All Articles Tagged "azealia banks"

Penny For Your Thoughts: Can You Be Pro-Black In Life And Pro-White In Love?

April 15th, 2015 - By Penny Wrenn
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Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Shor

Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Shor

You probably know more about Azealia Banks than I do.

However, I’ve done my homework, and in the process, learned a lot about her. I learned that she’s incredibly feisty and outspoken on social media. I learned that she’s not shy about discussing her sex life. I learned that, despite frequently spouting coarse invective (“fa**ot,” “ni**a” and “b**ch”) about other people on Twitter, she proudly calls herself a feminist and pro-black.

I also learned this: Azealia Banks dates “lots of white guys.”

Now, from what I’ve read, she hasn’t said that she only dates white men. The “only” seems to be implied, and it’s an assumption she’s okay with, especially since someone recently asked her on Instagram why she “dated white dudes with money,” to which she offered this response:

“Because black men take black women for granted and I’m too busy with music to be fighting for my rights at home. I already have to fight for respect with the black men in hip-hop so When I get home I like things to be nice and easy. Make sense?”

Azealia Banks probably meant “Make sense?” as a rhetorical question. But “Make sense?” is something I’d like to attempt to answer here.

Or, better put, it’s something I’d like to hesitantly attempt to answer here. I say “hesitantly” because I know Banks is a lively debater and I would be nervous to actually tangle with her in verbal conflict.

My hesitant response to Banks’ “Make sense?” question would be, “Um…no. Actually, it kind of doesn’t make sense.”

To be clear, in my book, people can and should date whomever they choose. My editor Victoria likes to say, “Love is love,” and I wholeheartedly agree with that declaration. Personally, I have dated all across the rainbow. If you saw the last handful of guys I went out with, you might even think I have a singular preference for white men. But many people hear “I date white men” or “I date white women” and they insert an “only” where it doesn’t belong.

Do I date white men? Yes.

Do I only date white men? No.

If someone were to ask me, “Why do you date white men?” My answer would vary, depending on my mood and my audience. I might venture a humorous yet thoughtful response, like,“I grew up as one of only a handful of black kids in a white school. Several of my beloved family members are white (my stepmother and my stepsister). So, hey, what do you expect? An interracial relationship was kind of inevitable.”

Then again, I might act offended at the question itself, and shoot back, “Really? Are people still asking that in 2015?”

But whatever reply I’d give (if I even bothered to give one at all), I’d hasten to avoid what I call, racially escapist reasoning. Meaning, I wouldn’t say (or even imply) that I date white men because there’s something about black men that I don’t like and want to avoid. I wouldn’t make any comparisons about what white men like/do/are/say vs. what black men like/do/are/say. In fact, I wouldn’t bring up black men at all when talking about my decision to date white men. Because frankly, black men have nothing to do with it.

Which is why Banks’ racially escapist reasoning (she basically said, “Black men take black women for granted, so I date white men because they’re nice and easy”) doesn’t make sense to me.

I mean, I get it. But I only get it because I’ve heard it before. The racially escapist explanation for interracial dating is nothing new. For years, people have been similarly defending their relationship choices with some version of “I date white men/women because black men/women are too ____.” (You can fill in the blank with any generalization, like black men/women are too selfish, too aggressive, too mean, too arrogant, too needy, too nagging, too broke, too unfaithful, too untrustworthy, too stingy, too shady, etc.)

There are myriad reasons why one would date outside of their race–from the torrid (exoticism, curiosity, fetishism) to the meaningful (genuine and mutual attraction). 

But my question is: Why are we still asking people who date outside of their race to explain themselves in the first place? 

Then, my next question is: Why are some people’s explanations for why they date outside of their race based upon broad generalizations and blatantly dogging the so-called unsuitable mates within their race?”

Maybe I’m the only one who’s tired of the lame rationale that if you date a white man (or woman) it’s because you’ve got something against black men (or women).

I generally don’t agree with dating any type of man/woman simply because he/she seems like the antithesis to another type of man/woman. That’s not just racially speaking, either. That goes for the guy who chooses to date women with afros, only because he thinks their natural hair means they’re cooler and freer than the so-called stuck-up women who have relaxers. That also goes for the woman who chooses to date guys with a traditional 9-to-5, only because she thinks they’re more financially reliable than, say, writers and musicians who supposedly don’t pick up the check.

I don’t date one type of person simply for the sake of not dating another type of person. If I date guys from Brooklyn, it’s not because I don’t like guys from Harlem. If I date guys with beards, it’s not because I don’t like clean-cut guys. I don’t date someone because he’s the right to someone else’s wrong. I date a guy because I like him. Not because of who he’s not (not broke, not clean-cut, not black). Just because of who he is.

