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File212 Azealia Banks Lazy Jay cover art
Song by Azealia Banks
from the album 1991
Released December 6, 2011
Recorded 2011
Genre Rap, Electro, Hip-hop
Length 3:26
Producer Lazy Jay

"212" is the debut single by the American rapper Azealia Banks. The song samples the track "Float My Boat" by Lazy Jay, who is credited on the track. The song was first released on December 6, 2011 in the United Kingdom as the lead single from her 2012 EP 1991. The track will also be included on her debut album Broke with Expensive Taste. A cancelled "212" digital EP was scheduled for release on March 25, 2012. In September 2011, the song was chosen as the Record of the Week by Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1. The song appeared at number 9 in Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Tracks of 2011 above Kanye West, Drake and Adele. British national newspaper The Guardian placed it at number 2 on their The Best Songs of 2011 list. The song is named after the area code 212 which covers the area of Harlem, New York where Banks grew up.

Reception Edit

The song received highly positive reviews and acclaim, critics complimented Banks' versatile rapping style as well as her song writing ability. The Guardian gave the song a highly positive review and placed it at number 2 on their The Best Songs of 2011 list. In a review, Michael Cragg praised the song calling it "a startling three and a half minutes of attitude" as well as "incredible." Carrie Battan of Pitchfork Media complimented her "unpredictable vocal range" and wrote, "She clicks between characters and styles casually, effortlessly. No seams. A jaw-slackening demo reel." NME dubbed the song #18 on their 50 Best Tracks Of 2011, calling it "mischievous, quick-witted and full of filthy cunnilanguage: it’s made Azealia Banks, the coolest girl on the planet, and it delivered on 2011’s forward-thinking promise." NPR Music gave the song a positive review and listed it as one of their 100 Favorite Songs Of 2011, calling the song "the raunchiest shut-down of 2011." Pitchfork gave the song its Best New Music accolade and ranked it number 9 on their Top 100 Tracks of 2011 list, writing:

So she's an internet novelty? Hardly. "212" works because its popcraft and its shock tactics are each other's Trojan horses-- concentrate on one and the other sneaks up on you. One reason "ruin you, cunt" feels like such a payoff is that Banks spends an entire verse of quick, unshowy rapping setting up its run of vowels. Banks uses the peaks, breakdowns, and drop-outs of Lazy Jay's bouncy "Float My Boat" to give her Minaj-style vocal-shifts some context: from sassy and chatty during the build ups to cartoon rage as the synths rear up around her at the song's end. If it were judged only on its visceral thrill, "212" would still be one of 2011's best, an unashamed banger in a mostly mid-tempo year. But the more you dig into the song, the more you can hear details and decisions that suggest a scary degree of pop talent.

Music video Edit

A music video to accompany the release of "212" was first released onto YouTube on September 12, 2011 at a total length of three minutes and twenty-six seconds. Directed by Vincent Tsang, It features the rapper-singer dancing in front of a brick wall and close-ups of her rapping into the camera. The video also features Canadian electronic artist and beat-makers Lunice and Jacques Greene. It has also received positive acclaim and over 50,000,000 views on YouTube.

Gallery Edit



[Verse 1]
Hey I can be the answer
I’m ready to dance when the vamp up
And when I hit that dip, get your camera
You could see I been that bitch since the Pamper
And that I am that young sis, the beacon
The bitch who wants to compete and
I could freak a 'fit, that pump with the peep and
You know what your bitch become when her weave in
I just wanna sip that punch with your peeps and
Sit in that lunch if you're treating
Kick it with your bitch who come from Parisian
She know where I get mine from, and the season
Now she wanna lick my plum in the evening
And fit that ton-tongue d-deep in
I guess that cunt getting eaten
I guess that cunt getting eaten
I guess that cunt getting eaten
I guess that cunt getting eaten

[Verse 2]
I was in the 212
On the uptown A, nigga you know what’s up or don’t you
Word to who made you
I’m a rude bitch, nigga, what are you made up of
I’m-a eat your food up, boo
I could bust your eight, I’m-a do one too, fuck ya gon' do
I want you to make bucks, I’m a look-right nigga, bet you do want to fuck
Fuck him like you do want to cum
You're gay to get discovered in my two-one-deuce
Cock-a-licking in the water by the blue bayou
Caught the warm goo in your doo-rag too son
Nigga you’re a Kool-Aid dude
Plus your bitch might lick it, wonder who let you come to one-two
With your doo-doo crew son, fuck are you into, huh
Niggas better oooh-run-run
You could get shot, homie, if you do want to
Put your guns up, tell your crew don’t front
I’m a hoodlum nigga, you know you were too once
Bitch I’m bout to blew up too
I’m the one today, I’m the new shit, boo, young Rapunzel
Who are you bitch, new lunch
I’m-a ruin you, cunt

Ayo, I heard you're riding with the same tall, tall tale
Telling them you made some
Saying you're grinding but you ain't going nowhere
Why you procrastinate girl
You got a lot, but you just waste all yours and
They'll forget your name soon
And won't nobody be to blame but yourself yeah

What you gon' do when I appear
W-when-when I premiere
Bitch, the end of your lives are near
This shit been mine, mine

[Verse 3]
Bitch, I’m in the 212
With the fifth cocked nigga, it's the two-one-zoo
Fuck you gon' do, when your goon sprayed up
Bet his bitch won't get him, betcha you won't do much
See, even if you do want to bust
Your bitch’ll get you cut and touch you crew up too, Pop
You're playing with your butter like your boo won’t chew cock
The gun, too -- where you do eat poon, hon
I’m fucking with you, cutie-q
What’s your dick like homie, what are you into, what’s the run, dude
Where do you wake up
Tell your bitch keep hating, I’m the new one too, huh
See, I remember you when you were
The young new face, but you do like to slumber, don’t you
Now your boo up too, hon
I'm-a ruin you, cunt


Official Account Edit

Cultural impact Edit

The song was played during the controversial Giovanna Plowman "tampon video".

Tracklisting Edit

Digital download

  1. "212" (featuring Lazy Jay)

Charts Edit

Chart (2011/2) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 68
Australian Urban (ARIA) 20
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 17
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia) 34
Ireland (IRMA) 7
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100) 17
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 12
UK R&B (Official Charts Company) 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 12

Year-end charts Edit

Chart (2012) Peak
UK Singles Chart 44

Release history Edit

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom December 6, 2011 Digital download Polydor
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