As she played the last song of her set, Azealia Banks asserted that this tune was why everyone was there. With a sold-out show when virtually no-one would've known her name this time last year, it's been quite a fast trajectory for the young performer from Harlem, New York.
212 is the track that has created all the attention and with explicit language, a catchy chorus, a brilliant breakdown and one of the quirkiest music videos (yes, the one with the Disney Mickey Mouse jumper and filthy lyrics) she has certainly caused quite a stir. Featuring Lazy Jay, 212 has had almost 33 million hits on YouTube.
Accompanied by only a DJ and two pretty wicked dancers, the albeit short set (the norm for the ABC, really) was an introduction to her wider work. In a flashing neon bra and denim shorts, Banks entered the stage, all limbs and waist-length flowing hair, her second time playing the city. The 21-year-old told the audience that this was day No 2 of her Fantasea 2012 tour and later she entered with the word emblazoned on her chest, accompanied by patriotic stars'n'stripes hotpants.
It's all about the beats, really, and the pounding rhythms made her dirty rap and witch hip hop come alive as she screamed: "Who's drunk? Who's high?" Vocally, she's super-strong which betrays her somewhat mainstream youth theatre training and her time at LaGuardia performing arts high school. Tracks like Van Vogue and Esta Noche suggest she's no one-trick pony either so it will be interesting to see where the 212 juggernaut takes her – and what she does next.