Review: Azealia Banks Live in Brixton
We went to see the '212' rapper perform some new material...
Azealia Banks performed a high energy London show at a lively O2 Academy in Brixton last night. At one point, the 23-year-old rapper from Harlem, New York even used a megaphone to get her message across to her fans! It didn’t take long to notice the choice of pre-show warm up tracks like Kanye West’s ‘Blood On The Leaves’ and The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ were proving to be a good indication of the intensity that was to come from Harlem rapper’s set.
The electronic set, filled with ground shaking bass from start to finish, had the crowd throwing their hands in the air all night long. Tracks like ‘BBD’, ‘Yung Rapunxel’ and of course hit single ‘212’ made sure all those in attendance had a wild Friday night.
Azealia was met by huge cheers as she burst onto stage. Cannon’s erupted glittered confetti into the air, making for an explosive entrance. Within seconds, half of those at the Brixton show were shaking their hips in time with the beat, trying their best to imitate the sexy and seductive dance routines led by Azealia and the two backup dancers, one male, one female, either side of her.
The rapper managed to convince the whole crowd to chant “Bad B***hes Do It” in unison for ‘BBD’. ‘Yung Rapunxel’, a track which started with the entire venue chanting ‘I wanna be free’, led to a special moment, with Azealia rapping the hook of this single into a megaphone. The powerful image of Azealia ‘braaap’-ing into a megaphone on stage, reminiscent of a protest march, clearly showed just how important being free is to her, especially after recently leaving her label Polydor because she allegedly didn’t want them telling her what to do.
Azealia previewed some new tracks last night after introducing them with a short speech. Since parting ways with her label, it came as no surprise to hear her explain that the executives did not approve of the long awaited upcoming album ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ because the tracks were not radio friendly enough. The crowd obviously didn’t seem to mind as they partied along, showing positive reactions to the new cuts.
Shortly after came the track most fans were waiting for, ‘212’. The intro for the hit single was recognisable by all inside the venue. The song’s massive drop was met with more paper cannons and huge celebration. Banks left the stage, but returned to complete the show with a two track encore, much to the delight of the young crowd.
Words: Josh Chowa
Edit: Maz Khan