In recent months, Azealia Banks has become as well known for her Twitter rants as she has for her 2011 breakout single 212. While many of her social media dispatches centre on important issues of racism in America and reparations for slavery, she’s given an equal amount of time to attacking her peers, most notably Iggy Azalea.
However, for Banks, the two are one and the same. Dubbing the Fancy hit-maker and Mullumbimby native “Igloo Australia”, Banks has taken exception to the white Azalea operating in the realm of black music, particularly in the wake of several cases of police brutality in the US, on which Azalea remained silent.
“It’s funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?” tweeted Banks, following a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict an NYPD officer involved in the apparent chokehold death of the late Eric Garner. But Banks has now turned her attention to all of Australia.
After fellow rapper Lupe Fiasco came to Iggy Azalea’s defence last month, Banks took to Twitter to attack the rapper, implying that he is no longer relevant and claiming that he is unable to book shows. After Fiasco responded with a photo of a shirt from his latest Australian tour, Banks hit back.
“In Australia, those are white people… it’s cultural fetishism… they only like you because you’re black… not because you’re good,” Banks opined to the hit-making rapper, who scored an Australian number one back in 2012 with ‘Battle Scars’, a collaboration with Australian singer Guy Sebastian, which only hit No. 71 in the US.
It wasn’t the first time that Banks made her critical view of Australia known. Back in December, the rapper issued an apparent response to a since-deleted tweet in which she wrote, “You are from Australia… One of the most notoriously racist countries in the WORLD. Your mind isn’t even prepared for this.”
While the comments have been largely ignored Down Under, Melbourne band Closure In Moscow took to social media to criticise Banks and her current feud with Kendrick Lamar, who recently came to Iggy Azalea’s defence. “Calls out Kendrick on dumb shit then writes off Australia as a place of nothing but White cultural fetishists… DUMB CUNT,” wrote the band.
Banks quickly responded, writing, “Look at what you guys do to the Aboriginal people there!!! Are u kidding?!?” The band then fired back in a since-deleted and ill-worded tweet (via TheMusic.com.au), writing, “*Musician uses expert opinion to make broad stroke statements about complex social issues* Brb, gotta marginalize another abo.”
Whether or not Banks’ comments about Australia are accurate, the debate is likely to rage on. However, it’s important to note, as the Sydney Morning Herald does, that a look over the ARIA end-of-year chart data indicates that Australian music listeners have a more or less equal preference for both black and white artists.
One Australian who may be inclined to agree with Bank’s point of view, however, is fellow rapper 360. During a much-publicised appearance on ABC panel program Q&A back in October, the rapper claimed that he identifies the Australian flag with “racism”, adding, “I think in hip-hop in this country, I think there is a lot of racist people.”
its funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren't huh?
— AZEALIA BANKS (@AZEALIABANKS) December 4, 2014
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 10, 2015
@hsamuax you are from Australia… One of the most notoriously racist countries in the WORLD. You mind isn't even prepared for this.
— AZEALIA BANKS (@AZEALIABANKS) December 20, 2014
@AZEALIABANKS calls out Kendrick on dumb shit then writes off Australia as a place of nothing but White cultural fetishists… DUMB CUNT
— Closure In Moscow (@ClosureInMoscow) January 11, 2015