As a black woman who dates white men, I wish Banks had chosen another way to answer the “Why do you date white men?” question, besides reverting to racially escapist logic. So, that’s one reason why I’d say, “Um…no” to her rhetorical question of whether or not such statements “Make sense?”

The second thing is this: All black men do not take black women for granted.

Actually, no. It’s two things: 1) All black men do not take black women for granted. 2) All white men are not “nice and easy.”

I have dated a lot of black men. I can’t think of one of them who took me for granted. (Not to mention that there’s no one word or characteristic that I could summon that would accurately apply to all black men I’ve dated and/or all black men who roam the earth.)

I have dated a lot of white men. I can’t think of one of them who was unfailingly and unremittingly “nice and easy.” (I can’t think of any person or group of people on the planet who are “nice and easy,” in fact.)

There is no one way to describe all people. Period.

Giving Banks the benefit of the doubt, she may have been using a racial generalization simply as a way of being incendiary, controversial, or even artistic. But Banks’ generalizations about black men have raised eyebrows because of her self-professed “pro-black”-ness. Her outspokenness about dating white men has some people thinking that Banks is a walking contradiction.

I enthusiastically support a black woman who call herself pro-black choosing to date white men. But I’m less supportive of a black woman who calls herself pro-black bashing black men when explaining why she chooses to date white men, and vice versa. 

But you tell me: What’s the most pressing matter here? Is it about whether a black woman or a black man has the right to be pro-black in life and pro-white in love? (I’m using both “pro-” terms somewhat loosely, of course. But I hope you know what I mean.) Or is it about whether or not a black person can be “pro-white” in his/her love life without being anti-black?

For me, it all goes back to Banks’ rhetorical question, “Make sense?”

“Love who you love” will always make sense to me as a way of explaining interracial relationships (if they need any explanation at all). But the “I date white men because black men…” thing? Well, that will always leave me scratching my head.

Azealia Banks: “The Treatment I Get For Being A Dark Skinned Woman Just Makes Me Want To Lay Down And Die Sometime”

February 18th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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WENN

Azealia Banks recently shared her thoughts on the way men, and people in general, treat dark-skinned women. I can’t tell you what brought on her recent statements about the disrespect she feels women of a darker complexion deal with, but Banks has never been shy about stating what is exactly on her mind, exactly when it’s on her mind. Here’s what she shared on Twitter:

Azealia 1 Azealia 2 Azealia 3

And according to VIBE, she also tweeted this before deleting her comments:

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

This isn’t the first time that Banks has spoken about disrespectful statements and treatment of dark-skinned women. Back in 2013 she called out A$AP Rocky after he tried to say that red and purple lipstick doesn’t look good on women of a darker complexion. Around that time, she was pushing a purple lipstick for MAC. She let him have it on Twitter, even questioning his sexuality, but she was also honest about the fact that his comments hurt:

“So rocky takes a direct blow to my image about dark skin and purple lipstick, then as soon as I’m a [sic] offended …. I’m the bad guy.”

“That comment was so hurtful. Like hurtful beyond measure. Coming from him especially……”

“It made me cry. It did.”

“Especially since rocky stole my hair style from the 212 video …..”

But what do you think of her recent statements? Is she telling it like it is? Can you relate? Share your thoughts.

She “Tried” It: Azealia Banks Gets In Her Feelings During Twitter Feud With Erykah Badu

February 15th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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azealia banks gets into twitter beef with erykah badu

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One of the problems with social media is that unless you’re Skyping, too many things are easily interpreted as “shade” or sarcasm. People can’t be honest about anything without the instigation of followers whose whole purpose of going on-line is to be entertained by the squabbling of celebs and no one can make a joke without following it with a bunch of smiley emojis to convey they’re ”just playing”.

Well Azealia Banks wasn’t feeling what Erykah Badu had to say about her music last Thursday as the two traded a few insults after Badu expressed that she “tried” listening to Azealia Banks. According to a a Vibe article, the exchange went a little something like this when a fan (@pradahungry) asks Ms. Badu if she ever listened to Azealia Banks:

“@pradahungry Does @fatbellybella listen to azealia banks? Always wanted to know.”

“@fatbellybella Tried”

“@AZEALIABANKS @fatbellybella @pradahungry lol, what’s the shade?”

Azealia apparently didn’t appreciate that Erykah Badu wasn’t giving her work raving reviews and accused the “Window Seat” singer of being jealous:

“@AZEALIABANKS When artists grow old and begin to recognize their own mortality they throw shade at younger spirits”

“@AZEALIABANKS We see it happen ALL the time.”

