All Articles Tagged "azealia banks"

Azealia Banks Talks The Smudging Of Black Culture In Poignant Hot 97 Interview

December 19th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Azealia Banks Talks The Smudging Of Black Culture

Source: YouTube

We’ve been very vocal about our frustrations with Azealia Banks. The attacks she lodges at people often distract from her very real talent and the actual message. Some of her tweets can seem like pointless, mean spirited attacks.

But her recent interview with Hot 97 painted a clearer picture of who Azealia Banks is as a person and why she’s so passionate and even confrontational with her opinions about other, mostly White, artists on Twitter.

Homegirl has some very deep, very fundamentally true thoughts about Black culture, American history, the media and more.

Here’s the thing with Iggy Azalea. I feel, just in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like Black issues, or Black politics, or Black music or whatever there’s always this under current of a ‘Fuck you.’ Like ‘Fuck y’all niggas. Y’all don’t really own shit. Y’all don’t have shit.’ That Macklemore album wasn’t better than the Drake record. That Iggy Azalea shit is not better than any fucking Black girl that’s rapping today. And when they give those awards out–cuz the Grammys are supposed to be like accolades for artistic excellency. Iggy Azalea is not excellent. And the message I see when I see these Grammys being given out…I have a problem when you’re trying to say that it’s Hip Hop and you’re trying to put it up against Black culture.  

Even Nicki Minaj over the past 2,3,4 years has done so much to kind of create this social presence and this hold –like this social consciousness so she’s like “Re Up” and “Roman Reloaded” and here you got fucking Iggy like “Reclassified.” Like you’re trying to smudge out…it’s like a cultural smudging is what I see. And when they give these Grammys out all it says to White kids is ‘You’re great, you’re amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to.’ And it says to Black kids, ‘You don’t have shit, you don’t own shit, not even the shit you created for yourself.’ And it makes me upset in that way. 

So put her in the pop category. Put her with Katy Perry. Put her and Miley Cyrus is the same box together. Don’t put her in Hip Hop. Just because she’s not singing does not mean it’s rap music. 

And then Ebro says something about this happening all of the time, don’t we know the drill?

Now everybody knows that the basis of modern capitalism is slave labor. Really, the selling and trading of these slaves. There are huge corporations that are still caking off that slave money and shit like that. So until y’all muthafuckas are ready to talk about what y’all owe me. Whether the number is 7 trillion, 8 trillion or 9 trillion. At the very fucking least, you owe me the right my identity and to not exploit that shit. That’s all we’re holding on to, like Hip Hop and rap.

And Bill Cosby…that’s too timely. You have like Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin and y’all fucking talking about Bill Cosby. What the fuck? Y’all putting that on tv for the kids to see, for the youth to see. We really have to talk about this. 

Then Ebro says, part of the reason you get in trouble is because you feel. And they disregard your feelings and you get dismissed as crazy.

And then she spoke about why she came for TI when he jumped in her beef with Iggy Azalea.

Protesters Stage Die-In At Iggy Azalea’s Concert At USC; Azalea Responds

December 5th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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 Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Last night, quite a few protests took place around the country well into the early morning to protest the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for fatally choking Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York in July. Such protests followed the ones that took place last week for Mike Brown, which shut down highways, bridges, shopping malls and more. Last night, a group of protesters actually took to the streets to make their voices heard at an Iggy Azalea concert. They say that the protest was not really about her though, but about the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

According to KTLA, protesters planned to do a massive die-in at Bovard Auditorium on USC’s campus on Thursday night, where the concert was taking place. About 200 people reportedly signed up to take part. The Facebook invitation reads like this:

“Are you frustrated with the biased and inaccurate portrayal of people of color in the media? Are you tired of feeling like the plight of our people is not taken seriously? Are you angry that police are constantly getting away with murder and profiting off the loss of black lives?

There may be cameras on them but that has not stopped them from innocently walking away from their crimes. The cameras should be on US so WE can have our voices heard. Iggy Azalea will performing in Bovard at 8pm. Like her or not, she has garnered attention and fame for appropriating Black culture. This is our opportunity to take her platform and help bring attention to much more important issues.”

