Tuesday 20 December 2011

Azealia Banks - 212

On December 5th the BBC announced the nominees for the BBC Sound of 2012, with the final shortlisted five being announced in early January. The Gizzle will be reviewing each of the fifteen longlisted nominees leading up to the final announcement.

She topped the NME Cool List this year and is now a SO2012 nominee following her debut single 212.

Why?  Because she's a walking contradiction.

Take a look at the video.  In it she dances the conga wearing a Mickey Mouse jumper and smiles at the camera like butter wouldn't melt, all over a stonking house beat.  It shows her playful side - that is until you listen to the lyrics she raps.  Sure, they're mostly incomprehensible but they're jam packed with swear words (the 'chorus' line simply repeats "I'mma ruin you c*nt").  The lyrics are typically hip-hop, stamping her authority across the music industry with an "I don't give a f*ck" attitude, her cutesy image belying her ferocity.  It's a winning juxtaposition.

It's fast becoming a pre-requisite for female artists to both rap and sing - Nicki Minaj taking the lead, followed by X-Factor wannabe stars Cher Lloyd and Misha B.  But this Harlem girl proves she can do both, with this bombastic, heart-on-sleeve debut in addition to a cover of Interpol's Slow Hands

So her image is sorted - even if her music doesn't keep up that's half the battle won, right?