Black Girl Music: Azealia Banks

This was originally going to be a "Black Girls Behaving Badly" post (it still carries the tag), but I've changed my mind.

I'm not going to rehash Banks's unspeakably poor judgment, nor the much-deserved Twitter ass-whooping she received at the hands of a 14-year-old, but I am going to remind people that Azealia Banks is a talented artist.  I happen to own a lot of her music.  She is not only one of my favorite rappers, but singers and fashionistas as well. When it comes to choosing her beats and visuals, she at least makes the effort of thinking outside of the box. So I am sincerely hoping she will take her Twitter timeout to remember her artistry, and squarely place her focus where it belongs: on her music (and wardrobe).

In spite of everything, I'm still a fan of her work. Banks is a bold, distinctive, husky-voiced, dark-skinned Black bombshell who blends hip-hop, electronica, Gothic fantasy and sci-fi all into the drama of the runway. Her net worth is currently estimated at $3 million.  So those of us who are fans of Azealia Banks owe it to ourselves to remind her why we like her, and why we'll wait for that one epic album we know she has in her to drop.  But what we not gon do is pretend like we don't see the hypocritically selective punishment being inflicted upon her.
Suspending her account on Twitter speaks volumes to how we silence Black women and femmes who are inconvenient and deemed problematic. There are literally neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Black folks spewing violence and slurs all day every day that go unchecked. But suddenly the cure and end-all-be-all to racism and violence is removing Azealia Banks off of Twitter? What, girl? I can’t. I never could.

The way that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram operate by only policing Black women and femmes is very intentional and strategic. When Instagram reported Rihanna for nudity but allows white women to post what ever they want, no consequences — it was clear that sexualizing Black women and femme bodies is seen as grotesque and indecent while whiteness and white sexuality are protected. Similar to when Facebook reported my status on Stacey Dash being problematic — I was reported for explicit content and breaking Facebook community guidelines cause I also used the word “nigga” in it. Sigh. This is a pattern, and it’s an echo of the white supremacist capitalist world we live in.
Yes, Banks got famous for her Twitter beefs.  Most people who know her have never heard her music.  I've seen commenters on her YouTube videos express their shock at her abilities, because they would've never guessed from her incessant offensive chatter that she was gifted.  And despite the times we agreed with her (Iggy Azalea, anyone?), we get it: Azealia, you're mouthy and you've got a gripe with the industry.  You say things for attention.  But you're also a great artist, and maybe - just maybe - it's time to remember and strictly focus on that...and apologizing to Zayn Malik and Skai Jackson for those awful things you said.



  1. Unfortunately, I only learned about Azaleas existence through her rants.

    Otherwise..Some people has brought up some great points about her. Don't get me wrong..she said that she would vote for Donald Trump..which I partly believe why she's carrying on the way she is.Mental illness? Maybe..but until she has been diagnosed as such..she needs to shut it up but at the same time, if Azaleas account has been suspended because of her big mouth..so should the others.Fair should be fair.

    I remembered Rainier discussing this kind of bias with social media..how in one case..a racist threatened the life of a Black female FB user.By right, not only should the White users account should have immediately banned but it should have been reported to the cops but noooo...the young lady wasn't the right race to be helped.

    I really didn't think about social media bias until Ranier brought it up,I kept reading and comparing tweets,FB pages and so on.Voilà..the prejudice is there and god knows,they don't hide it.As you said, social media only police us.It doesn't matter if White people said they want to hit all Black people( What I'm talking about? They are already doing that right now).the only with a car the response your going to get from them is crickets.

    1. if Azaleas account has been suspended because of her big mouth..so should the others.

      I really think it's because of her big mouth, and yes, others need to be suspended too.

  2. I only learned of her through her Twitter beefs and I'm like...huh? Never listened to her music, but I totally agree. If she put her energy into her work, the album would be out by now.


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