It’s probably no accident that Azealia Banks’ new “Atlantis” video makes under the sea look like like an intensely spacy place. On the New York-repping rapper’s recent Fantasea mixtape, the track ends, as our reviewer Greg Tate suggests, with an uncredited sample from Afro-Futurist godhead Sun Ra. Directed by French artist Fafi, the clip takes Banks’ aquatic imagery in a similarly future-shocked direction, with enough Tron-like grids, digitally perfect dolphins, and busily swirling backdrops to make a splash into hyperdrive.
The video’s wildness makes for a welcome palate-cleanser after Banks’ more conventional model-style sultriness in last week’s “Fierce” clip. And the galloping, squelchy instrumental by New York producer O/W/W/W/L/S, who also did Fantasea‘s triumphal hater kiss-off “Us,” only adds to the sense of tomorrow as envisioned through rave-era lenses. At one point Banks refers to herself as “Jupiter queen” — sure, the video’s techie-Roman-style columns might suggest a comparison to the Ancient Deity Formerly Known as Zeus, but it’s more fun to think Banks is shouting out a home planet only one removed from Sun Ra’s ancestral Saturn.
Don’t forget: The mixtape opens with the Ultramagnetic MCs rapper Kool Keith (via ’90s “electronica” firestarters the Prodigy) promising, “I’ll take your brain to another dimension.” The “Atlantis” video is one small step for Banks, one giant frying for cerebrums everywhere.
Don’t miss SPIN’s September/October cover story, The Making of Azealia Banks