Now, I am not a fan of neither Iggy Azalea nor Azealia Banks, so I’ll address that first to not seem bias. But what I am a fan of is people using their platforms to speak on issues that society excuses.
The ongoing feud between Iggy and Banks—I’ll be using those names because the similarity between Azalea and Azealia is annoying—has pretty much taken over Banks career, and not in a good way. Since her popular release of “21” about three years ago, the outspoken Harlem native’s career is synonymous to the name “Iggy” and that is unfortunate.
If you are against cultural appropriation and have to squint to see talent in Iggy, you would probably agree with Banks’ comments towards the Australian rapper. It is almost like every time Banks is in the press, it is for something Iggy related. Iggy’s this. Iggy’s that. T.I. this. T.I. that. (Iggy is signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records). I do think she’s spending unnecessary time talking about her.
But do I just assume Banks is jealous and fearful of her career and intimated by someone dominating the rap charts? Or do I simply listen and understand point(s) she is trying to make? I’m all for understanding.
I agree with Banks.
Not because I want someone to hate on. Not because I’m down for my black people. Not because I want to scream cultural appropriation. And not because I’m covetous of Iggy’s lifestyle, but because her entire image and brand is contrived.
Does Iggy make music I like to HEAR? The first song I heard of hers was “Backseat” and I came across it on Tumblr years ago. But after attending a predominantly white university and the local radio station serves that majority, I honestly had to start riding in silence because it was getting ridiculous hearing “Fancy”, “Black Widow”, “Beg For It”, or “No Mediocre” at least five times on my way to Chipotle. Those are just a few songs that station played back-to-back-to-back. So yes, my favorite song of hers is “Backseat” and I listen to her sparingly.
Iggy Azalea is at the top of the pyramid—the food pyramid. You know, the servings you have to “use sparingly.”
In Banks’ latest rant over the “new queen of hip-hop” she vented about how Banks is smudging hip-hop culture and she for one has had enough. The interview is around 50 minutes (but is about half of the interview), not read a few excerpts to find out why she is so adamant that Iggy is doing more harm than good to hip-hop music. I can tell Banks knows her stuff and is passionate about what she says because she broke down during the interview. She believes and most importantly feels what she is saying. You know when tears are fake and hers were real.
I don’t listen to Iggy’s music trying to hear something wrong, it’s obvious in the first few seconds. I only got through maybe 20 seconds of “Work” and I was already smh at just four seconds when she says, “walk a mile in these Louboutins,” in an accent that I still cannot pinpoint what region it is from.
What bothers me the most about this feud between them is black people administering “white privilege”: People who equate Banks (black) to being jealous and having an attitude. And please don’t try to say white privilege doesn’t exist when there are thousands of scholarly academic journals addressing the phenomenon. But the worst one is: Being a bully. Bullying? Are we really going to ignore her claim against Iggy as folly and foster Banks as a bully? Do I really believe Iggy is going around telling people she’s being bullied by a “bitch”? Because if bully is defined as, “a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker,” then I need to see where Banks used her power when Iggy was weak.
People don’t dislike Iggy or non-Black performers just because of their race. And even if that were true, Blacks are not hired, stereotyped, murdered, beaten, jailed, suspicious, and rejected because of their race. So if someone said they didn’t like Iggy because she’s a white rapper, it may seem a little ignorant/prejudice but soft compared to growing up black.
I was never a fan of Iggy’s before Banks started publicly shaming her. I don’t need another rapper to confirm that her music is shallow. Keywords—“her music.”
Plus, people are so quick to throw in Eminem and Robin Thicke to justify as to why Banks is “mad” without providing any depth. Should I compare Vanilla Ice to Eminem just because they’re both white and accuse them of cultural appropriation or admit that one is lyrically talented? Eminem’s longevity in this industry is not because he knows how to rhyme words. Robin Thicke’s popularity is not supported by his use auto tune. Basically let’s not act as if they cannot sing nor rap.
Every time someone attacks Iggy, T.I. puts on his white cap and flies to her rescue like she isn’t a grown woman.
How come it’s okay to put Beyonce and Rihanna against each other, Biggie and Tupac against each other, Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim against each other, but when it’s Iggy Azelea and Azealia Banks against each other, there’s these racial undertones and someone is being “bullied.”
Why can’t this young black woman just be socially aware and that be that? Banks can supposedly use her frustrations toward Iggy to advance her career but Iggy’s “around the way girl” character is not? Or how come when J. Cole (a man) says it, it’s okay. Get outta’ here!
Rihanna is signed to Jay-Z’s label and is attacked by numerous people for her drug use, drinking alcohol, romantic life, and nude photos, but as soon as Banks says something about Iggy, here comes T.I.
I may not be a big Banks fan, but I know she has music out. Just how Iggy can be Google’d so can Banks and her music on iTunes and videos on Youtube as well. She books performances. I don’t care for Iggy because I’m just that Afro-centric because not all black rappers need to be rapping. The number of rappers talking about money, cars, clothes, partying, shooting people, bitches & hoes, sex, strippers, and their “lifestyle”, outweigh the few that actually give you substance. I bet if Iggy did a song with Young Thug it would “break the Internet.” Oh and if you still don’t know what he’s saying in “Lifestyle” I ran cross the lyrics on Google Play, which you could trust.
You don’t find Banks interesting? Please tell. You find Iggy interesting? Please tell. Banks issue comes from how our society prefers different versions. People always want different and some people prefer the white version. If Banks and Iggy both grew up rough around the edges, what makes one more interesting than the other if they’re both on the came career path? Does Iggy have a faster WPM or she’s more versed in HTML? Or because she’s white and Australian (foreign). Similar to the big fuss made over Sam Smith, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Jessie J an One Direction.
Take a look at this tweet from @BougieBlackGurl showing how the media loves a victim.
Check out some of Azealia Banks’ music from her latest EP “Broke With Expensive Taste.” Disagree with Banks? Disagree with me? You concur? Let your voice be seen, heard and exist below.