One of the more buzzed about acts at the Coachella Music Festival, Azealia Banks arrived on stage with the cock-sure swagger and attitude of a young Iggy Pop, but it was her tight flow and machine-gun rhythm that had the crowd hanging on her every curse word. The audience was gripped by her stage presence and danced along to the beats of DJ Cosmo. Together, they raced through a tight set with Azealia pausing only to show genuine appreciation for her much deserved cheers and to allow two up-and-coming dancers to strut their stuff.
Predictably the set closed with “212,”which she kicked off with an a cappella version of its soulful interlude, before sliding effortlessly in to the rap. The audience sang along to her deliciously crass lyrics and straight through to when Miss Banks declared herself the “Firestarter.” For a group whose mean age was in the kindergarten range when the Prodigy released that track, they surprisingly seemed to know every word. For me, this set was one of the highlights of weekend two and I eagerly await her debut LP, due for release later this year.
– By Martin McLaughlin