Following a memorable night in which Jay-Z swapped The Throne's rightful home in the decadent corners of Paris to a field in East London, day two of the Hackney Weekend had a lot to live up to. As Jessie J woah-ohs her way through the same set she has been peddling for eighteen months now, talking more than singing, we begin to worry. Still, at least she stays on the same note for each syllable when she's chatting.
Far, far better is Azealia Banks, who passes all expectations in the 1Xtra Arena. Banks has a very specific kind of fame, mainly online and predominantly based on one song - the very radio unfriendly '212', leading to some trepidation as to whether she can convert a drifting daytime festival audience and convince them that there is more to her than a series of fevered blog posts and Twitter spats. Alas, any worries are soon blown away by a performance that suggests Banks is a real contender, amping up the crowd with a series of of club bangers and her fierce rapid fire flow. 'Liquorice' and 'Jumanji' both impress but '212' is a huge moment, leading thousands of people to leap up and down guessing about just what might be getting eaten.
Similar in stature to Azealia Banks, but with roughly 100% less bravado, is Lana Del Rey. Again you get the feeling that those in attendance are seeing her to see what all the fuss is about and, unfortunately, a breezy Summer's afternoon is not the atmosphere for 'Born To Die's rich melodrama. Playing without a drummer leads the piano-led 'Blue Jeans' and 'Video Games' to become nothing more than hotel lobby music. It's a hotel we'd happily check into, just not today.
Over on the main stage, meanwhile, both Florence + The Machine and Tinie Tempah suffer sets filled with over familiar material, like someone left random highlights of BBC3's festival coverage between 2009-2011 on loop.
The penultimate main stage slot was a mystery, quite literally, with nobody knowing who was due to take to the stage before headliner Rihanna. Speculation had everyone from Katy Perry to Coldplay about to grace the massive main stage so it was perhaps a slight let down when Zane Lowe introduced Dizzee Rascal to the audience. Bounding out in an England shirt, Dizzee's set is a crowd-pleasing collection of hits and uncomfortable reminder of just how good he once was. 'Dance Wiv Me' is again the bridge between a typically huge 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' and the latter day garbage of 'Holiday'. New song 'Bass Line Junkie' is another step away from the surrounding area he originally sountracked and now sounds like a stranger from.
Headliner Rihanna has a collection of hit singles so well loved that she barely has to try and win an audience around. Watching her nonchalantly stroll around the stage, singing when she fancies and occasionally dancing with her band, you get the feeling that she knows this all too well. However, there is a certain charm to a star who is not desperate to be loved and, in many ways, looks like she'd rather be at home watching this play out on the TV. Away from the chart smashes ('Only Girl', 'We Found Love') it is 'Man Down' and the swagger packed 'Cockiness' which impress the most, showing Rihanna's versatility and some very suggestive dance moves.
Jay-Z returns to the stage later in the set, performing a three song mini-mix of his and Rihanna's collaborations; suggesting that, should Kanye West fancy a break, Rihanna could quite easily take her rightful place on The Throne. Based on tonight's evidence there is no doubt that she is the Queen of pop right now.
Below: the 25 biggest and best stars at Hackney Weekend 2012
Day by day review of this weekend's Sussex seaside festival - wish you were here?