June 1, 2012

Deen understands the doctrines of Bubba Sparxx: be honest and admit that none of us will ever date a model.

It’s a corny to admit, but music really does serve as a soundtrack to our dreary lives of quiet mediocrity  — or if you’re T. Boone Pickens, music just serves as an avenue for you to issue to dopest ether ever. Little Brother’s The Minstrel Show and Kanye’s Late Registration remind me of my long ass drive from Wisconsin to California and the subsequent struggle life I slogged through in that beautiful ass state. I still don’t know if living a struggle-filled life is better in nicer weather or not. I’ll probably have to go with “not” given my proclivity for hating people who have better lives than mine. Whatever the answer to that query is, the fact remains that if you listen to enough music, it’ll eventually serve as a bit of a index for your memories. Don Draper, I am not.

I say that to say this: even though none of us knew who Azealia Banks was back in 2006, her 1991 EP reminds of the five or six times that one time I ended up at a gay club in Portland, Oregon (please believe, I have a plausible and acceptable explanation for that shit –  it involves a snowbunny, her good credit and her gay roomie). Then again, it also kinda reminds of that time I got lost while looking for a bar in the Montrose District here in Houston. Yes, Montrose is the gay part of town. That’s all I want to say about that. I’m guessing all these repressed memories are being triggered because this shit sounds like an orgy involving the Jungle Brothers’ “I’ll House You,” En Vogue at their bougiest (don’t nut on their weaves), some bored African child soldiers and C&C Music Factory – in a glitter factory. In the best way possible.

Pause everything.

When Ms. Banks isn’t picking silly fights with everyone, she’s actually capable of making some pretty dope and fun music. Her nimble flow is employed in the most vulgar, rude and scattershot manners imaginable with random references to silly bitches, New York (“the 212”), cunts, guns, sex, fashion, drugs, alcohol and whatever the fuck else she deems worthy of shit-talking. She even works in a homage of sorts to Ghostface’s “Clyde Smith Skit.” It’s the most frivolously hilarious shit I’ve heard in a minute and that includes 2Chainz verses. Frankly, it’s all very exciting and a little scary at the same damn time. I had a really good boner/sex joke here, but I already said all that shit about gay clubs, so I gotta chill. Azealia Banks is ruining my life.

Ms. Banks offers little in terms of traditional pop/radio style hooks, but Ms. Banks has a decent enough singing voice and the transitions between her sweet-sounding choruses and her snarly rhyming aren’t as jarring as one would anticipate. Besides, who needs big ass radio hooks with beats this happy (well, hooks always help if you’re running that race)? Maybe we’d still be listening to the Jungle Brothers if they’d stuck with that house shit and gotten some help on the hooks. Oh well.

Oh and I think I just remembered the one non-gay memory this project reminds me of: an ex. She was an utter bitch, but she was fun for a while and had big uns. I miss dem shits for a long minute. I suspect I’ll be saying similar stuff about this EP in a little while. That’s largely a good thing…

Stream:

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