All Articles Tagged "azealia banks"
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.”
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”
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
“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?
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
T.I. has not responded to such statements, but Tiny did post this on her Instagram late last night:
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!
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:
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?
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.
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.
This has been a very good year for Pharrell. Not only did he settle down and get married, but he found himself back on top musically after working with Daft Punk on their new music (“Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance” were big hits), and of course, for the work he did on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” What many people might not have known though, was that the innovator teamed up with rapper Azealia Banks for a song on her upcoming album, Broke With Expensive Taste (coming out next year), called “ATM Jam.” (HEAR IT HERE) I actually have the song and think it has a great beat and some dope tongue-twisting and slick lyrics to make it a big dance hit. However, a lot of her fans allegedly didn’t like it and after a lukewarm reception post the song’s release in July, the track didn’t do well on the charts and she reportedly decided to remove it from her album tracklist. This morning she decided to share her thoughts on Twitter on why the song didn’t blow up like she thought it would, and she put the blame on one person: No, not herself, but Pharrell Williams.
“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.”
“But f**k it what’s new? Azealia banks having to scrape claw and fight for what she wants. This is normal for me now.”
“The minute I feel like I should give a f**k and stop talking s**t the good lord reminds me that no one else gives a f**k and neither shuld I”
I will say that it’s interesting that Pharrell has been all over the place, making an appearance with the other artists he has had big hits with this year. But really, if a song doesn’t blow, it might have a lot more to do with label promotion of the song and video than the people on it. And honestly, it could also be that people just weren’t feeling it. Hey, it happens! However, the last thing you want to do is start burning bridges with the folks in this industry who have a lot of power and influence. But then again, AB doesn’t “give a f**k” right?
On a side note, while dissing Pharrell, Banks showed love to Kanye West by saying that they’re like the same people; she just so happens to be the female version. Here’s what she told ELLE:
“Kanye and I are like the same person, but boy and girl. We’re pulling from the same cloud, the same inspiration. We’re both Geminis, we’re the two premier avant-gardists in Hip Hop music. It’s just me and him. I think our consciousnesses are swirling around each other in some weird kind of way.”
Would you agree?
Behind her tough-girl exterior, it seems that Azealia Banks has an interesting just story waiting to be told in its entirety. Though she may not be at the top of people’s favorites lasts, hearing the about the countless obstacles that she has overcome is enough to make even her biggest critics give her a second glance. During a recent interview with Camilla Long for the The Sunday Times, the Harlem rapper candidly opened up about her abusive childhood, losing her father to cancer and stripping as a teen to make ends meet
On stripping at 17 to make ends meet and sleeping with married men:
[As told by Camilla Long] “The best thing about fame, however, is the money. She was “mad broke” until just over a year ago. At one point, she was so poor, she worked at a strip club and had her boyfriend pay the rent. He would drop by her house while she ‘smoked weed’ all day, until one day she noticed a man sitting in a car outside, ‘and I’d be like, who is this? What is he doing there? He’d just stare at me.’ The man was a private detective, hired after his wife found out about their relationship.”
[Azealia] “My boyfriend had started on me, like, ‘I don’t love you any more’, just hurtful stuff, and, of course, my young dumb-A$$ started sending his wife emails. And I was psycho, and all of a sudden the same man popped up at my door with $10,000 and was like, ‘If you want this $10,000, you need to give me all your phones and computers.’ ” He wanted to get rid of “anything I could send his wife.”
On sleeping with older men:
[As told by Camilla Long] “The oldest man she has dated was 56. He used to come in and flirt with her when she was working in Starbucks, “and he was really rich, of course. When I was little, I had a radar for that.” He would take her to dinner in Chelsea, “and we’d be in some fancy restaurant and I’d be there with my sweat suit on”. He thought it was “the funniest thing ever. He really got off on it.” What was it like, being 17 and sleeping with a 56-year-old? “It’s like f****** an old man,” she says.”
On her interest in women:
[As told by Camilla Long] She can also see herself having relationships with women now. She first knew she liked girls when she was 10. “I had this friend named Nicole who was so fresh,” she says. “She would always have mascara and wear gloss and would have padded bras, and we’d have these slumber parties. I think all kids do gay stuff, but we got to the point in childhood where I was like, oooh, sign me up.” She didn’t talk about being bisexual until she was 19 though, partly because of her mother, who threw her sister out of the house when she came out. She thought that Lakimba would “go to hell”. “She’d be like, ‘Don’t have that Itchbay in that house.’ ” Her mother thought “gay stuff” was “evil” and dismissed all men as gay. “She was like, ‘Oh no, he’s got a watch on his right arm. That’s the gay arm.’ She called Aids ‘the Aids’. I was like, ‘Ma, it’s not 1974. It’s 2013. Just relax.’ ”
On losing her dad and being abused by her mom:
[As told by Camilla Long] “Banks grew up in Harlem with her mother and two sisters. Her father died of pancreatic cancer when she was two, “from red meat, coffee, coke and Courvoisier”. He was a cokehead, she says with a note of pride, “till 63”. Her mother ‘lost her mind’ a few years after he died. Banks claims she became physically and verbally abusive. She had fistfights with her daughters, sometimes attacking them with baseball bats, Banks says.”