The flaming rapper in star sign and rhymes (Ms. Banks is a fellow fire sign Aries – official hottie!) is back to stoke the flames with her features, (musically and aesthetically) with her debut album ‘The Coldest Winter Ever.’ The flex and finesse, South London rapper has seen a steady rise in her career so far and is the artist most people ponder – Why hasn’t she blown worldwide yet? The versatile rapper first came to my attention with her EPIC feature on the track, ‘Been the man’ from Tinie Tempah’s well received 2015 mixtape, ‘Junk food.’; but has been writing bars since the age of 11. A year later she dropped the sassy EP ‘The next chapter’ which featured Girls anthem ‘On fleek’; with its stylistic video only serving to cement the notion, Ms. Banks had set up a long-term ISA plan in the UK rap game and she was not about to declare bankruptcy and disappear into the waste ground of obscurity any time soon and was ready to expand her sound.
And expand her sound she did with her debut album ‘The coldest Winter ever’, I’m sure if Kanye gets wind of this album from Ms. Banks fan Nicki Minaj, he would change the title to ‘The coldest winter…OF ALL TIME’ in true Kanye style! The 12 track album opens with an ‘ill-fated fable’ sounding instrumental which plays like a forlorn lullaby, reaching its crescendo with sprawling pianos as Ms. Banks flow gains traction and certainty, until she is spitting with triumphant confidence. ‘R.I.P’, featuring Loski – Is an all-out trap track with Ms. Banks laboured flow sounding like a hooded assassin lurking in shadowy settings. Other tracks on the trap tip are ’Bangs’ and ‘Know u Know’; these tracks are in keeping with current trends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 21 savage or Migos holla at Ms. Banks in the near future to hop on a track with them.
Ms. Banks shows her versatility, when she sings sweetly on the bittersweet R&B ballad ‘Over (Your shit)’ and opens up about a guy she gave her time to and she’s now had enough of his games asking him “How many bitches do you need?” listening to this I couldn’t help but think it’s possible that Nicki Minaj sees her own skills reflected in Ms. Banks as she also sings as well as she raps and is competent in both. We get to hear Ms. Banks sing again on the sassy ‘Mula’ crooning “These nig*as wanna get it, but they ain’t ever earned it baby…” the track has a cool laid back confidence and rapper Dutch plays devils’ advocate to Ms. Banks proclamations. ‘Made it’ plays like a follow-up to ‘Over (your shit)’ with Ms. Banks questioning “why are you always lying…and thinking with your d!ck?”, echoing the sentiments all of us girls have had to contend with at one time or another. It’s when she’s open regarding her uncertainties and frankness when expressing her vulnerable side regarding messy relationships, she is at her most relatable and I welcome her display of emotion.
For me Ms. Banks absolutely smashes the track and threatens to freeze your hot bubble bath into your very own ice rink in seconds, on the hard as f*ck BANGERS ‘Clap’, where Ms. Banks instructs to us to “Make it clap, throw it back, make that money, make it stack’ over a distorted and pensive beat, overlaid with a rapid hihat. This is closely followed by my – ‘I am legend, I am fleeky, I am a boss bish’ personal hype tune ‘Come Thru.’ The lead track from the album has it all, the baddest lyrics, the coldest bars and the biggest rude gyal beat it. ‘Come thru’ is a perfectly executed track in production, flow and delivery that it has to qualify as top 5 bangers of 2018. ‘Come Thru’ is a celebration of what it is to be a confident woman with lyrics; “Big body gyal when we come thru, hair lookin laid when we come thru, face on fleek when we come thru, nails on fleek when we come thru” as if it couldn’t get any better it does! Ms. Banks spins Notorious B.I.G’s lyrics from the track ‘Big Poppa’ and interprets them in a fresh new way. ‘Chat 2 mi gyal’ is a shout out to Jamaican culture with its frantic ragga influences. ‘Day Ones’ is what I like to call a BBQ summer sizzler, with Ms. Banks paying homage to her African heritage on the sun drenched afro beats infused ‘Day ones.’ The happy go lucky track works well on an album filled with icy bars and blizzard beats.
The album ends with the takeover instrumental every MC and rapper jumped on in January 2018, ‘Pen Game 2.’ Ms. Banks has succeeded in crafting an album which covers every popular urban genre, trap, R&B, rap, afro beat, drill, ragga – it’s all there on this cohesive album with no fillers, which is why I’m banking on her to blow internationally this year. It’s long overdue.
*LISTEN* to ‘The Coldest Winter Ever’ below:
*WATCH* the video for Ms. Banks newly released single ‘Clap’ below: