Azealia Banks Made Club Nokia Party Like 1991
23-year-old Yung Rapunxel Azealia Banks has been causing waves since her start as an independent artist back in 2008. She adopted the moniker, “Miss Bank$” and began releasing her original tracks on various social media outlets, until XL Recordings heard and was able to sign the feisty star. The release of her first EP “1991” back in 2012 helped garner Banks the attention she needed to gain traction in the industry to release her debut album, “Broke With Expensive Taste.” Her inventive and sharp lyrics have both gained her loyal fans and much outside critique. Azealia is nothing if not controversial. An acquired taste for some a welcomed breath of fresh air for others, the silver-tongued star brought her best to Club Nokia April 16.
The crowd poured into the venue awaiting to see their favorite “Ice Princess” of rap take the stage. They did not have to wait long; Banks appeared right on time, opening the show with the first track off her debut record, “Idle Delilah.” Instantly the audience was hooked, singing along, jumping out of their chairs and dancing in time. By the fourth song in the set you could see Banks really starting to enjoy herself, then the first bars of “JFK” began, Banks started singing and a small smile crept onto her face just as she called Theophilus London to the stage to help her finish the track. Banks was just as excited to have him as the crowd was, jumping up and down, her fringed top catching her movement as she danced along Theophilus. The night powered on with high octane renditions of “Ice Princess,” “Yung Rapunxel” and “Jumanji.” The sixteen song set list did not disappoint and left everyone wanting more, including Azealia who returned for a four song encore. Her return to the stage was met by high decibel screams that intensified upon the start of “ATM Jam.” The highlight of the night came with Bank’s final song, her DJ stopped spinning and Banks began singing the first lines of “212” acapella. This action was met by multiple approving yells from the crowd, until Banks decided it was time to end the night with a bang. She stopped singing and immediately began rapping ferociously over the tracks infectious beat, causing the entire venue to start dancing wildly; it was as if she had ignited a fire under their seats. Banks ended the song, picked up a tiara on the stage, placed it on her head, thanked the city of Los Angeles for their support, and walked off stage like a queen.
The night was a non-stop assault on the senses. Azealia’s command of the stage and musical ability was felt by everyone in attendance that evening. The pure energy of the performance was enough to power a city, and as far as we’re concerned, it did.