Thus far in her career, Azealia Banks has shown herself to be somewhat like Nicki Minaj: they both eschew the endemic sensitivity that tends to accompany female music artists, and embrace a playful toughness.

Azealia Banks

“NEEDSUMLUV (SXLND)”
Universal

Yet, unlike Minaj, there is a side to Banks that delves into a more emotional realm. On “NEEDSUMLUV,” she strikes a balance between delivering powerful melodic hooks and being sentimental.

The raunchy collaboration features a fast-talking style that smoothes around Machinehead’s bopping interjections, exhibiting a precious autonomy that seems rare amid the Auto-Tuned voices frequently heard in hip hop today.

Often, there is no harmonic interaction between singer and background music. Banks’s voice gives us that satisfaction: It shapes itself in accordance with Machinehead’s ephemeral bumps and washes, moving like silk in its harmonic adaptability.

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