Azealia Banks Defends Black Culture, Slams Iggy Azalea and T.I.
Azealia Banks has been very vocal on social media, but she has shied away from the media. The “212” rapper had a lot to get off her chest when she finally sat down with Hot 97’s Ebro and Peter Rosenberg for an in-depth and emotional interview this week.
While she’s made headlines for her Twitter beefs with T.I. and Lil’ Kim, she feels misunderstood. “Everyone’s got it all wrong,” said the 23-year-old, who released her debut Broke With Expensive Taste last month. “I definitely have some really strong opinions and some really strong things to say about things, but I’m never trying to force my opinion.”
She called out white rappers for appropriating black culture, and being rewarded for it. “That Macklemore album wasn’t better than the Drake record,” she said. “That Iggy Azalea shit is not better than any fu**in’ black girl that’s rapping today.”
Iggy was nominated for four awards including Best Rap Album at the 57th Annual Grammys. “The Grammys are supposed to be awards for artistic excellence… Iggy Azalea’s not excellent,” she said. “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.”
She blasted Iggy for jacking Nicki Minaj’s style. “Nicki Minaj over the past two, three, four years has done so much to create this social presence, like consciousness, and then here you go. She’s like Re-Up and Roman Reloaded, and here go fu**in’ Iggy like Reclassified. It’s like a cultural smudging was what I see.”
According to Azealia, the Grammys are sending the wrong message. “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 yourself.’ And it makes me upset.”
Her suggestion? “Put [Iggy] in the pop category. Put her and Miley Cyrus in the same fu**in’ box together. Don’t put her in hip-hop. Just because she’s singing, does not mean she’s rap music.”
As tears rolled down her face, she explained how white America and capitalism have robbed her of her identity. “At the very fu**in’ least, ya’ll owe me the right to my fu**in’ identity. And to not exploit that shit. That’s all we’re holding onto, like hip-hop and rap. And Bill Cosby, and whatever the f**k it is. Ya’ll putting that on TV for the youth to fu**in’ see.”
She called T.I. a “coon” for promoting Iggy and blasted his wife Tiny. “You out here trying to promote this white bitch. They got your wife on VH1 and that bitch can’t fu**in’ read. You’re a fu**in’ shoe shinin’ coon. How dare you.”
She’s never been in the same room as Iggy, who she once called “Igloo Australia,” and she has no interest in ever speaking to her. “It’s not interesting to me.”
But she does like artists including Rae Sremmurd, DeJ Loaf, Big K.R.I.T., Young Father, and Manolo Rose.
When asked if she has been intimate with women, she said, “Sometimes. I like to dip and dab.” But she is currently single.
However, she doesn’t have a preference when it comes to men or women. “I definitely like to enjoy myself and enjoy my youth,” she said.
During the enlightening interview, Azealia claimed that her former label Polydor spent $2 million making her album, but they felt there were no potential top 40 singles. They also weren’t happy that she was releasing free music online.
Hear the outspoken Azealia go off on all these topics and more below.