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Album review: Amanda Blank - 'I Love You'
Filthy Philly rapstress ropes in famous mates, but falls short of rap superstardom
With Lil’ Kim last seen on Dancing With The Stars, rap retiree Roxanne Shante turning psychologist and Foxy Brown making more court than chart appearances, old-school female rap had long been croaking out for a new class when it finally checked in last year. Hoping to join the new queen bees, club-tunes maestro Kid Sister and Ed Banger baby Uffie, is Amanda Blank.
You might not remember her previous work, which includes the line, “I got you riding my jock… I keep it dirty, not like Fergie/Ain’t the Black Eyed Peas” on Spank Rock’s ‘Bump’, and appearing in Bangers And Cash’s "‘Loose’ video, in which she squats on a toilet, lobbing obscenities at naked girls. After several years of similar gross-out guest spots and rolling on and offstage with her Philadelphia homies Santigold, Diplo and Spank Rock, Blank has finally released a full-length.
Or rather half-length, for ‘I Love You’ is deep-filled with input from her glitzy affiliates. ‘A Love Song’ nabs Santigold’s ‘I’m A Lady’ chorus and creamily mashes it with a cheesed-down version of LL Cool J’s ’80s ballad, ‘I Need Love’. Romeo Void’s minor hit ‘Never Say Never’ also gets a dusting off in single ‘Might Like You Better’, now writhing with Trina-type porno lyrics about flashing and horny cats. Plumping this and ‘Something Bigger, Something Better’ up is Diplo, XXXChange (Spank Rock) and Switch’s three-pronged production. It’s all undeniably fun, but the sounds and influences of both dust-biting and still-current hip-hop legends are visibly busting out of Blank’s swag-bag. She is, however, the first to admit this in ‘Lemme Get Some’: “I’m Beyoncé, independent woman, handle that”.
Though she redeems herself slightly for flicking this coin into the honesty box, Blank’s best moments come when she twinkles alone. Aided by the cooling echoes of Lykke Li, she finally drops the sexed-up lines, in-your-face rapping and heavy breathing in ‘Leaving You Behind’ and we catch a glimpse of the raw deal. It’s a beautiful sight and, although we don’t love her just yet, if she stays in this undraped state we might really quite lust her.
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