In the end, though 193 said they went, KTLA claimed video showed that only a few dozen people showed up. In the end though, those who organized the protest at the concert were happy with the message they were able to send to the many students and fans who showed up for Azalea’s show:

“THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED AND/OR PARTICIPATED IN THIS EVENT!! Because of you, we got a strong message to a lot of people and I believe it will spark positive change!! You are so appreciated.”

Azealea has been accused of appropriating black culture for some time now, but things got ugly this week after the Eric Garner decision. Rapper Azealia Banks heavily criticized her on Twitter, as well as other artists who appropriate black culture but don’t use their platform to say something when injustices happen to black people (Banks herself was livid about the grand jury’s decision). Banks had a lot to say, but some of her main statements included:

“it’s funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?”

“If you’re down to ride with us b***h you gotta RIDE ALL THE WAY.” She would go on to say, “Don’t just be down to ride Black D**k…If you with us you WITH US.”

“Igloo Australia” ended up trending on Twitter, while Iggy Azalea responded by saying, “we’ve all read the script 49584068408540 billion times now, find a new game plan.” But she would later go on to encourage those criticizing her, as well as fans, to protest. She also shared a link to some “ACTUAL PRODUCTIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP.” As she put it, “Theres more to sparking a change than trolling on social media. World issues shouldn’t be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles.”

But when “change” came to her concert in the hopes of shutting it down, Banks felt some type of way about it. One fan pointed out one protester who said “I didn’t even plan this sh*t. I didn’t know she existed until today. I just want to shut sh*t down…#BringTheProtestToThePeople.” When Iggy’s fan criticized that person, she jumped in:

Iggy

 

So what do you think of the choice of protesters to demonstrate at Azalea’s show? And what are your thoughts on the new wave of appropriation criticism she’s been getting lately?

 

Why Azealia Banks Is Exactly What Hip-Hop Needs Right Now, But Probably Doesn’t Want

November 13th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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WENN

WENN

When I first heard about Azealia Banks, I just did not get her.

Maybe it was the beat, or the overall energy, but I was just not feeling her breakout hit, “212.” So I put her out of my mind and just chalked her up as another one of those weird alternative black dudes and dudettes in my neighborhood fascinated with trying to appear oh so different. I’m sorry, I know that sounds rude. But that’s how I used to think about some of you guys back then. Sue me.

But time has passed, and Azealia Banks kept finding her way into my life, mostly through gossip blogs streaming in my social media timelines.

First there was the beef with Angel Haze. Then their was the beef with Perez Hilton. Then there was the beef with Iggy Azalea, which turned into a beef with T.I. That later turned into a beef with with T.I.’s wife, Tiny, and then back to T.I. again, possibly with the addition of Snoop Dogg. There have been quite a few others. Most recently, she took issue with some of the lyrics from a new freestyle by Eminem because he threatened violence against singer Lana Del Rey and mocked Janay Rice. More specifically, the 8 Mile rapper rhymes:

I may fight for gay rights, especially if they dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice / Play nice, bitch I’ll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice like Ray Rice / in broad daylight / in the plain sight of elevator surveillance / ’til the head is bangin’ on the railin’ / then celebrate with the Ravens

You can see why someone might find that objectionable. And in her infinite wisdom, Banks did. And not only did she find it objectionable, but she put a cape on that objection. More specifically, she tweeted out to Lana Del Rey:

@LanaDelRey tell him to go back to his trailer park and eat his microwave hotpocket dinner and suck on his sisters tiddies.”

Absolutely magical.

Seriously, as much as I adore Eminem’s verses on Jay Z’s “Renegade,” (Seriously, you can’t hate on it. You just can’t!) he is also probably the most woman-hating rapper out there. And I’m not just talking about his often hateful and violent lyrics, but also his off-wax behavior, including weird beefs with a number of celebrity women like Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, and of course, Mariah Carey. Therefore, it is delightfully enchanting to watch a woman give it to him with the same level of disrespect, which he has been giving it to the ladyfolks (and the men, who he knows are no real threat to him) for years.

