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Hip-hop With an Edge: Azealia Banks’, 1991

Posted by Brittany Barth on 09/09 at 09:24 PM

If you’ve been searching for an up-and-coming-artist or just looking to broaden your music library, there may be no better place to start than with Harlem based rapper Azealia Banks.

When I say up-and-coming I mean it. “Miss Banks” as she sometimes calls herself, has flown under the radar here in America despite the fact that she was born and raised in New York. Her single “212” (another gem which I discovered through the wonderful world of Spotify) has only topped the music charts in Europe. This may be due to the fact that Banks does not practice mainstream hip-hop, or anything close to the hip-hop you’re used to hearing.

Once you take a listen to her EP, you’ll understand just how unique the rapper is.

With a voice like Lil’ Kim’s, an intensity that could match Nicki Minaj’s own, and pristine production (the kind that can be found on any Missy Elliot album) you’ve got the makings of an EP that is sure to please.

Banks’ EP, 1991, which was released this year, includes four tracks, with my favorite (and soon to be yours) entitled “212.” It’s a song that’s guaranteed to be on repeat both on your iPod and in your head. From the fast paced vocals, to the infectious beat, you’ll wonder how this song didn’t make it to the Billboard Top 100 upon its release. The entire EP, though, will leave you wishing there was more. Banks brings an experimental and sexy element to the world of hip-hop. She provides her listeners with something that hasn’t yet been brought to the table by any other artist. It’s something fresh, something unique, something utterly cool.

If you’re down for some gritty lyrics, if the “Parental Advisory” warning on her EP makes you feel extra cool, and if you’re looking for a beat you can’t snap yourself out of, download 1991 straight from iTunes. You’ll soon be wondering where “Miss Banks” has been all your life.

You can also find 1991 on

Also read more here:

{name} Author: Brittany Barth
Bio: My name is Brittany Barth, an English major currently in my senior year at Penn State. I am a lover of food, John Mayer, all things nautical and cats. It has always been a dream of mine to be the lead singer of a (successful) band. After graduation, my goal is to become a Young Adult fiction novelist, but I would love to be an advice columnist prior to that. I am excited about graduation and what the future holds for me!


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