Few artists have accumulated as much buzz in 2012 as Azealia Banks, and with so little material to show for it. With the 19-track new mixtape Fantasea the up-and-coming rapper doubles her output, and after a series of delays (it was originally set to come out July 4th, and then it was delayed yesterday afternoon, and then again last night), it is finally available.
For those still unfamiliar with the rapper and singer, you can check out John Ortved’s profile over at the New York Times. Banks arrives amid a wave of young female rappers working in the space Nicki Minaj carved out (Banks and Minaj even attended the same high school, La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan). But she emerged as the most prominent among them with her single “212,” which became a critical smash and an unexpected hit in Europe.
As for Fantasea, Banks has explained that it began as a place for odds and ends that didn’t fit into her EP, but has since evolved into something you could call her first album. Early peeks suggested that it would continue in the same vein as some of her previous hits, emphasizing her dance-influenced brand of globe-trotting hip-hop, as well as her ability to slip ably between rapping and singing, but most of the mixtape has remained unheard.
Anyway, I’ll get out of the way so that you (and I) can get listening: Download it here.