[coachella recap + video] Azealia Banks delivers in the desert


Twenty five minutes was all she needed. Actually, she sealed the deal within the first few.

New York rapper/pop-murderer AZEALIA BANKS set the Gobi Tent on fire this afternoon at Coachella, blasting through a handful of fresher-than-fuck hits with a carnivorous set that sent the crowd into a vulgar frenzy.

Banks’ performance – her first here in the US -- ended well short of her scheduled time allotment, but no one seemed to care. There was a common daze from people filtering out of the Gobi around 3:15pm this afternoon, and for good reason: Banks concluded her commanding session with not only her breakout hit “212,” but with a closing drop of the Prodigy’s “Firestarter.” To put it mildly, people went fucking batshit. Still new to the stage, Banks seemed to tire a bit during her final number, but again, no one really cared. People were in a trance.

While her upcoming debut EP 1991, out next week, will no doubt offer more proof that Banks is a burgeoning superstar -– today’s renditions of “Barbie Shit” and the Diplo-produced “Fuck Up The Fun” stand tall on their own merit –- there’s still much shelf-life surrounding the Lazy Jay-backed “212.” More than a handful of revelers sported t-shirts with one of the song’s more quotable lines – “I Guess That Kunt Gettin' Eaten” – which are currently being sold at Coachella’s massive merch booth. And it’s pretty enjoyable hearing a few thousand folks shout “I’ma ruin you cunt” over and over. The Nicki Minaj’s of the world just got put on notice.

But who cares about seeing you next Tuesday when Banks’ skill was on full display today. Decked out in a in a black and white vertical stripe two-piece jumper and flowing purple locks, Banks showed surprising range beyond just hip-hop smarts. Midway through her set she unexpectedly offered up a soulful r&b rendition of the Zutons’ “Valerie,” and in under a half-hour’s time raced through fleeting hot flashes of heavy bass, electro-house, and reggaeton. Banks can sing it as well as she can spit it, and that will no doubt help her quickly reach a global audience. She comes off super street, but also super savvy.

“How many of you are already high?” Banks shouted at a diverse crowd jam-packed under a haze of pot smoke, following it up with a not-so-innocent query of “Who’s fucking tonight?!”

After that set, we all feel like we already got laid. Photos below, YouTube of the full set at the bottom. 





All photos by Michael Marotta

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