Circuit 2012: Azealia Banks’ “1991”

So, spinning retrospective… the year is 2012, lesson of the season: by George, the Mayans had it all kinds of right — and said solar cycle projected a sonic renaissance of apocalyptic proportions. Let’s revisit the space, and sample a serve, for gold time’s sake …

So, the year is 2012 … Yes, even amidst Super-PAC pocketed media, cultural amnesiatic cynics turning blind eyes and muffled ears to tidal sea change, deluges of false formations and knowledge starvation, within and without the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged — and oh, Sandy; even in the maelstrom an all-encompassing that, there was music — glorious music: because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever conceived in the spirit of said aural expression … at the end of the day, there will always remain record relics, gazes in the lives, slices of sonic composition echoing frequencies of that contemporaneous pop polity… in this particular instance, a harmonic hint of what those Mayans might have played had they lived to see said day…

So, spinning retrospective … the year is 2012, the circuit rotates Gotham flow over house beats as Yung Rapunxel throws down pure flair, paving the pulse for a record album runway show …


Azealia Banks’ debut EP establishes in its entirety what every great pop album captures with its immediate introduction: four successive tracks reupholstering rhythmic groundwork akin to horsemen of the apocalypse — square up. Azealia hearkened to a more beautifully bold time… a more vamped and vogued era, a most-smooth New Jack swelter, retrofitted with interlined bespoke synth and submerged in burgundy sugar bass. Brazen hooks spring from the mouth of Manhattan’s house-hop underground monarch; Kombucha punchlines break through robust beats, beneath “1991” and “212” monikers, ushering some voodoo kind of mathemagical chemistry to the mainstream frequency, while “Liquorice” and “Van Vogue” titular nomination support pure onyx evocative tempo architecture. Banks’ sonic bacchanalia returned New York to life, in a most revealing display of 20/20 hindsight. This cultivated synthesis of electronic music, subterranean subculture, and signature borough flow was the very phonic fondue crowning Azealia N.Y.’s most fly-chosen.

1991 my time has come
Oh nah nah Ma
Your time is done
Primadonna Mama, like a virgin
Private jets, my flights, no fly Virgin
I sell you, you buy, that’s my version
Mommy tie these rhymes it’s my verses
Oh me, oh my
Illuminati princess
Pyramid, one eye, on my assets
Here it is, off top, peep my progress

Just, us. The title track doses aural layers so rich you can taste it on your ear drums, can feel it on your tongue — and that necessary core of considered craft and deft creation, was the very central void for an otherwise drowned world, a mainstream swimming in dime-a-dozen pseudo-beauties and busted beats. 1991 is to 2012 what 1999 was to them — then: the year before sea change, the year before Clinton Era pre-9/11 opulence and splendid optimism; Banks comes from a place of post-9/11 fearmongering, but it hurts so good, and rides so cavalier …

Cloud number nine, headed to the stars
Baby I ride with my mic in my bra
Baby I recite in the raw the appetite for life and the hunger for the more
The island of Manhattan
I was Born in New York, city never slumbers
I would always dream it never sleep to the hundreds
Coco with the cream in abundance
Million dollar baby you can get it if you want it, what

Needless to say — the 808 had rarely enjoyed such heartbreak; said space was made for watching. #eyeaye


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OP: 12.30.2012

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