Azealia Banks: Fantasea

I’ve been exhausted all week so I was out of ideas by Thursday night, where I’m writing this from, if you can’t tell. Pro tip: if you haven’t been sleeping a lot, avoid celebrating the one night you get to bed on time with an hour and a half of sex.

As always, I turned to my friends at Twitter to solve the mess I made of myself.

@Marinaisgo: I’m too tired for this shit. The first person to tell me what tomorrow’s blog should be about wins

@aldoxcab: @Marinaisgo Azealia Banks’ new mixtape.

@Marinaisgo: @aldoxcab you win! Now what the fuck is that?

Then I watched this:

And I was like, ‘I don’t even care if her synch is off, this bitch is fun.’

So I downloaded her mixtape, Fantasea, and listened to it while I washed the dishes. Halfway through the first song, Ben told me that it was disconcerting listening to me breathing heavy as I booty danced in an otherwise silent kitchen. So I went and got my ipod speakers and everybody felt included.

I usually avoid mixtapes because my experience with them is that they’re too rough for my tastes. I like a finished track. Fantasea isn’t polished, but I see some real potential here. I wish that there was more singing like in 212, but this is quality. It seems like we spent quite a few years focusing on beats and disregarding rhyme and flow in popular hip hop. Not that Kanye isn’t great, but I think it’s time for the lyricists to make a come back, and I think that’s a little bit of what I’m hearing when I listen to Azealia Banks.

I can see why she was so popular in England. She has what I’ve come to recognize as a more European style, which is light on original beats and heavy on exposition. To be honest, if British rappers had more exciting lives, I’d probably be a bigger fan of their hip hop than I am. Fortunately, Azealia either has interesting shit to say, or she talks too damn fast for me to tell the difference. She seems to be fighting with someone in every song, and I’m OK with that.

My favorite track by far is ‘Fierce,’ featuring a monologue from an ex drag ball queen I have not been able to identify.

“I used to think I was fierce
’cause I was in all the houses
I won trophies
I used to much trade for dollars too
But see I’m fiercer now
’cause I got a job, I got an education
and I got somebody waiting at home for me God damn it “

If anybody knows where this is from, please tell me. Some cobwebby part of my brain wants to say it’s from Paris is Burning, but there’s no way I would have forgotten that, right?

Anyway, I really like her style, I like her sentiment. I feel we’re being introduced to a generation of females in hip hop who aren’t expecting to be treated any differently than their male counterparts. In another favorite track of mine, Runnin’, she says it quite succinctly: “y’all tryina to sleep with these ni**as/ I’m tryina eat with these ni**as/ I read these ni**as the script/ and get sick of seeing these ni**as.” Not only does she expect to do business on equal footing with her male counterparts, she expects to surpass them by a wide margin. I like this chick and I like her songs.

Comment on my bog if:

  • You know who the fuck that drag ball queen is.
  • You have something to say about the state of hip hop (which I am very optimistic about, by the way.)
  • You want to correct me on any of the bullshit I just spewed. Because I have to confess, I’ve never been a fan of popular hip hop when it was actually popular. I try to listen to the radio and it’s just teenagers rapping about their paint jobs and I die inside a little bit. So my education in this regard is far from complete or even accurate.
  • You have artists to recommend to me. Beats aren’t super important, but I already have all the Immortal Technique albums, so I can do without more terrible casio loops under an otherwise intelligent and well written rhyme.
  • You just wanna talk to me. Because I wanna talk to you. and you, and you and you.

Oh, and download her mixtape for free here, if you’re interested. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be free.

Fuuuck. I’m going to bed now.

8 Replies to “Azealia Banks: Fantasea

  1. Totes is from Paris is burning. I believe that it’s the older queen that you see philosophizing while she gets ready. I tried to find the clip in the video but it’s hopeless.

  2. Thank you so much! This was awesome and I’m glad you liked it. I’d heard of Paris is Burning but haven’t ever seen it. Look like it will now be added to my queue. Not sure if this is here nor there but just a tidbit of info, Azealia Banks is bisexual. I think artists like her, Nicki Minaj, and Frank Ocean are gonna lead hip-hop into much open times in terms of sexuality and whatnot. Plus their beats are great for dancing!

    1. Yeah, one of my other fav lines in fierce is “my only bad habit/ my addiction to winge.” Paris is burning is on netflix instant, I think. I’m going to watch it again this weekend. Anyone who’s ever used the word ‘fierce’ not in reference to a wild animal (gay penguins excludes) needs to see this film.

  3. I can’t stop listening to “fierce” I just downloaded this mixtape the other day and I love it.

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