Azealia Banks - Coachella - 4/21/12

Categories: Coachella 2012

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Meranda Carter
See also: Our Complete Coachella Coverage

By Rebecca Haithcoat

One assumes that thousands of people shouting, "I guess that cunt getting eaten" in unison has never happened at Coachella before. Yet you could hear just that yesterday during Azealia Banks' set; it was afternoon, and most of us weren't even drunk yet.

Last September, the Harlem rapper broke out with the video to her song "212." And it was with good reason: in cutoff jean shorts, a Mickey Mouse sweater and braided pigtails, the 20-year-old is the picture of innocence -- until she caps her first verse with the above chant. In the following months, she's pushed boundaries and found a fan in Kanye West.

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Meranda Carter
She casually mentioned she's bisexual before talking about her longtime boyfriend. She insinuated Iggy Azalea is racist and in the next breath labeled herself "pro-black girl." She called out Nicki Minaj for capitalizing on her looks although she herself did a photo shoot with Terry Richardson.

We didn't know what to expect from her set yesterday, but we had high hopes; she strode onstage in an outfit from the year she was born, 1991: shiny pleather shortalls with one strap undone a la Kriss Kross, a neon orange mesh top revealing electrical tape pasties and black combat boots. Maybe it was the outfit, her long, crimped red wig, or just her crotch-grabbing, but she had us thinking about Lil' Kim.

Of course, like most '90s babies-turned-rappers, Banks incorporates more than just hip-hop into her persona. She didn't have a hype man, but she did have two dancers vogueing -- an inspired touch, considering the dance originated in Harlem's house music community, and her sound owes much to the genre.


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Rhymes & Reasons
Rhymes & Reasons

If you like hip-hop, you might like my blog, Rhymes and Reasons. It’s a series of interviews with hip-hop heads who discuss their lives and a few songs that matter to them. Pretty powerful stuff. Check’em out here:

http://thisisrhymesandreasons....

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