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"Serious Hip Hop."

Azealia Banks - 1991 (R.I. Review)

Overview
Azealia Banks is a charismatic female emcee from Harlem, New York whose success seemed almost instantaneous. 1991 is not an album but merely a four song E.P. It's not a showcase of lyricism or exciting punchlines but merely a lively tempo'd example of contemporary hip hop. Azealia isn't a reserved artist content-wise but this E.P. is not about seduction or explicit sensuality. Every song has a subtle amount of intimidation and the structure is not meant to allure but merely to express. Stylistically, 1991 is slightly reminiscent of Missy Eliot's work (If she were to find more experimental producers).
Defining Track
Naturally, the most prominent release off of this E.P. is the song 1991 which features one of the most abstract instrumentals that has ever been constructed in hip hop...period. Azealia's lyricism is arguably equally as off beat; Several unfinished thoughts, pseudo-sung ambient vocal overlays, and no definitive song structure compositionally. Why is this song called 1991? IT'S WHEN SHE WAS BORN! Get it? If you don't you never will. If you do, you're probably a fan of hers.
Final Thoughts
Azealia Banks has proven herself however, she hasn't done so through music entirely. She resonates with a generation desperate for something new and innovative but is carried by connections and charisma far beyond actual talent. That's not necessarily a problem it is just a warning for anyone who listens to this expecting to be blown away by musical prowess instead of personality.

Rap Independent
Azealia Banks - 1991
6/10

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