Update: After our post, Azealia Banks continued to update her Twitter feed and interact with people. You can find more of her thoughts at @cheapyxo.
Read the original story below.
Harlem singer/songwriter Azealia Banks spoke out on Twitter about a variety of topics this morning (August 6, 2017), including intersectionality, how white feminism is problematic, as well as calling out the corporate culture of music and celebrity that co-opts and sanitizes underground movements, subverting and watering them down for profit.
As a member of the entertainment industry, Banks is in a unique position to critique fellow artists, feedback that is rare because most are frightened to say anything for fear of being blackballed and exiled. One could say at this point Banks has nothing to lose, then again, she’s always been fearless and unafraid to take her followers on her philosophical and sometimes ledge-stepping journeys.
In her tweets, she took on some of the titans of the industry, including Lady Gaga, Kate Perry, Adele, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Solange, among others. She also broke down why should thought it was okay that Hillary Clinton lost the election.
The conversation kicked off when Banks commented on an interaction between a white employee at Sephora’s and two black customers. The video is embedded below. All tweets have been lightly edited for style. There were times when she responded to comments and those comments are in brackets followed by Banks’ reply.
— Leeka. (@Leek13leeek) August 5, 2017
Check out Banks’ thoughts below.
“White women do this ALLLL THE TIME. They throw a rock then hide their hand then gang up on black women when we say something about it. I don’t have many white female friends for this exact reason. If I have 100 people I consider friends maybe two of them are white women. And the condescending bullshit of them being blatantly disrespectful then trying to act innocent when they’re called on it is CULTURAL. It’s part of white women’s culture and this tactic is very often employed in these bullshit feminist circles.
“Dumb ass Lena Dunham and fake ass Lady Gaga and late-ass laty jerry [aka Katy Perry] are all the types of white feminists I cannot fucking stand. They steal from black women or say the dumbest shit about us, and get called on it and act like ‘they didn’t know what they were doing.’ That fake ass ignorance.
“Them bitches know EXACTLY what they are doing. They KNOW that they are PURPOSELY excluding ethnic women from ‘women’s rights’ because it’s how they keep control of the situation. Those hoes will go all the way across the world to give women in India a laptop but won’t stop for a fucking second to care about. Any American woman’s cause that doesn’t align exactly with white female privilege. It’s a privilege they DO NOT WANT TO SHARE.
“So until Adele goes back and gives beyonce the ENTIRE GRAMMY. Until Gaga’s and [Taylor] Swifts and Jennifer Anistons will ACTUALLY [share] their platforms with and on behalf of all sorts of ethnic women, I don’t want to hear SHIT about feminism coming out of any of their mouths.”
[Don’t bring Gaga into this. Just because she doesn’t want to collab with your problematic ass doesn’t mean she’s racist.] “No I changed my mind. All the craziness I’ve been through and not once did her so-called feminist ass step out to defend me. Fuck ha. That bitch paid me dust and worked with a rapist? She’s already shown me how she feels about me. I’m good on that. Tbh it was probably me feeling social pressure to change my ‘angry black girl’ outlook. But I don’t have to be angry to treat people the way they treat me. And that’s that on that.
“Honey, it doesn’t even matter at this point. Your fave would rather stand next to a rapist and a pedophile than another strong bitch.”
[All in all, Lady Gaga won’t be standing next to you at any point in time anymore. Stop name dropping her to bring awareness to something important.] “Lol, if white women’s approval is what I need I can cite a plethora of more popping white women than these boring pop stars to get it from. What about me liking her music means I can’t strongly disagree with her social politic? Yes it’s true, I’m the world’s best a&r. She absolutely should sing the songs because it would mean success and money for both of us. Do I have to agree with her on women’s issues? Absolutely not.
“I’m sorry, just to add to this, Hillary Clinton’s campaign win was going to be a MAJOR loss for intersectional feminism. The white American feminist vanguard that has for soooo long kept ALL other ethnic women locked out of the women’s rights conversation LOST, BIG TIME. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the elite white feminists cry (very mildly) as they watched their privilege be snatched right from them. It was a big moment in women’s history. If Hillary won the intersectional feminist conversation would be completely drowned by fake cheers of (white) women’s accomplishments. It would have been another reason to avoid these topics.
“I’m GLAD she didn’t win for that reason. That was going to be a win for white women, not a win for all women. Yemaya said, ‘NO BITCH.’ That’s what they get for buying their witchcraft supplies at Urban Outfitters. That’s what you get when you’re trying to steal other women’s magic! I WIN… YOU LOSE!! *Nicki Minaj Cackle*”
[What Azealia Banks is doing tonight versus. what Lady Gaga is doing tonight (attaches image of Gaga performing at concert).] “Yes honey the earth is like 68 percent Caucasian and ran by elite agenda to program society into idolizing white mediocrity.
