Critical Analysis? It's child's play.. 4 April 2012

Question: What’s the best way to get a frank and insightful response to whatever your work of art may be?

Answer: Ask a 5 year old. 

Whoever had the idea of getting a bunch of young kids to review potty-mouthed raptress Azelia Banks’ single 212 (the radio edit, I hasten to add), should be given a medal.

I know that getting kids to be cute about stuff is not a new concept, but there’s something about the marriage of curly-haired, face-painted kids sporting headphones playing Hip Hop into their ‘shell-likes’ that is truly inspired.

So let’s start with the music (it’s not for everyone, but she’s definitely onto something). WARNING, THIS MUSIC CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND OFFENSIVE. Listen here.

Sorry about the expletives, it’s her thang.

And now onto the critique: watch here.

See what I mean? There are moments when it feels like Salvador Dali is being channelled, so surreal and yet meaningful are some of the choice remarks.

There is the grown-up/condescending teacher remark ‘try harder and you’ll be even better, practice makes perfect’.

Which is followed by some accurate observations on rap and rappers, concise and to the point.

One child says the tune ‘Makes me feel like I’m watching a scary film’ – how does he even know what that feels like?

Another says ‘the music makes me feel angry’ – whether this is because he doesn’t like it or because that’s the vibe he gets from it is not clear, but I’ve read anger expressed in reviews a lot less effectively.

The cutest kid has the most cutting remark, my personal favourite ‘It makes me want to sit down’. This is dance music and he’s got his own kind of protest thing going on.

They have also drawn pictures of what they think Azelia Banks looks like – why is this not happening on The Voice?

None of the pictures reflects one boy’s opinion ‘I think she sounds like a monster’ however...

OK back to my favourite kid: he thinks ‘A lion would like this music because he eats meat’. Wow, that’s deep, actually.

On top of all the critical faculties on display, they can dance too, they’ve got some moves, specially the blonde girl, but before we get too distracted by their choreography we are reminded of their age by one boy’s own little rap:

‘212
Do a pooh’

Yes! It rhymes and is therefore rap eligible. Genius! Hell, it could even be a real lyric from the song.

Things are rounded off with a reminder that these kids are all individuals with individual opinions at the end of the day.

One girl, with the face of a cheetah, comes out with ‘I likes Jazz’, another ‘Black Sabbath’ whilst the closing gambit comes from a little boy who would ‘rather be listening to Tiny Tempah.'

No-one tells it like it is better than a child.


Clair Chamberlain


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