Suddenly, Banks makes sense to me. And dare I say, I’m starting to get her. What is particularly refreshing about Banks is that she pulls no punches. More importantly, she is fearless. Those are two traits that are not always celebrated nor appreciated in women, let alone black women.

And in spite of its rebellious reputation, hip-hop doesn’t seem to treat or regard those fearless and brash women any differently than the rest of the society. In fact, many, if not all of the lady emcees who have ever come on the scene, rose through the ranks of male-dominated crews. That includes Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea (even some of the OGs like Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, Mc Lyte, Roxanne Shante and the likes all were the sole or one of the only feminine representations in predominately male crews). This might explain why many of the lady rappers have been reluctant over the years to take jabs at their fellow emcees or challenge a male rapper on wax. Instead, it seems that most of these women have been put on protective pedestals and shielded from any real test of their skills.

No wonder folks believe that the ladies can’t rock the mic.

Banks, however, never really had a crew. As such, her image (including lyrical capacity) is of her own making and her talent had to be proven. People weren’t going to like or even dislike Banks because some male rapper vouched for her. If Banks wanted to be heard by the world – and do so on her own terms and while in charge of her own image – she had to put in the work herself, producing hot tracks and drumming up her own fan base. And she likely had to do this all while being ignored and passed over for more industry-approved entertainment acts, as illustrated by her omission from XXL magazine’s annual Freshman Class List for years, which by the way, once featured Iggy Azalea (cue the first beef).

She probably had to do all this work in the face of a label that wanted her to tone it down or be somebody who was more marketable. That might explain why Interscope Records decided to release her earlier this year from her contract, despite her popularity. And it might also explain why it appears that she is so hype all the time. In an industry where it seems our “number 1s” are pre-selected, Banks does come off at times like she is fighting hard to be both seen and respected.

And I think this is important to remember considering all the flack she gets in the media, as well as on social media, for always being in the center of a beef. In a world, which celebrates the lone male free-thinking wolf and shuns women with similar independent ambitions, Banks is a breath of fresh revolutionary air. And while it is uncomfortable, she’s probably doing the hard grunt work of progressing the genre of music along so that it is easier for the next generation of independent women rappers to get on the scene and make claims of their own – without having to be co-signed by a male rapper first.

Plus, this is hip-hop. There are supposed to be big egos. One of the reasons why we tune in is so we can hear a bunch of people with active imaginations and overly inflated egos brag and boast over catchy beats. And let’s not forget about the beefs. Why, some of the genres most timeless tunes came out of beefs (some of us are still talking about the time Snoop came through and crushed the buildings).

And did I mention that Broke With Expensive Taste is pretty good? Like, a couple of the tracks on the album are straight fire. I think Banks is what hip-hop needs right now. The question is, is hip-hop ready for Banks?

“All This Sh*t Just Sounds The Same”: Azealia Banks Says Current Blue-Eyed Soul Singer And White Rapper Craze Is “Corny”

November 11th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Up and ready to hang in Paris with RockCorps!! @jacquidollhouse made me a blonde!!

Uma foto publicada por Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on

 

The conversation about who is and who isn’t appropriating black culture has been going strong for the last few years (Moguldom Studios actually made a documentary about it called Bleaching Black Culture), what with individuals like Iggy Azalea dominating music right now. And someone who isn’t a fan of it is MC Azealia Banks. After releasing her new album Broke With Expensive Taste last week (which has been getting great reviews), she talked to Pitchfork about the struggle it was to get her album out, ditching Interscope, and why she’s not here for mainstream music. The latter topic is what caught our attention. Check out what she had to say about record labels pushing the trend of blue-eyed soul singers and white rappers that America seems to be oh so into these days:

It’s making me insane. It also does bad things for the art world, because it puts every single artist into this one big virtual room. Everything gets really f**king homogenized, and all this sh*t just sounds the same, and everyone looks the same. It’s like you’re listening to one long song. I always think of the music industry as this weird human commodity game. It’s almost like slavery, where these people become popular for awhile, and then it’s done.