“Jasmine Sullivan gets half the credit for have four times the talent Adele has. Adele gets to do her best fat black church girl impression at the Grammy Awards and they’d rather award her than an actual fat black church girl. Because white world hates for black people to have anything! We will even repackage Mahalia Jackson’s black suffering! For white audiences and cal it ‘ADELE’ they’ll never know the difference!! This whole music industry paradigm is garbageeeeee. Stop giving people credit for shaking the right hands. Seriously.”
[Girl stop being upset. You always upset. What happened to your anger management? Go make some new music so I can shake my ass properly.] “Why do you need me to make music for your ass when you can shake to any one of these mediocre pop stars you cape for?”
[I don’t cape for mediocre pop stars. Never said I did. I just need good music in my life and that’s what you provide.] “Why are you here? So as long as I provide that, then what is your actual issue? Unfollow me on Twitter and follow my Spotify. Simple.
“Seriously never understood everyone’s real anger towards me. You can simply block my social media and follow me on Apple Music. No reason so discredit my music because you dislike the things I write on my social video game app. People keep acting as if the music doesn’t exist. And then getting MAD at me because THEY stopped listening to it.”
[I don’t have an issue. Just stop being so angry. You can say what you want u just sound so angry like ur gonna pop a blood vessel. Chill.] “Yes but the more the general public keeps comparing black women’s first generation success to white women’s generational wealth, and the more the so called feminist vanguard allows the shit to happen, I just MIGHT pop a blood vessel.”
[But you wanted a collab with Gaga just a couple of weeks ago. Girlie, thanks for the update that you’re still mental as hell.] “Because I think she has a good voice. What does it have to do with the fact that her ‘feminist’ politics are empty and self serving? And the fact mainstream feminism leaves out all other groups of women?
“Maybe it’s something you don’t understand as a non-woman. Gay men’s rights and women’s rights are not the same. You REALLY have nothing to add here. So shut up. And keep your uninformed, irrelevant, pea-sized stan brain thoughts about intra-personal women’s affairs to yourself! Women’s rights have nothing to do with the music. It’s about fairness and TRUE EQUALITY. NO WOMAN is worried about ANY male’s (gay or straight) consumerist attention or opinion in this matter.
“I’m just tired of being told by gay men how I am to feel as a woman. Even this. Is fucking tiring. And it’s not fair. Making it about dumb ass popularity when I’m talking about how women feel in regards to EACH OTHER. Not about comparing and contrasting how much or how little attention women get from other gender groups. And that includes all women. Trans /black/Asian/Latina/white etc women are a part of this conversation. Not Men. No men. Whatsoever.
“And Solange too. They are all entirely too safe and don’t truly represent the socio-economically disadvantaged group they are supposed to. Solange has been rich and privileged her whole life, I don’t need Solange’s light-skinned safe manifesto on how to ‘survive’ the ills of white supremacy.
“ALLLL of the real black female voices got washed out by the media trying to make these girls capitalize on the conversation. They took the words RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH, and gave them to Amandla [Stenberg] and made her the face of the ‘movement.’ The movement hasn’t gone anywhere. The movement only existed to Solange and Beyoncé while it was trendy and profitable. They won’t give a fuck as soon as it’s no longer trendy to be pro-black-girl. They COMPLETELY took the black woman’s message and Whitewashed it with a bunch of white female pr folk and made it a trend. Even Teen Vogue is hopping on the ‘woke’ trend. That corny ass textbook white women’s definition Beyoncé gave us in that Elle magazine interview was truly upsetting.
“Like why is she so hell bent on making black womens struggle palatable for white people ?? Why?????Why invite them to this discussion when they CLEARLY want no parts of it. They want to sterilize it and put a white face on it. So they can see themselves in it. They see themselves in Amandla and Zendaya, but not in something as real and militant as Sister Soulja or Azealia Banks.
“I’m soooooo tired of this conversation surrounding black women being manipulated by dumb ass celebrities and media machines. Dumb ass self serving idiots who have actually never experienced what it’s TRULY like to be left out. What it’s TRULY like to not have food on your table for your kids. You cannot glamorize black women’s struggle on empathy. Black women are REALLY OUT HERE STARVING. REALLY OUT HERE BEING FORGOTTEN ABOUT. A lost tribe.”
[Do you ever say positive shit?] “Do you ever stop demanding that women to cater to you? Do you know what it means to not be being spoken to? Lol. I’m really not talking to you.”
[Simple reminder that bashing Beyoncé won’t pick your career up off the ground but good luck.] “Simple reminder that no one, including the Grammys really gave or gives an actual fuck. This is a conversation on women’s culture. Not music. This is for the academics. Not for the stans. Separate yourself.”
