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Azealia Banks - "Fuck Up the Fun"
Angel Haze - "New York"
But while Killer Mike couldn't help but remind you of Public Enemy (he's even getting mad about an 80s president!) and Kendrick Lamar presented himself as rightful heir to Compton's rap-culture Mecca, the freshest, most precedent-free stars were local young women. After her 2012-conquering "212", this was expected to be Azealia Banks' year to conquer. And while the rolling delay of her debut record Broke With Expensive Taste currently has it scheduled for February '13, she released a lot of work this year. An EP, a mixtape, singles, and videos kept her at a level hummingbird hover just outside the mainstream spotlight. "Fuck Up the Fun", produced by Diplo, is the best of the pile—a street carnival blast of self-amused hilarity, in which she manages to convince you that she actually is better, quicker, and more fun than everybody else. Angel Haze's "New York" is less of party, more of a threat. Haze moved to Brooklyn this year, introduced herself to the new neighbors by informing them that was in charge now. The song's click-beat, sick in both senses of the word, gives her an air of menace that's wildly improbable for a young lady who's gotta be like, 5'3".