It’ll be like, “For a couple of years, we’re gonna f**k with blue-eyed soul, and here’s Duffy, here’s Adele”—who’s great—but now we’ve got a thousand white girls singing blue-eyed soul. It’s so regurgitated and corny. You have it in everything. You have it in indie rock. You’ll have Interpol, and then the National, and it’s just like, “Really, dude? Really?”

Or it’ll be like, “We’re gonna pop off the white-girl rapper,” so we’ll have Gwen Stefani and Fergie, and then it’ll get worse and worse and worse. And you’re just like, “What the f**k is this?” The whole trend of white girls appropriating black culture was so corny—it was more corny than it was offensive. Trust me, I’m not offended: All the things I’m trying to run away from in my black American experience are all the things that they’re celebrating. So if they f**kin’ want them, have them; if they want to be considered oversexualized and ignorant every time they open their f**king mouth, then f**king take it. But more than that, the art is not good. These songs are not good. It’s like, “Oh my God, you’re doing this black woman impression, is that what the f**k you think of me, b**ch? I need to meet the black woman that you’re imitating because I’ve never met any black woman who acts that bizarre.” It’s crazy that this becomes mainstream culture. All of America is celebrating sh*t like that. It’s so weird.

What do you think of what Banks had to say? Does she have a point?

“They Make It Seem Like There Can Only Be One”: Remy Ma On Why Today’s Female MCs Can’t Seem To Get Along

August 6th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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With Lil Kim coming out of maternity leave to drop a “Flawless Remix” remix and her new song, “Identity Theft,” both aimed at former arch nemesis Nicki Minaj, Nicki’s perceived issues with Iggy Azalea, and Azealia Banks’ issues with damn near everybody, it’s clear that the sisterhood in hip-hop is not as strong as it could be. Talented folks who could actually put out some great music together have instead resorted to taking subliminal shots in interviews or they just get froggy on social media and on wax. One person who can explain what all the animosity is about between women in hip-hop is Remy Ma. In a new interview with Hot 97, the newly released rapper said that people let other individuals get into their ear and make them think that there can only be one diva on top of the rap game.

“What I think happens with females in this game, they tend to allow other people to pit us against each other. I’ve said this before. They make it seem like there can only be one female. It can be a thousand guys that’s putting out music and rapping and doing what they do, but when it comes to females in this hip-hop business, they make it seem like it can only be one, and if there’s more than one then, ‘Alright, y’all better be at each other’s throats every chance that you get.’ And anytime you say one of those things, they be like, ‘Oh yeah! She has to be talking about this person when she said that!’ And I just feel like it got really crazy. I wouldn’t tolerate it, me personally. But some people are easily led astray. If you have enough people like, ‘She’s coming at you! She’s getting at you! You gotta say something!’ Or, ‘You tryna get on, ma! You gotta diss her to get on ’cause she’s who’s winning right now.’ Like, that’s not what it’s about. I’m around all day. I don’t have to go at somebody else for Rem to do her.”

Remy (aka, Reminisce Smith) has already said that she would love to do a track with Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, and if possible, all three women all on one song doing their thing. But do you see that happening anytime soon?

Stop The Shenanigans: Celebrities Who Let Drama Get In The Way Of Their Talent

July 2nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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The following people on this list all have music that I’ve bumped at one time or another. However, their music and their talents in general often take a backseat due to the drama they get caught up in. Whether they’re bickering with folks on social media or throwing ‘bows in public, these people are too talented to take part in all the shenanigans they enjoy entertaining.

Sakura/WENN.com

Sakura/WENN.com

Azealia Banks

Pretty girl. Vicious lyrical abilities. Penchant for drama.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it for the umpteenth time: Azealia Banks is a talented young MC. However, she makes it hard for those who have never heard her music to give her work a chance when she’s focused less on promoting that, and more on calling out everyone from Pharrell to Tiny and Rita Ora on social media.