“@AZEALIABANKS Whether or not you like me… You are WATCHING, and that’s what’s most important.”

Erykah Badu didn’t get what all the fuss was about and cool, calmly and collected checked Azealia:

“@fatbellybella Well s**t  I did try. Maybe you’re right.. I’m just to old to get it. You cool tho?”

To which Azealia, clearly still in her feelings, responded:

“@AZEALIABANKS @fatbellybella I’m cool, I was just trying to make sure you were cool….”

“@fatbellybella @bhrisbrown lol you just keep rocking ur head wraps and buying ur musky oils off the table on 125th.”

The last comment was in reference to another fan (@bhrisbrown) who pointed out that Ms. Badu had her location turned on and was reppin “Queens”.

When will folks realize it’s OK for folks to not be a fan of your work and not be jealous or feel threatened by you. Everything is not a personal attack. If you can’t handle Twitter without your ego getting bruised, maybe you need to log out.

 

“I Was Like Hell Yeaaaaaa!” Azealia Banks To Pose Nude For Playboy, But Not Everyone Is Excited About It

February 12th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Playboy

Playboy

Guess who’s going to be let it all hang out for Playboy?

No, not Kim Kardashian…this time. It’s Azealia Banks! The rapper, who has been very vocal over the past few months about white mainstream media appropriating black culture, and black exploitation in general, will pose nude and appear on the cover of the April “Music Issue” for Hugh Hefner’s world-famous magazine.

According to the publication, the rapper poses in a “frisky pictorial that’s sure to break the Internet” and will provide a “no-holds-barred” interview for the magazine, which basically means she’ll be asked about Iggy Azalea for the umpteenth time.

Banks celebrated the news on her Twitter, and even shared a sneak peek at the spread:

Guess who's on the cover of @Playboy?! It will be on stands March 20th!!

A photo posted by Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on

 

And since some of her idols have done spreads for the magazine, including Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones, Banks was very much down and excited about the opportunity:

“Grace Jones and Naomi Campbell both did Playboy Covers so you know I was like Hell Yeaaaaaa!!!!!”

But not everyone else is as crazy about the idea as she is:

“I respect hers[sic] views and speaking her mind about how black music is being altered to fit a pop crowd but i don’t know if this is the right move.”

“No. No. Nooo. Just no. I know folks can do what they want with their bodies and I always applaud women for taking ownership of their own physical bodies, but I don’t think this is the right move for her at all. Playboy? A magazine that capitalizes off of exploiting women and selling sex is your next move? After you spent all that time berating Iggy Azalea (justifiably so) for exploiting black culture and then you go and allow yourself to be exploited as a black woman on a magazine owned and run by white people too?”

“One minute you speaking like you Spanish, Then you wanna be the black Che Guevara, now your a f**king playboy model. Go figure.”

But as she pointed out, she wouldn’t be the first sista to pose for the pages of the magazine. Others who have done it in the past also include Vivica A. Fox, LisaRaye, Latoya Jackson, Stacey Dash and Garcelle Beauvais.

Azealia Banks Reads Kendrick Lamar For His Comments On Ferguson

January 10th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Carsten Windhorst/WENN.com

Carsten Windhorst/WENN.com

Azealia Banks has no problem telling the world how she really feels about things. In a series of tweets, the rapper expressed her disappointment with Kendrick Lamar and his comments on Ferguson.

During an interview with Billboard Magazine, Kendrick stated, “I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s f—ed up. What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.”

Azealia did not appreciate Kendrick’s comments. She tweeted,

Kendrick isn’t the first celebrity to receive backlash over Ferguson comments. Last weekend, Oprah was under attack for her comments on Ferguson as well.

Do you agree with Azealia or Kendrick?

“I Can Argue.” Ava DuVernay Defends “Selma” Against Criticisms Of LBJ’s Stalling

December 30th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Ava DuVernay Defends Selma Against Criticisms Of LBJ's Stalling

Ever since Azealia Banks so profoundly discussed the American phenomena of cultural smudging on Hot 97, it seems like I keep stumbling upon more and more flagrant examples of it.

Most recently, in the criticism of Ava DuVernay’s film Selma. As some of you know it was released in select theaters on Christmas. So quite a few people have seen it already, including people who worked closely with former president Lyndon B. Johnson. As the acting president during that time, Dr. Martin Luther King, the film’s main character, interacts with him frequently about signing Civil Rights legislation to ensure that Blacks weren’t being denied their constitutional right to vote. Throughout the film, we watch King visit to the White House arguing for legislation while Johnson tells him to wait, that he has more pressing matters to deal with.

