Harlem born singer/songwriter Azealia Banks recently dropped “Anna Wintour,” a song that’s been widely praised and has enabled her to rebuild a brand damaged by ugly online beefs that led to having her Twitter account deleted.
In support of the single, she her first appearance on 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” yesterday (May 11, 2018) and discussed a wide array of topics, however, it was her comments about Cardi B (starts at 21:23) that have been creating headlines.
Banks was initially a Cardi booster, telling XXL magazine in July 2017, “Cardi B should have been in the Freshmen [Class] for sure.” Just three month’s later Banks did an about face, accusing Cardi of being a “poor man’s Nicki [Minaj] and using a ghost writer on “Bodack Yellow.”
On “The Breakfast Club,” she doubled down on the Cardi insults, accusing her of dumbing down female rap. “I don’t understand the extreme lack of couth. I’ve never seen that at the forefront of female rap. I didn’t know that the bar would be lowered so much. It was kind of a culture shock,” said Banks.
Cardi responded on Instagram (below), writing, “I reread this a few times for the Akeelah and the bees out there!! A woman who constantly finds joy in putting down black women (Beyonce, Rihanna, Skai Jackson, Remy Ma) can’t try and represent them when it’s convenient. The difference between me and you, I’ve never pretended to be or represent someone I’m not!”
Not long after Cardi took down her Instagram account. (We doubt it’s been permanently deleted.)
Given Banks’ initial praise of Cardi, her take down of Cardi last year appeared to be the typical Banks-style diss born out of jealousy and resentment though as it happened, in the case of Cardi it paid off in spades when Minaj chose to shout out Banks as a female talent she appreciates in a recent interview with Zane Lowe.
In a classic case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Minaj stated, “[Banks] said some incredibly nasty things about me in the past, but she’s publicly apologized and I don’t hold grudges. When people apologize and admit, apologize they’re wrong, I move on. And also Azealia Bank’s new record is dope.”
The co-sign was a major moment and sealed the deal on Banks’ going #teamminaj and maintaining an anti-Cardi position.
As Charlamagne mentioned in the exchange, there’s room for an array of representations in music and while Cardi’s diction and spelling may not be standardized (and Banks better than anyone knows what she was up against), not only is she bilingual, more importantly her success as the daughter of working-class immigrants epitomizes the American dream.
Banks surely knows all this, though conflict with others combined with awesome talent is what brought her to the table and keeps her in conversations. In Banks’ defense, conflict is a part of the culture of rap and the ability to stir the pot and keep things spicy is part of how the game is played.
Azealia Banks “The Breakfast Club” interview
Cardi B Instagram response
READ. HER. CARDI pic.twitter.com/AHWXL2vRLh
— tony (@gawdcompIexx) May 12, 2018