“If U Speak Ill Of My Family Again….. I WILL END YOU!!!!!!”: TI Slams Azealia Banks Over Tiny Comments

June 17th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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TI and Azealia Banks

Instagram

We told you today that Azealia Banks made some disrespectful comments about Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Tiny responded. But she’s not the only one.

Although Banks deleted the Tweet, T.I. still saw it and took to Instagram to respond, which was one fine, but then he took things to the next level with a threat:

Instagram

Instagram

TI

 

But Banks isn’t backing away slowly. The rapper went on her own tirade on Twitter:

“The ni**a shouting bad b***hes this bad b***hes that, is almost always at home with some busted bumpkin.”

“rap is not real. These ni**as are all fronters.”

“But your wife has meth face.”

“And your wife can’t read.”

“I saw you backstage at Kanye and you had nothing to say.”

“I stood next to you ON PURPOSE. To see if you would say something.”

“I’m taller than you in my heels.”

“Come see me ni**a.”

“And come by yourself.”

this grown a** man with kids went and cropped his favorite part of the atlantis video and really threatened to put hands on me LOL”

niggas really do be hella pu**y. u went to jail a million times for guns and drugs and are gonna turn around and threaten some girl.”

“yea i shouldn’t of said it, BUT SO WHAT, IT WAS FUNNY, really had to take it to threats?”

This is not a good look for you black man, it really isn’t.”

you’ve already been to jail for drugs and guns, your wife can’t read… can you be more of a statistic?”

You see what i mean when i say hip-hop is a minstrel show?” 

I BET HE WON’T DO S**T. But sit and simmer, and watch the rest of the atlantis video.”

She also claimed that she was going to sue T.I. for his threats, even saying “Ni**as love jail,” but again, she deleted those tweets.

I’m still trying to figure out why Banks brought Tiny into her issues with T.I. And while I can appreciate him trying to defend his wife, the whole “people fall down stairs” thing was the wrong thing to say on a public platform. Just saying. But all in all, both of these individuals have to do a lot better.

Azealia Banks Takes Jab At T.I. And Tiny On Twitter; Tiny Responds

June 17th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Azealia Banks

Image Source: WENN.com

Harlem-born and bred MC Azealia Banks is reportedly taking shots at someone again, but this time, it’s both T.I. and Tiny.

If you didn’t know their background, Banks had some words for T.I. in 2012 when she made some comments about T.I.’s protege, Iggy Azalea, that he wasn’t too fond of. He said this in an interview about Banks:

“If you spend half of your day getting money and the other half of your day counting money, you ain’t got no time in your day to worry about nobody else.”

Of course, Banks didn’t take too kindly to that, responding to him in a long message where she basically told him to stop getting involved in women’s issues and called him corny (and used quite a few expletives and what not). That would be one of the first times they had a back and forth (him on a more public platform like radio, Banks on Twitter), but it wouldn’t be the last.

As I said, that was in 2012. Fast forward to now. According to AllHipHop and Bossip, Banks took to Twitter yesterday to take a jab at T.I., his wife, Tiny, and his new song “No Mediocre,” which is about wanting the best looking woman on his arm. It features Iggy Azalea.

Azealia

T.I. has not responded to such statements, but Tiny did post this on her Instagram late last night:

Instagram

Instagram

Tiny II

 

As I’ve said in the past, Banks has bars and if you give her music a chance you might like it. But anything else that doesn’t have to do with the music is always foolishness that takes away from her talents. It’s a shame really…Oh, and good comeback Tiny!

Thoughts?

