Of the many new rap acts, I consider Azealia Banks uniquely talented. Here’s why:
Her understanding of rhythm.
In “212,” Banks doesn’t just rap over the beat, but in it, engaging in a dialogue with the music, asserting different vocal tempos and timing according to its shifts and dips. The recent “Fuck Up the Fun” has her again showcasing her rhythmical savviness.
Her understanding of rhyme and sound.
“Grand Scam” proves her unrivaled inventiveness with rhyme. In “Liquorice,” such lines as “Your fantasy could get that pitch black/‘Cause it’s gon’ ‘rupt when ya slip in betwixt that black snatch./Ya like blizzack-ker cat, ema-nem-manating where ya mizzat-mustache at?/Huh, I bet ya been extra gassed, bet ya really wanna touch up on the molasses ass,” further affirm this.
Spitting lines like “He wanna tickle my fancy,/And just go downtown like Delancey” and “Together we’re more dimes than two bucks,/These niggas be up in the hood like Ku Klux”; and making such snotty and aggressive affirmations as “You know what ya bitch become with her weave in,” and “Don’t fuck with ya bitch when there’s rum in the punch,” Banks displays the most most admired skill in hip-hop today: she can crack jokes.
I know these are skills many rappers show in some degree, but I consider Banks superior in these areas. She treats rapping as it should be treated—as linguistic gymnastics where the lyrics interact with and engage the beat.