Considering the amount of shit that she talks, it’s incredibly fitting that the artwork for Azealia Banks’ new single “Yung Rapunxel” depicts the rapstress with three screaming mouths attached to her head. The 21-year-old is the 2013 version of Spencer Pratt: a professional famewhore of the highest-order who will sink to the lowest of lows for publicity, and then happily revel in the chaos of their own destruction. And just like Pratt, there’s a bit of a self-knowing, sly wink to Banks’ bad behavior — without it, her trouble-making would be unbearable.
It also helps that Banks’ music is some of the best coming out of the pop and hip-hop world right now. Her stuff is on another level, and “Yung Rapunxel” is no exception.
Banks officially bills the new track as “witch hop”: A term she coined with last year’s Fantasea mixtape as hip-hop’s answer to the trendy witch house genre championed by Pitchfork. Whether or not she created it in earnest or as a tongue-in-cheek jab at the hipster blogosphere is unclear, but whatever the reason, “Yung Rapunxel” certainly contains enough witchiness to pass for a ravey Suspiria remix.
Against a backdrop of demented club beats and scary sound effects, Banks’ alternates between almost indecipherable raps and distorted shrieks. Like Salem and Crystal Castles, it often sounds more like a coven casting a spell over techno tunes than simply just ‘dance music.’ It isn’t too freaky though, and at times even resembles the bouncy swagger of Banks’ breakout hit, “212.”
In true form, even when surrounded by the sheer bedlam of “Yung Rapunxel”‘s production, Banks doesn’t lose her bratty sense of humor. At one point, she slows the track down for a few seconds of satirical self-reflection: “So tired of all this drama,” she sighs, right before threatening to rip the head off a “n*gga.”
It’s bait for the haters, but what would an Azealia Banks single be without a little shirt-stirring?