Visually Azealia Banks owns the vogue and vintage look and feel in her videos. It’d be easy to mistake her for a high fashion model opposed to the Harlem bred speedy tongued rapper she is. Directed by Justin Mitchell “1991” brings, well, 1991 back in style. A black pants suit has rarely looked as glamorous as it does against a white backdrop or in a blue room studio or behind a raindrop covered glass. Her aggressive lyrics directly contrast with the smooth house electronic instrumentation, which is what makes the song sound heavenly.
Banks tweeted that she was channeling Madonna, Crystal Waters and Aaliyah in her final video for her 1991 EP. With the 90s era choreography we’d add a pinch of Janet Jackson. “1991” like other Banks’ videos are minimal, but beautiful. Watching her eccentric personality while listening to her rhyme reminds us why we’re rooting for her. She, now more than ever, is needed in hip-hop. Not just because she’s a woman. And not solely for the fact that she brings a uniqueness in sound and style to a game that at times can be hegemonic. Hip-hop needs Azealia Banks because she has the combination of raw talent, authenticity and being fearless in her own quirkiness.
Very necessary mini GIF wall below!