Azealia Banks | 1991

By DAN WEISS  |  July 10, 2012
4.0 4.0 Stars


The only downside of Azealia Banks's mildly slept-on debut EP is that her wildfire YouTube classic "212" was anything but subtle (recall: "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten"), whereas the remaining 13 minutes of music here require more time to sink in than the average Grizzly Bear fan would assume. So if you're still spinning 1991 and haven't resigned yourself to "I'll just wait for the album" (upcoming full-length Broke with Expensive Taste is expected later this year), kudos for squeezing a richer experience out of what first scanned to most as "212" plus B-sides. Despite what you may have read, neither Banks's speed-rapping nor her house-y beats are particularly en vogue — they're too clean and straight for EDM's big rock-and-roll moment, and nothing here contains anything that would pass for a hook on the Hot 100. Actual singing flits in toward the end of the genuinely 1991-sounding "1991" and "Liquorice," as well as the dangerous "212" itself, and the occasional quotable line zips by, but the 21-year-old rapper is a groove artist. 1991 is all about the bubble-popping lushness of "Van Vogue" and the hall-of-mirrors shimmer of "Liquorice." It's also about the summer, and showing more of Banks than just her breakout hit.

Related: The Big Hurt: Billboard Top Hip-Hop and R and B songs, Ivory and ebony, Rapper Sam Adams now on tap, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, hip-hop,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE MEN | NEW MOON  |  March 06, 2013
    They're just a band, they insist; they didn't realize that a name as authoritative as the Men makes a band look, well, definitive and self-important.
  •   TORRES | TORRES  |  February 26, 2013
    Twenty-two-year-old Mackenzie Scott's homemade music floats somewhere between the cathedral jangle of 10,000 Maniacs and the buzzy churn of EMA.
  •   RE-ENDTRODUCING DJ SHADOW  |  December 07, 2012
    After a long phone conversation, the last thing I asked Josh Davis, was, if at age 40, he still had something to prove.
    Well, now it's official: the title of every record Nicki Minaj ever makes will include the title of every other record she's ever made.
  •   TITUS ANDRONICUS | LOCAL BUSINESS  |  October 18, 2012
    That intersection of punk and prog isn't new, but the prog/punk back-to-basics album is. Enter Titus Andronicus.

 See all articles by: DAN WEISS