Azealia Banks is not a reliable source of information.

The "212" rapper has engaged in countless social media feuds with everyone from Rihanna to Sia to Disney Channel star Skai Jackson (who was 14 at the time…). She has claimed to perform animal sacrifices as part of witchcraft rituals, once labelled Lizzo a "millennial mammy," and has been kicked off Twitter more than once for spouting homophobic slurs. She defended Donald Trump's "Muslim ban" and told him she is "proud as f***" of him as a fellow Gemini for winning the 2016 election, but later called him "a f***ing idiot" and "disqualified" him from his Gemini status.

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Music Features

Azealia Banks and the Dangers of the "Angry Black Woman" Trope

After posting cryptic messages on her Instagram story, it's clear that many of Azealia Banks's behaviors were a cry for help.

Content warning: This article contains depictions of suicidal ideation.

Eight years ago, Azealia Banks was positioned to be the next big thing in hip-hop.

The Harlem rapper's debut single, "212," had spread through the Internet like wildfire. Banks was only 20 years old at the time and had just left her record label, XL Recordings, due to creative conflicts. Despite being strapped for cash and admittedly depressed, Banks released "212" as a free download from her website. The unforgettable hip-house track would reinvigorate her tumultuous music career.

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Azealia Banks is an icon. Could we name a single one of her songs besides "212?" No. Do we religiously follow her various inflammatory social media accounts? Yes, absolutely. She has feuded with an unexpected cast of celebrities from Lana Del Ray to Elon Musk, and memorably called Cardi B a "poor man's Nicki Minaj." While we won't go into the full list of Azealia Banks feuds, we recommend you do your civic duty and take a few hours out of your work day to get up to date on the queen of take-down's brutal reign.

Now, Banks reportedly has beef with Twitter founder and unfortunate-nose-ring-wearer, Jack Dorsey. Apparently, in 2016, Dorsey and Banks started hanging out, one thing led to another, and Banks offered to make Dorsey an amulet made of his own beard hair to protect him from ISIS. You know, as one does. According to Banks' now deleted tweets from the time, in return for the amulet and Banks promotion of Dorsey's new app, he said he would tweet about and promote Banks's mixtape, Slay-Z.

Ick. GQ

At the time, Banks tweeted, "Jack Dorsey asked me to tweet about his cash app and in exchange he was supposed to tweet about my mixtape. he never did." She continued, "[H]e also sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection," she followed up, "i have 3 Strands of a billionaire's hair. i should steal his luck."

Business Insider reached out to the rapper on Monday to ask about the story. She responded that it's "absolutely true" and she still has one of the strands of Dorsey's beard hair in an envelope in her storage space. Banks told the publication that the relationship began when Dorsey followed her on twitter, which led to frequent texting, and an eventual meet up. Banks said, "We have this awkward dinner of turkey slices, asparagus, and tomato as he is on something called the Bulletproof Diet ... the food was nasty, so I had some drinks and we kept talking." As the evening wore on, Banks offered to cast a spell to protect Dorset from ISIS, who had recently threatened the billionaire. She went on to say, "A lot of articles said I put a hex on him but I didn't, I have no reason to wish him harm. But we made a spiritual pact and he was supposed to make good on his end...I made a pact on his behalf and he left me hanging. He will pay for that."

All we're left with is questions: Did Azealia Banks curse Jack Dorsey? Who has the amulet now? Can we have it? Can Jack Dorsey please stop wearing a nose ring? How do you start frequently texting Azealia Banks? Can we have her number? Can 2018 possibly get any weirder before New Years?


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.



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A Twitter Tit-for-Tat Between Lana Del Rey and Azealia Banks

Clashing opinions on Kanye's praise for Trump fuel a feud between celebrities.

It looks like Azealia Banks and Lana Del Rey are at each other's throats.

The bickering stems from Kanye West's latest post on his admiration for the president. While West is famous for being at the center of controversy, he merely stirred the pot for this feud and hasn't weighed in on the Del Rey and Banks Twitter war (at least not yet).

It appears that Del Rey put Banks in a bad mood by commenting on a positive post about President Trump that West shared on his Instagram account. Del Rey suggested that his support of Trump was "a loss for the culture." When Banks was privy to the commentary, she directed a Twitter tirade of her own at Del Rey.

What followed was a slew of tweets that turned the social media site into a battlefield between the artists.

Banks accused Del Rey of using West "for your (Del Rey's) own vapid attempts to seem politically aware." She continued posting about systemic racism, sexism, and so on, calling Del Rey "the enemy" and recommending she extend an apology to West.

Like any low-blow Twitter war, the topic went from something that could have started a conversation about politics and the state of society to bashing one another's looks and talent, resulting in Del Rey suggesting Banks stop by her house to "fight it out face-to-face."

Standard.

While Del Rey doesn't usually engage in heated exchanges on social media, Banks is a seasoned professional. According to People, "In May, she criticized Cardi B, calling her everything from a 'caricature of a black woman' to 'an illiterate, untalented rat' after she broke onto the scene, and attacked her marriage with rapper Offset." She has also told Rihanna to "shut up and sit down" when Rihanna spoke out about Trump's order to ban refugees from entering the country. Surely, this recent Del Rey incident won't be the last time Banks uses social media as a virtual boxing ring.

Time

Perhaps after West finishes lunch with Trump at the White House tomorrow, he'll share his thoughts about the Del Rey–Banks beef. Until then, stay tuned to Twitter to find out if more fire fuels this feud or it fizzles out.


Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.



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Azealia Banks shares official video for 'Anna Wintour'

It's the first single from her forthcoming LP: Fantasea II.

Emerging from the thick controversy cloud that seems to cover Azealia Banks, today, the Harlem-bred rapper and singer released the official music video for 'Anna Wintour'. In an empty warehouse, Banks performs choreographed dance moves orchestrated by Justin Hamilton (known for his work with Teyana Taylor for her appearance in the official video for Kanye West's 'Fade'). It is the first video from her forthcoming sophomore album titled, 'Fantasea II'.

Read more and watch the official video for 'Anna Wintour' now at GRUNGECAKE.

MUSIC

Iggy Azalea is Back...And Still Mediocre

Not even Quavo is here for the party on Iggy Azalea's new single.

Iggy Azalea

There's no denying that Azalea has suffered the type of media assassination reserved for pop stars with a bit more stamina.

Mediocrity is kind of Iggy Azalea's brand. If Big Sean is the Nickelback of rap, Azalea is his warm-up playlist bumped through Nick Cannon headphones. The once Grammy-nominated rapper is back and this time, she's looking for salvation. "Savior," her latest single since the twerktastic "Mo Bounce," is generally unremarkable and severely derivative; however, the change in sound is…well, another commercial rebranding of the singer. Her culturally appropriated Southern American accent is still there, don't worry, backed by Cirkut's production and a healthy dose of global ambiguity—a muddled pop song that's sedated by its own lackluster sound.

Since mastering her "blaccent" and perusing Urban Dictionary's most searched slang and colloquialisms, Azalea's career post-"Fancy" is still dragging itself through a sophomore curse. Similar to single "Switch" and its accompanying leaked music video, "Savior" is packaged for international play with a club beat that's agreeably ethnic, you know, salable to white and black kids; this time, thankfully, