you, cunt," Banks really isn't kidding when it comes to blowing away the competition.

In anticipation for Banks' mixtape Fantasea, set for release on Independence Day, the 1991 EP only ups my confidence in her ability to steal the spotlight by sheer force, not that I'm complaining.

Listen to '1991' in full here.

What did you think?
 49  9  2  7
robyn
Music

At the end of next month, Robyn and Röyksopp will release a collaborative EP called…

READ MORE
Lily Allen Sheezus
Music

After much teasing and controversy, here is Lily Allen’s “Sheezus,” the brazen, perfectly-named title track…

READ MORE
BOOTS
Music

Beyoncé owes a lot of what made her surprise album special to Boots, and now she’s returned the favor.

READ MORE
Lykke Li I Never Learn
Music

Lykke Li has recruited A$AP Rocky for a new, bass-heavy version of her I Never…

READ MORE
Syd Arthur
Videos

Canterbury psychedelic rockers Syd Arthur have just returned to the UK after a brief working…

READ MORE
ZHU Nightday EP
Music

Do you want, nay, need to be slapped in the face with pop hooks straight…

READ MORE
white-lung
Music

In a perfect marriage of song and publication, Rookie premiered White Lung’s new single single…

READ MORE
Owen Pallett
Videos

If you’re anything like us, you loved Owen Pallett’s stunt has a poptimistic music theorist…

READ MORE
Kelis Food
Reviews

Kelis’ sixth and finest LP is not the gastronomic concept album suggested by its title. Food is instead a feast of sweaty funk grooves and impeccable soul melodies, consistently satisfying and often fabulous.

READ MORE