Thursday, January 17, 2013

Best Albums of 2012: 1991/FANTASEA

Best Albums of 2012

Song: 1991
Artist: Azealia Banks
Album: 1991

While the last few weeks or so have been unfortunate in the Azealia Banks origin story, she still was the second most interesting person to come out in music in 2012, all with one major buzz single ("212,") a killer officially released EP ("1991,") and a mixtape ("FANTASEA") that was one of the best albums put out officially or not during the year.  Here's hoping that this current snafu doesn't hold up what is one of my top five most anticipated records of 2013, her actual "debut" album, which sounds odd given all we got from her in 2012.

Foul-mouthed New York born and raised Banks exploded onto the (internet) scene late 2011 with the corker "212," which became an slow-burn favorite of NYC DJ's.  Various tracks here and there led up to the "1991" EP, her only official release.  Even at just four tracks, "1991" established Banks as THE emerging act to watch, and it seemed she was just getting started.  July saw the leak of mixtape "FANTASEA," which had Banks rapping over a carefully curated batch of underground dance tracks with a heavy nod to 90's house.

The 90's in general remain Banks current touchstone, with her music taking elements from all over that decade, from the aforementioned house to 90's R&B and Hip-hop, all with an eye/ear to the future... and Banks lightening fast flow that's quite unique.  You can take a listen to the title track of "1991" and hear what I'm talking about.  And by-the-way... 1991 refers to the year Banks was born.  Yup.

While "1991" is the only thing available to buy currently, the addition of "FANTASEA" gets Banks to this spot on the Best Album list.  Non-stop scorchin'.  Take a listen to some Banks below, you can hear "FANTASEA" in its entirety here.

Watch any of the videos below.  You'll first love how yes, 90's they are... but also, this girl is a born star.  You can't take your eyes off of her.



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