Well, this is certainly a collaboration that was “written in the stars.” It seemed only a matter of time until the omnipresent Diplo took an interest in the compelling, young rapper Azealia Banks. Although the specific details of this collab are unknown for the time being, it makes sense that Diplo would be the one to seek out Azealia.You have to admit, the guy’s got a real knack for picking out up-and-coming hip-hop/pop stars. Nevertheless, “up-and-coming” feels like an understatement when referring to Banks’ catapult launch to blogosphere ubiquity. With big support from “indie mecca” Pitchfork and a plethora of other blogs, Banks has become 2012’s hot topic.
I think part of the reason that she has been able to garner so much attention is because of her music’s foundation in two presently burgeoning genres: hip-hop and electronica. Yeah, she’s cute and she has a ridiculously good flow but what I find really exciting about Azealia is her uncanny ability to re-purpose left-field electronica tracks. Her 3 most popular songs feature production from Lazy J, Lone, and Machinedrum. These artists (specifically Lone and Machinedrum) inhabit a unique branch of electronic music that you would never expect to hear anyone rapping over. Nevertheless, they sound perfectly at home next to Azealia’s spastic rhymes. Azealia Banks’ music bridges the divide between pop, hip-hop, and electronica. For someone unfamiliar with the more esoteric forms of electronica, Banks’ music will come as a testament to the remarkable diversity and potential of electronic music.
All this being said, “Fuck up the Fun” is not quite what I was hoping for from this collaboration. Azealia’s rapping is as sharp as ever but it’s Diplo’s production that I find disappointing. I don’t know if it’s just me but the whole marching-band drum rhythms just did not vibe with me. Diplo’s usual hard-hitting, in-your-face production seems to be lacking here. I feel like he could have tried something a bit more offhand and spontaneous to accentuate Azealia’s lightning fast flow better. She kills it regardless. My only problem with this track is that it sounds a bit rushed on Diplo’s part, it certainly had potential to be something more. Maybe it’s just that Azealia sounds best with more eccentric, left-field stylings that defy the conventions of a hip-hop beat. Her charm lies in her unpredictability.
Azealia Banks’ debut album entitled “Broke with Expensive Taste” is set to drop in September of this year