Well, apparently people are taking issue with DuVernay’s portrayal of Johnson’s stalling.  An op-ed piece written for the Washington Post by Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs, Joseph A. Califano Jr. criticized DuVernay of “taking dramatic, trumped up license with a true story that didn’t need any embellishment to work as a big-screen historical drama.”

Califiano goes on to say that not only did Lyndon B. Johnson support Dr. King in his march from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, he said that the whole march was Johnson’s idea.

“In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted — and he didn’t use the FBI to disparage him.”

In recorded conversations, Johnson is quoted as saying,

“And if you can find the worst condition that you run into in Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana or South Carolina . . . and if you just take that one illustration and get it on radio, get it on television, get it in the pulpits, get it in the meetings, get it everyplace you can. Pretty soon the fellow that didn’t do anything but drive a tractor will say, ‘Well, that’s not right, that’s not fair,’ and then that will help us on what we’re going to shove through [Congress] in the end.”

Johnson even told King that if he were able to accomplish this, there would be a breakthrough and it would be the “greatest achievement of my administration.” 

After the article, in which Califiano argued that Selma be “ruled out this Christmas and during the ensuing awards season,” was published, it wasn’t long before the subsequent Twitter response followed.

Ava DuVernay Defends Selma Against Criticisms Of LBJ's Stalling

Source: Twitter

 

Yes and yes and yes. And thank you Ava, for not shying away from this discussion. Let’s think about this. If it was really President Johnson’s idea for King and others to march from Selma to Montgomery, he must have known that he was sending them into imminent danger. And during the first march, he (Johnson) did not provide any military personnel to ensure the protesters’ safety. This to me, would actually be more damning to his reputation than dragging his feet on the Voting Rights legislation. If he were truly in support of the Voting Rights Act, a march wouldn’t have had to happen. Johnson simply would have been aware of the problem and signed the legislation to change it. And people wouldn’t have had to suffer bodily injury and fatalities for what Johnson could have done with some paperwork.

Azealia Banks is problematic but her words about cultural smudging ring true over and over again. The law wouldn’t have changed without Johnson’s support. And for that he will be remembered as a remarkable president. But Johnson’s eventual decision to sign the Voting Rights Act need not take anything away from Dr. King and all those pioneers who marched and fought behind the scenes and on the front lines to make those changes a reality. These people, though we’ll never know all of their names, are revered figures in American history, especially within the Black community. And now, decades and decades after King’s death people are trying to diminish their role and the work that literally changed this nation. As Iyanla would say, “not on my watch.” 

Rapper Azealia Banks Becomes A Reparations Advocate Via Twitter Rant

December 30th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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WENN

Hip-hop diva Azealia Banks is going off on Twitter–again! You might say, what else is new. But this time the subject is interesting. Like many other African Americans, Banks is demanding slavery reparations.

The reparations movement has heated up in the Caribbean where a group of 14 nations have sued various European countries for slave reparations. And in the U.S., the movement has been in effect for many years, though has yet to bear any fruit from its efforts. There are many Blacks in the States demanding the 40 acres and a mule their slave ancestors were promised during emancipation. Now, Banks is one of them.

On her Twitter account recently, the 23-year-old rapper became an advocate for reparations. She put out a series of tweets talking about how major corporations for profited from slave labor, reports TheGrio.

“ITS MY MONEY, AND I WANT IT NOWWWWW!!!!!!” Banks tweeted. According to Banks, various companies owe African-Americans up to $100 trillion, and she named corporate names including Aetna, New York Life Insurance, and JP Morgan Chase. Banks backed up her claims with links to articles on  how Native Americans and Holocaust survivors have received some form of reparations from the United States and Germany.

She went as far as to say she would give up her music career to fight for reparations if need be.

Banks is no stranger to speaking her mind about Blacks and culture. In fact in a recent  radio interview she said white Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has misappropriated Black culture and that fellow rapper T.I. was a “shoe-shining coon” for his support of Azalea.

 In a different radio interview with Hot 97 she pontificated about Black culture, American history, the media and more. She said:

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 ‘F*ck you.’ Like ‘F*ck y’all n*ggas. Y’all don’t really own sh*t. Y’all don’t have sh*t.’ That Macklemore album wasn’t better than the Drake record. That Iggy Azalea sh*t is not better than any f*cking 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 sh*t, not even the sh*t 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. 

 Banks has also gone off on Blacks who she feels aren’t “Black enough.” Following a disappointing collab with Pharrell, “ATM Jam,” she had more than a few words to say about how she though the “Happy” singer was leaving behind his “Blackness.” She sent out a series of Tweets on the subject. And she said:

“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 n*ggas are funny.”

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

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?