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Why We Love Azealea Banks

The State of Hip Hop

The Story

Everyone probably remembers the big issue about Azealea Banks’ candid comments about Iggy Azalia and the beef that started between her and T.I. in connection to those comments. I came across this interview with Banks elaborating on her issue with Iggy Azalia and I was reminded that this interview has rarely been quoted in the media coverage that surrounded the controversy. Banks is outspoken and doesn’t mince words; however, what was not emphasized enough was the angst at the root of Banks’ comments.

Banks is clearly a true Hip Hop head. She understands the depth of the culture and what it means to the people that created it and for those that live it. While much of the talk during the beef was superficial and made to be about her being a hater due to lack of mainstream success or trying to create publicity for herself, this woman was defending her culture. She was speaking out against the appropriation of Black culture and that which was birthed from Black culture (I use Black loosely enough to include Latinos). What we know about cultural appropriation is the that the byproduct of cultural appropriation is the erasing of the actual people to whom the culture belongs or as Banks describes it: “a cultural smudging.”

The Point

Despite the severity of her language and the way that Banks chose to go about expressing herself, she has a valid point and is able to expound upon those thoughts in an articulate manner. What the media portrayed as petty beef was actually Banks calling out what she saw to be a manifestation of the system of oppression that has worked to weaken, persecute and erase Black culture. They can say what they want but she’s doing what Hip Hop was created to do: speak out against cultural injustice and offer voice to a population whose voice often goes unheard. Big Ups to Azealea Banks.

 

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

 

An Angry Black Man

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