This is the lead single by American rapper Azealia Banks, from her mixtape Fantasea. "Real bitch all day, uptown Broadway," she spits in tribute to her New York roots. The single was released online on May 11, 2012.
Hudson Mohawke and Nick Hook's production commences with a harp before featuring some steel drums. Hudson Mohawke (real name Ross Birchard) is an electronic music producer/DJ from Glasgow, Scotland. He is a purveyor of the hip-hop/electronic offshoot that is sometimes known as aqua-crunk or wonky. Nick Hook began his DJ/producer career back in the early days of the UK house music revolution and has produced well over 100 tracks for many of the best house music labels.
The song shares its title with a 1981 children's book written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg, which was made into a 1995 fantasy film starring Robin Williams. The book is about a supernatural board game that makes jungle animals materialize upon each player's move. The song's tropical sound reflects the novel's jungle setting but its lyrical references to "reefer and cabanas" and "bougie bitches" certainly do not!
This isn't the first time "Jumanji" was used in another context: Craig Kilborn said it as a catchphrase on SportsCenter when he hosted the ESPN show in the '90s.
According to Robin Williams, "Jumanji" is a Zulu word meaning "many effects," referring to the computer-generated animals in the film, which were pretty impressive in the pre-Pixar era.