Almost two months ago I wrote a piece for Ebony.com advising Azealia Banks to ease up a bit on her outspokenness given it already seems to be alienating people. I mentioned in the article how it’s not like she’s technically wrong in her stances a lot of the time, but for a minute there all stories about her focused on her beefs. That ought to be concerning to a newbie. Or not. I dig that she effectively could give a fuck about that opinion.
After that realization hit me, I soon remembered what it was like to be 21.
There is this growing sentiment that it’s okay to say whatever you want, however you want to whomever you choose to just because you can. That frustrates me, although in Azealia’s place she was never necessarily saying shit for fuck’s sake. There remains an obnoxious quality to a few of the shots Banks has fired at people, but in the cases of T.I. and Lil’ Kim, Azealia was only responding to people who went out of their way to attack her.
And she’s right, those comments did lead to conversations about race and sexism. Maybe not the best conversations, but conversations all the same. That’s more than I can say to the idiots soiling social media with their rants that scream, “Please oh please, may this make me famous.”
In hindsight, perhaps I misplaced some of my criticism.
In one corner you have an Australian blond who sounds like she gave Charli Baltimore legs in exchange for her vocal chords, and in the other, a young lady with the bitterness levels of someone thrice her age. Both have exactly one song I like, though each still makes me especially grateful to have been born before the sequel to Home Alone was released in theaters. Maybe that could change as time moves forward. Until then, I’ll continue clutching Hardcore and Broken Silence. You know, like your uncle who used to tell you “FUCK R. KELLY, I GOT MARVIN GAYE!”
Yes, some of my criticism. A lot of you may remember the post, “Slick Mouths and Slavemasters.” I got where Azealia was coming from, but at the same time, she was hypocritical to speak on racial slurs as if they’re completely meaningless then launch after Iggy.
I like more than one song from each now (Iggy two, Azealia a whole bunch more), so I have a bit more perspective after hearing them in detail. Yeah, Iggy still seems the nicest of the two but surely not the nicest on the mic. And really, I like “Murda Bizness” but there is something about that forced accent of hers that irks me. In character or not, it comes across as pandering.
As for Azealia, I may have worried too much about the way in which others may box her in because of the disses she aims in others’ direction. She is indeed in possession of a slick mouth, but her talent is much louder, and in the end, that’s usually what matters most.
I could just be trying to rationalize past commentary in the wake of becoming a fan of Ms. Banks. But ugh, I love her now. 1991 is such a great EP. Now we have her new mixtape, Fantasea, which you can download here. I cannot wait for the release of Broke with Expensive Taste. Talk about a title for the times.
This girl is a breath of fresh air. She’s getting me into house music, which a few – like her – would argue is good ’cause “it’s about time you like something gay.” Friends and their funny shade.
Rap needs more than Nicki, so hopefully the buzz Banks has now continues to build. Maybe she will get in her own way, maybe she won’t. She doesn’t seem all that concern so long as people are talking.