“Sorry, Not Sorry”: Azealia Banks Says She’s The “Best Female In Hip-Hop”

January 31st, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Azealia Banks

Source: WENN

In “things that make you go hmmm” news…

Azealia Banks hopped on Twitter last night ready to make waves when she decided to proclaim that she is the best female in hip-hop right now. Even without a debut album to serve to the masses to allow them to make that decision on their own, she says she’s the best because she is the only one with her own sound, not trying to copy Nicki Minaj’s steez. Here’s what she said, ripped straight from her Twitter account last night:

Azealia Banks hip-hop

Twitter

Just earlier in the week the rapper was trying to get someone from Sony to buy her out of her contract with Universal because they don’t understand what she’s trying to do with her sound and have been stifling her:

I’m tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about my black girl craft. they don’t even know what they’re listening for or to.

Universal needs to just hand me over to another label who knows what to do with me.

My fans really need some new music. I’ve been gratefully riding off of mixtape fumes for the past two years but I’m more ready than ever…..

And a few months back she blamed the lackluster response to her song “ATM Jam” on Pharrell because he didn’t support her in promoting it:

“The reason ATM jam did poorly is because pharell changed his mind about wanting to be associated with me after he had his lite skin comeback”

“Lite skin niggas are funny.”

I will say that AZ does have some pretty sick wordplay with her music, but honestly, she hasn’t even had the chance to get on the main stage in music because of not only issues with her label, but her own antics. That’s all a lot of people know her for–the beefs, the comments about more established artists, the colorful hair. That’s it. She’s talented and could connect to a lot of people with her unique sound, but we’ve got to see and hear more than the talking. But what do you think? Is she the best female in hip-hop right now? Why or why not?

“Females Are Jealous”: Lil Kim Says There’s No Unity Between Women In Hip-Hop Anymore

December 6th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Working on her upcoming mixtape, Hardcore 2K13, Lil Kim was interviewed by XXL on her career, including what she is working on now, and where she thinks she stands amongst the female rappers of yesteryear and today. One major point the Notorious K.I.M. brought up that has people talking, is the reality that women in Hip-Hop just can’t seem to get along like they used to. Kim, of course, had a public beef with Nicki Minaj, and was called out on Twitter by Azealia Banks (who doesn’t get along with too many folks in general), so she knows what she’s talking about. Check out what Lil Kim had to say about all that, and why she’s still the queen:

Why Women Rappers Don’t Collaborate Like They Used To:

You have other women out there who want to be by themselves. They don’t get the art of unity and what inspired that. You can’t come in the game and think, Oh, okay, I’m going to be the only one out here. I don’t want to stand in the line with no other chicks.” It’s still a struggle because when a woman makes it to the top, it wasn’t like that when we were out. When we made it to the top, the real divas—me, Missy, Eve—we had no problem standing in a line. Look, let’s get this money. We did songs together. We just kept continuously doing it even when we didn’t like each other. We did photo shoots even when we couldn’t stand each other. It was more real. Nowadays, it’s just females are jealous. And they want to act like the girl who is responsible for all this doesn’t exist. That’s whack [sic]. That’s real corny, but things will change. That’s the one thing for certain—two things for sure. Things will change.

Where
She Thinks She Stands In The Female Rap Game:

I am definitely the queen. I definitely see myself as the queen. I am the one who made it possible for females to be s*xy. That’s just the bottom line. And still rap hard with the fellas. Period.

If She Feels Like She Deserves More Respect Than She Gets At This Point:

I don’t give a f**k. It’s whatever. At this point, it is what it is. The streets made me. They stay at me. There’s nothing that’s gonna take away from my legacy. I’m sorry. It is what it is. I’m dying this way. With the crown on my head, nobody can take nothing away from me. It is what it is. I am who I am. Bottom line.

She made some interesting points, folks. But I think the reality is, she feels this way because there are less female lyricists getting shine and doing there thing right now. There were lots more in the ’90s, so if you didn’t get along with one or two (for instance, like she didn’t get along with Foxy Brown), you didn’t feel so alienated. But now, it’s just Nicki and a few other folks, and Kim is trying to stay afloat, so the petty squabbles stand out more. Well, now you see why folks miss the ’90s so much.

But what do you think? Share your thoughts below and check out her full interview over at XXL