[Can we band together and get Azealia Banks twitter deleted again.] “No, but you can band together and block my account. No reason why this convo on women’s culture bothers your gay existence so much.”
[It’s 7:00 in the morning, bitch, go brush your gums. What’s your fucking issue. You don’t know Beyoncé & Solange to speak on their lack of struggle.] “I brushed my teeth AND peed during this rant. A multi-talented multi tasking legend. Ummm… do you know that my ‘rants’ and interviews are apart of MANY a college course? I’m actually written in the books babe. Try the fuck.
“Again. I’m going to a university in Chicago on September 5th which was been named ‘Azealia Banks Day’ in my honor. Please step back from women’s culture conversation before you get bit boy. I get invited to speak at Boston university ALL THE TIME. And now that I’m over being chastised online by idiots. I will CERTAINLY Be popping up on a college campus near you. Now check THAT.
“Need TED Talk. I’m over the social media thing. I need a talk.
“Again. My bad if I seemed a little sensitive. I get super duper sensitive about this conversation because it’s so important that it remain. Intact. And that goes for all women’s conversations. There’s A LOT of unraveling here that many women are scared to do because of not wanting to misspeak or offend, but I’ve found that sometimes even by saying the wrong thing, you find the right answer. I’m not at all afraid to get my hands dirty here. I want to have very real conversations with women regarding womanhood .
“Not how much Brad is getting paid more than Allison, when Tamika doesn’t even make two-thirds of what Allison makes. I want to ask Allison what she thinks of Tamika. Does she think the way Tamika is being treated is fair? Would you want to be treated the way they treat Tamika? How do you feel about Tamika? Does she scare you? Are you afraid to ask her about her experience for fear that you may offend? Do you care at all about Tamika’s well being? And vice versa Tamika , how do you feel about Allison and Maria? MARIA, how do you feel in relation to Allison vs Tamika? These are things women NEVER talk about.
[My only issue with Banks is that she acts like Beyoncé doesn’t receive hate. White people drag her just as much as we praise her.] “Because they really don’t want her to be black. She’s spent her career catering to their desires, pinched nose/blonde hair. Then to turn around and all of a sudden be wearing Black Panther costumes at the Super Bowl lol. White people felt betrayed. They were confused like…’Beyonce, I thought you were white?’ And it confused them even more then you try to replace black womanism with the white feminist manifesto.
“They saw her trying to take on/control too many social justice conversations at once and mixing rhetorics. It confused me too. She tried taking control of black women’s conversation, then she tried taking control of white women’s conversation. Then she tried to capitalize on country music despite having never showed any interest in true Americana; the rednecks were pissed lol. Everyone was annoyed at this clearly very uncultured woman trying to be cultural.
“You wanna be a Black Panther, a redneck, a black and white women’s champion, social justice warrior and a witch ?? Gee I wonder where this idea came from? It was a pop star moving thru vignettes. It did nothing to advance any of the topics it touched on. In fact, it was simply a confused woman confusing other confused women. Nothing was accomplished.
“What does systematic racism and police brutality have to do with your highly publicized and highly played out marital issues? We know Jay-Z cheats and we really don’t care lol. Kids are actually being shot in the streets and you wanna talk about cheating ? Lol girl, bitches get cheated on everyday.
“Let’s talk about these women who’s husbands and caretakers die in the streets. Let’s talk about how they cope. What life is like for these black women who have to go on without the father of their child, without money. At least you getting cheated on in St. Tropez. Girls are out here trying to figure out how they are going to care for their families. How they are going to deal with their mental health after their lover husband and father of their children are shot dead in the street.
“I think about this often. The women who have to go on without their partner. And that true true pain and fear that comes with loss/abandonment. What does the government do to help these women? Does society forget about them as soon as their lovers name is no longer on headlines?
[NEWS FLASH BITCH, even if that’s true, Beyoncé will be just fine. You, on the other hand, will stay in Harlem sacrificing chickens.] “And when I’m on stage at my Ted Talk you will be frustrated that you’re STILL not invited to this conversation. Run along now.”
[Why don’t you write music bout this? I understand that you value your art too much to include beefs etc but this would be so interesting.] “Because I’m still writing my book !!! I may finish it this year.”
[Bitch YOU are the one who people cannot stand but you keep appearing on our timelines! Get outta twitter and find a REAL job.] “Just block me then!! Stop getting mad that you crave me and kick the habit. Delete me HENNY!!!”
[This ENTIRE THREAD is a word. I like Beyoncé but I’m not such a fan that I’m blind to the truth. Beyoncé is a capitalist. Sometimes it’s tacky.] “Her capitalism is HELLA TACKY.
