Published Mar 29, 2016Though her perky, chocolate nipples on the uncensored album cover might be what attracted you to her new mixtape, it's the chest-thumping beats and rapid-fire rhymes that will keep you listening to Azealia Banks' Slay-Z all the way to the end.
Remaining relatively dormant in music since 2014's Broke With Expensive Taste, the 24-year-old Harlemite has finally returned to grace fans with an eight-track mixtape that plays like the perfect soundtrack to a drunken girl's night out.
Slay-Z features party anthems suitable for any era, with fist-pumping sing-alongs like "Riot" (featuring Queens duo Nina Sky); "Big Talk" (featuring Rick Ross) and "Used to Being Alone," whose chesty vocals and hypnotizing bass line will leave you aching to dust off your favourite dance albums from the '90s.
Though she bares all on the mixtape's cover, Banks' lyrical content is only skin deep. But while Slay-Z's dull subject matter doesn't give much to hold on to, Banks' brash delivery more than makes up for her lack of depth or variety.
The true gems on the project are "Along the Coast," a silky, boozy ballad produced by Montreal's Kaytranada, and "The Big Big Beat," an infectious house track where Banks manoeuvres effortlessly over warm production by An Expresso. The Notorious B.I.G. sample alone is worth a million plays.
Although Slay-Z's flat lyrics might be a little uninspiring for the sober listener, its vigorous beats and dizzying pace are perfect for settings that require more moving and less thinking. There's a time and a place for every sound and Banks definitely knows her niche. (Independent)