It’s the most wonderful time of the year: A time when the promise of next year’s music still shines bright like a diamond, free of the crippling reality of weak lead singles, terrible cover art and devastating chart positions.
(Remember how excited we all were for The Spirit Indestructible this time last year? Eesh.)
There’s plenty of major albums coming our way in 2013 by both up-and-comers and veterans alike, so as I do yearly, I’ve put together a guide to some of the most titillating releases just on the horizon. This is the first installment–watch for the next round-up tomorrow.
I’ll be anticipating…
The clip for Azealia Banks‘ 1991 EP smash “Liquorice” has just arrived, guns blazing.
Shot by fashion legend Rankin and styled by Gaga‘s stylist/Thierry Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti, the video follows Azealia through the wild, wild west (and about a half dozen high fashion quick-changes) as she prepares for a showdown with…well, herself! (Kind of really meta!)
I’m getting ridiculous amounts of life from that flowing black number in the middle of the forest, her metallic horned hottie look, and of course, the bad girl cowgirl styling. Frankly, I haven’t seen a woman work chaps that well since Legendtina slathered Crisco all over herself, tied shoelaces into her hair and jumped into a boxing ring for “Dirrty.” Oh, and when she’s wielding that bat above the stairs? I’m bowing down.
My favorite moment? Too many, but it’s got to be her hot dog massacre while sitting in the doorstep. Just when you think she’s going in for the kill to fulfill a phallic fantasy…OUCH! Not so much.
This right here’s how you serve bad bitch, rapstress and gunslinger goddess realness all in one go. Slayed it, Azealia. SUH-LAYED. IT.
And while we’re at it: Have you entered to win a signed copy of 1991 EP yet? Do it now.
The 1991 EP was released on May 29. (iTunes)
Bang, pop, pop, this thing go POW.
Okay, quit with the van vogueing and pay attention for a hot second: You still twerking and werking to Azealia Banks‘ ferocious debut, 1991 EP? Thought so. (In case you missed it, check out the MuuMuse review.)
Two weeks after releasing her EP digitally, the spit-fire Harlem-bred rapstress’ major label debut is officially hitting the shelves. And so, to celebrate 1991‘s physical release this week…
MuuMuse is giving away TWO SIGNED COPIES of the 1991 EP.
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post with the following phrase:
I GUESS THAT KUNT GETTIN’ EATEN.
Two winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on Wednesday, June 20.
Now go on: Enter the contest and go make hits, motherfucker…never do it for free, ha!
The 1991 EP was released on May 29. (iTunes)
It’s safe to say that 20-year-old Harlem rising rapper Azealia Banks is no longer “One to Watch.” By now, everyone’s already watching.
Back in late 2011, the LaGuardia High School alum (the superstar factory that’s brought us Nicki Minaj and Wynter Gordon, among others) released her unbelievably ferocious burst of energy, “212.” Rapping over a sample of Lazy Jay‘s “Float My Boat,” Banks’ infectious hooks and feisty, filthy-mouthed (yet somehow endearing?) rhymes are an instant win: “I’m fucking with you, Cutie Q/What’s your dick like homie, what are you into?” she spits above the frantic electro pulse. And then there’s that line: “I guess that cunt getting eaten!” Oh, and that other line: “I’mma ruin you, cunt!” (Or “kunt,” as she spells it on Twitter–that is, when she’s not giggling about Pokemon, warring with T.I. and Lil Kim or Instagramming insanely gorgeous shots snapped by fashion legend Rankin.)
The song exploded within just a few weeks and, along with the release of the co-penned Scissor Sisters‘ “Shady Love” (on which she appears) and a thoroughly incredible Coachella set, Banks suddenly found herself atop several “Most Anticipated” lists, including a spot on the BBC’s much coveted Sound of 2012 list.
Having now signed to Interscope/Polydor, Banks brings us the long awaited 1991 EP–a 4-track taste test released in advance of Banks’ upcoming mixtape due out in July, Fantastic. And though the title is a nod to the year Banks was born, it’s also a reference to the kinds of beats banging throughout.
“Liquorice” for example, which was also released in late 2011, sees Banks time-traveling back to Inner City territory, rapping above the same kinds of early ’90′s House beats that were bumping inside the clubs the year she was born. (Actually, it’s built around Lone‘s 2010 “Pineapple Crush.”) “I make hits, motherfucker/Do you jiggle ya dick when ya bitch pop singing on the liquorice hit?” she taunts on the brash, in-your-face temptation.
“1991″ and “Van Vogue”–the two new cuts from the EP, which were produced by Machinedrum–similarly bounce along early ’90′s House melodies and ballroom-ready, strut-friendly grooves. “Came in the game with a beat and a belt/Never for the fame, my feet on the ground,” Banks raps on the EP’s title track.
With a background in Drama, it’s no surprise that–like Nicki Minaj–she’s prone to showing off her versatility, shifting between wild yelps, too cool for school spittin’, and even some R&B crooning. “NY rose me, Most High chose me,” Banks dreamily sings above the minor keys of the EP’s title track. (As it turns out, she’s got a pretty good singing voice.)
But her music lacks the squeaky pop sheen of Minaj, bouncing along extended beats and key changes that offer her more room to spit than a basic verse-chorus, verse-chorus build. Her eyebrow-raising lyrics, too, are bound to inspire a comparison or two: Boastful, aggressively sexual and always frank, Banks’ cocky flow (with so, so, so many references to her vagina!) recalls Lil Kim, as well as shades of Missy Elliot and Eve. But between the ever-shifting House rhythms and her varied style of rapping, Banks brings a unique style that’s less easily categorized, a la M.I.A. or Santigold.
1991 is refreshingly innovative, full of danceable beats, slick hooks and a mile-a-minute flow. It’s all the reason why Banks has been pegged as a hotly-tipped artist for months now–and why that hype’s more than deserved.
Whether or not she’ll prove herself with her upcoming debut in Fall, Broke with Expensive Taste (which will feature production by several pop titans, including Paul Epworth and Diplo)? That’s the real challenge. I look forward to watching her win.
1991 EP was released on May 29. (iTunes)
I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE.
OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD: It’s the collaboration we’ve all been waiting for! Wait–Britney and Madonna did a new song together?! No! Janet and Britney then, surely?! Still no. HEIDI MONTAG AND PARIS HILTON? No. But close. No, actually not close at all. But still, a very good thing!
It’s been talked up for weeks now, and it’s finally arrived: My ever-enchanting Queen Lana Del Rey has joined forces with fellow fashion darling/”212″ rapstress Azealia Banks for the newly debuted Smims & Belle remix of Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans.”
“Tell me what bad boys do/I’m a bad girl, if you want a bad one too/My American dream in jeans so blue,” the rising Harlem-bred MC spits on her verse of the hectic, electro-fied remix.
It’s, you know…it’s good! Really good, actually! It’s hot! Not amazing. Not a mind-blowing collaboration. But it’s better than Beyonce and Shakira‘s “Beautiful Liar,” right Katy Perry? That’ll do, Lana Del Banks. That’ll do.