So, I’m about to start an uncharacteristic row between polarized fan bases right now. No, it’s not 1999, so it won’t be Britney vs. Christina (although a rematch is welcomed).
Nicki Minaj has basically bloomed into a hip-pop superstar in the last two or so years with a slew of explosive features and crossover ready hits such as the Till The World Ends cover, better known as Starships(and most of everything onRoman Reloaded). However, lurking in the proverbial darkness on a street corner in Harlem, sprouting through concrete and life in the inner city, is a deadly, venomous, spitfire of a snap dragon – Ms. Azealia Banks…coincidentally named after a flower herself….
Banks has been on my radar for the better part of a year, having stumbled across her razor tongued single 212 and earlier experiments with hip-hop, such as L8ron YouTube, but it wasn’t until her release of the EP 1991(a nod to her birth year) that I was fully convinced that Minaj would have to do a lot more than morph into a black version of Britney Spears to keep her crown as hip-hop’s feisty crown princess.
Van Vogue,released as single numero tres from the EP is an equally infectious, bubbling, maniacal blend of house and hip-hop, interspersed with barks from a dog, a pitter-patter hand clap and squeals. Her flow is clear, rapid fire, yes, but clear, you can easily understand what she’s saying…maybe that’s the point, no smoke, no mirrors, no tongue twisters, just a straight forward, direct to the jugular message that she is NOT the one to be played with.
Toss in the sleek, sizzling video released tonight, with Banks channeling her inner Aquababe (see what I did there?) dousing herself in water or simply writhing Rihanna style in it, with plenty of weave whipping and high-fashioned posing…we may very well be witnessing the blossoming of another femme fatale of modern hip-hop, another sub-cultural torch bearer, this one pulling on the more nostalgic vibrancy of NYC’s early 90s house/dance scene and mixing it with something else very Big Apple in origin, hip-hop.
*Lennology is a opinionated music blogger who resides in Barbados.
View his site here: lennology