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08/13/2012 / Chika Dunu

Azealia Banks is Money…

Azealia Banks. Picture courtesy of

Azealia Banks definitely doesn’t hold her tongue for anybody. I respect that.

In the male dominated world of hip-hop, Azealia Banks is proving that she can spit with the big dogs, and will not hesitate in telling ’em to “sit” when disobedient.

Azealia Banks found herself in a (yet again) Twitter beef, this time with her Harlem neighbor, Jim Jones. It all began when Banks tweeted the definition of VAMP, in which a fan (presumably of Jones) tweeted that Jones had released a record called “VAMP Life” and is the founding member of the VAMP movement. Banks, thinking otherwise tweeted to Jones that he was not indeed the originator and to “quit acting like a Harlem n—ga,” in which Jones responded with something along the lines of get your money up. You know, the typical.

I like Azealia Banks. Her catchy songs and her evolving sound and look makes her intriguing and interesting. So does her “I don’t give a f-ck” attitude. But for her sake, I hope she slightly cools it down so people won’t say “I don’t give a f-ck” when her album drops.

Banks recently sat down with Vibe Magazine, where she spoke candidly about her Twitter quarrels. “Of course, because it’s e-thugging…Who wants to look like that?” she said when asked if she regrets her Twitter spats. “But how else am I gonna reach y’all? I don’t have a T.I. to get on a radio show and defend me; I’m the one behind me.”


“I’m the one behind me.”

I get it.

Hip-Hop hasn’t been as good to women emcees as they have been to men. Men can put out garbage tracks and it’s deemed a hit, and if its not, there is still room for redemption. For women emcees, it seems to be a one shot chance. Oh, let’s not forget, its a ‘one woman rapper at a time’ policy. But for me, it’s more than hip hop when Azealia Banks says “I’m the one behind me.” It’s a black girl thing.

I don’t mean to make this a race issue. Perhaps I’m reaching; I don’t know. But every black girl has been told, have said, or have heard a woman of the same hue say something along the lines of  “I’m the one behind me.” Black and brown girls are taught from youngins’ to not depend on anyone (i.e. man) for anything and to always stand as a strong black woman, for he will leave you at the drop of a dime. However, this at times can become blurred with the angry black woman, the quick to roll the neck and snap the fingers woman.

But I get it.

When there are viral videos of your “brothers” chuckling and laughing at the insults spewed by Caucasian girls, or are constantly called ugly and undesirable, or are constantly told you’ll live a single miserable life, or are constantly called b-tches and h-oes, or told that “you look baby mama type,” avoid backhanded compliments from your sista etc, I understand why Azealia Banks says “I’m the one behind me.”

But she doesn’t have to be. Everyone isn’t the aforementioned. There are people that will encourage her growth and success. She’s dope and is immensely talented. It’d be a shame if she isn’t heard because she continues to perpetuate stereotypes.

I want her to win.

Become bigger than the “212.”


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