“You can even block my name from ever appearing in your life. Do it!
“Ok, when my period comes my militant black pussy hairs start standing on end and preaching the good word, lol I’m done for real for real. I get VERY sensitive about women’s issues around my period. I will use the rest of this cycle to write more on my essays.”
[Yeah but have you ever been kicked in the balls?] “No but I’ve had my nipple gnawed off by an overly excited male during my period. I can imagine the pain is similar.”
[Smh, I am beginning to think that the “real” racism lies within your heart, some of these comments are just 🙄very unprofessional.] “Professionalism as defined by what? How well I can adhere to white socio-normative behavior. Your racism is showing, hide it.”
[I like you but you sound really really bitter and jealous. No one will hear your message this way.] “OF COURSE I’M JEALOUS. I’m watching other less talented/less capable women capitalize off of ALL of my hard work.”
[I’m a huge fan of your music, but you need a PR team bad. Your opinions contain validity, your delivery is just way off & counter productive.] No the message is just not for you. I don’t know how many times you need me to reiterate this baby.
[Bailed out protesters from jail, donated millions to the Haitian relief effort, donated to [Black Lives Matter.] Tell me, what has Azaelia done?] “ALL TAX WRITE OFFS HONEY LOL. Capitalism at its finest. Money means nothing, call me when she actually speaks to the girls about something. Let me see her sacrifice her good standing with white feminism to give them the REAL TEA. She won’t. THEY WONT. Nobody will.
“I gave everything up to stay true. Could’ve been one of the biggest stars in the world. But keeping my integrity intact meant more. People make choices and I’ve CLEARLY chosen not to play the game. Why are you mad at me for being who I told you I was. People don’t understand mainstream artists have power and visibility to erase those who contribute authentically, all within this bubble.
[Maybe she discusses cheating cuz it’s a huge problem that women deal with, especially black women. And that’s what Bey is..] “LOL THIS GUY THINKS CHEATING IS A BIGGER PROBLEM FOR BLACK WOMEN THAN WHITE THIS IS MY POINT EXACTLY. Confusion all around.”
[On a positive note, what are some artists you’re really into now?] “Casanova and Lil Uzi Vert.”
[Girl I’m not mad at you. You are intelligent and have good music but you may be unaware of how you come off to people.] “Uninterested in how I come off to anyone aside from women … so okay.
“If the KUNTS want to drink tea at the Twitter cafe that fine. If you don’t want tea, then go to Spotify. Just don’t come to the cafe. Complaining that it stinks of tea! You don’t have to be at the cafe to hear my music. You can listen from the comfort of your very own smart phone. If you’re lucky enough you will catch the rare Azealia Banks Pepe on the radio in the wee hours.”
[Because they really don’t want Beyoncé to be black. She’s spent her career catering to their desires, pinched nose/blonde hair.] “No shade tho. I’m trying to find Beyoncé and Solange’s nose doctor. They have really pretty rhinoplasty. Jessica white does too. Jessica white has the prettiest nose job. And Kelly Rowland’s is really so perfect. Kelly is my nose inspiration. Just a little snip. My nose is getting bigger as I’m getting older. It’s like my face is spreading or something. I’m def gonna get the pinch after kids tho. I want the pinch. You get a pinch ! And you get a pinch!!!!”
[What are YOU Doing to put dark girls at the forefront? Besides twitter rant? Why wasn’t this energy on “Broke with Expensive Taste”] “IT WASNT?!”
[I hope you have an amazing day today. We miss you but we see how commited to F2 you are. We’re proud.] “Yes, I’m about to take another two week break after this weekend.”
[Okay so how many songs are left to be finished, and which are they? Just a lil bit of info to keep the kunts quenched.] “I have five more left.”
[You actually have no proof that they got nose jobs] “Google does! I want mine like Jessica White’s or Kelly Rowland’s.”
[Still really trying to enjoy your music though. I’m not drinking the tea you are messy splashing it in my fucking face dick, check your shit.] “WEAR A PONCHO BITCH.”
[Does she even know anything about actual Yoruba culture? Just the Orisha, Babalawo and Google stuff right? mkay] “I’m a Palera baby. Africa has more than one traditional religion. Hushhh”
[Cuteee but neither Orisha or Yoruba is a traditional religion. One is an ethnic group the other is a spirit.] “THE RELIGION IS REGLA DE OCHA/SANTERIA/LUKUMI/IFA. Yoruba is a culture and Orisha is a deity. Don’t zoo it girl. You don’t want this lesson from me. Palo Mayombe is a traditional religion you dingbat. You think all of Africa exists in Nigeria ? Lol.”
For all New Yorkers, note that Banks is appearing at the Highline Ballroom on August 23, 2017.