Slay-Z [Mixtape]

Album Review of Slay-Z [Mixtape] by Azealia Banks.

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Slay-Z [Mixtape]

Azealia Banks

Release Date: Mar 24, 2016
Record label: Self-released
Genre(s): Pop, Rap

72 Music-Critic Score
How the Music Critic Score works

Slay-Z [Mixtape] - Very Good, Based on 6 Critics

New Musical Express (NME) - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Then comes the skittering ‘Can’t Do It Like Me’, a brag track Banks says was originally intended for Rihanna, and a trio of club bangers that remind us Banks can sing as well as rap. As she belts out ‘Used To Being Alone’, a sleek repurposing of Tony Igy’s dance instrumental ‘Astronomia’, she seems to draw from her pre-rap years studying musical theatre at New York’s LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. ‘The Big Big Beat’ is even better, a hip house track with a bassline that recalls Alex Party’s 90s hit ‘Don’t Give Me Your Life’, while the gleefully cheesy EDM of ‘Queen Of Clubs’ sees Banks channel J-Lo as she raps: “So tell the f**kin’ DJ to play my favourite song!” Banks’ bolshy attitude dominates here – “I like unrest, understand?/I like conflict and command,” she raps on ‘Riot’ – but the hints of vulnerability are more intriguing.

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HipHopDX - 74
Based on rating 3.7/5
74

If it is ever discovered that Azealia Banks once brandished a fake ID with her middle name being listed as ShockValue, it would pretty much be a non-story. Take her latest freebie, Slay-Z, for instance. It serves as the spunky Harlemite’s first full project since she announced her music rights were 4080’d for a hot second and arrives with several outliers that don’t have anything to do with the actual tunes.

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Pitchfork - 74
Based on rating 7.4/10
74

By now, the world understands that Azealia Banks is not perfect. She's offered us plenty of evidence on that score. But she remains uniquely human, and that messy humanity — raw and real and sometimes wrong — is on display as much in her statements to the media and on her Twitter page as in her music. Audiences heard bits and pieces of this on her initial singles and EPs like 1991, but it moved to the forefront on Broke with Expensive Taste, her sharp, poignant and infectious debut album.

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RapReviews.com - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

Azealia Banks :: Slay-Z{self-released}Author: Patrick TaylorAzealia Banks is a prime example of how sometimes we are our own worst enemy and how unchecked anger can be incredibly self-destructive. By any measure Banks is a talented artist. She can sing, she can rap, and she makes makes great music. Unfortunately when she's not making music she is busy on Twitter firing shots at everyone.

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Exclaim - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

Though 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.

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The New York Times
Their review was generally favourable

Brazenness is the brand for Azealia Banks, whose work as a nimble, genre-slippery New York rapper can sometimes fall subordinate to her gift as a button-pushing provocateur. She appears topless in the cover image for “Slay-Z,” her new mixtape, looking shrewdly bemused. Her outrageous self-possession plays out more vibrantly on some of these tracks, like “Big Talk,” which puts her up against the rapper Rick Ross, and “Riot,” which has a klaxon-like hook handled by Nina Sky.

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