Azealia Banks Fantasea

Azealia Banks Fantasea
Azealia Banks' rapid ascension continues unabated with the release of her latest mixtape, Fantasea, released mere months after the release of her 1991 EP. Her rise is completely justified, as few MCs have sounded as hungry as the Harlem native has delivering her often-ribald rhymes in recent months. Banks fearlessly tackles any beat that comes her way, which is even more impressive given the eclectic nature of the tracks. It's rare that a genuinely skilled MC with such a commanding, precise and rapid-fire flow commits to such a wide spectrum of progressive electronic music. Ever since she turned heads with the "212" single, Banks has hinted at boundless versatility. Fantasea is further confirmation that she's not going to be going away anytime soon. The more leftfield the beat, the fiercer Banks flows. Hudson Mohawke's jaw-dropping beat for "Jumanji" finds Banks in hyper-alliterative form over synthetic steel drums, while the frenzied flow applied to the exhilarating, helium-voiced title track is gloriously untethered. While the thematic looseness works in this instance – it's a mixtape, after all – if she marries some narrative nuance to her raw talent by the time her official Broke With Expensive Taste debut arrives, the outcome could be scarily good. (Interscope)