Azealia Banks is a precocious fusion of rapid-fire rhyme spitting, mermaid hair, and club-ready fashion and her sets are often influenced if not mirrored by the ’90s rave sound.

Despite being signed to Interscope, working with Adele‘s producer Paul Epworth, and being named on NME‘s “Cool List” in 2011, there is something distinctive about Banks. It might be her ready smile, her Yung Rapunzel moniker, or her unfiltered usage of swear words and slang in her lyrics.

Banks took the Coachella stage this weekend with red hair, leather overalls with one strap undone, a red fishnet shirt (black taped nipples included), and combat boots. After an introduction by DJ Cosmo from Montreal, she took the role as music mediator. Flanked by two dancers that looked like they could have been on the set of In Living Color, Banks even said the female dancer dressed in a leather flame vest was the “new JLo.”

Even though Banks spits at a pace that rivals Busta Rhymes, it’s hard to understand her lyrics. Throughout her performance she grinded and grabbed her lady parts and rapped to songs like “Barbie Sh*t,” “Runnin’,” “Bambi,” “L8R,” “Liquorice,” and her hit song “212.”

In the middle of the set her dancers did an entertaining dance interlude while Banks sang a soulful snippet of The Zuton’s “Valerie.” Banks ended her set on the Coachella stage with a cover of Prodigy’s 1996 hit “Firestarter.”

– Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles


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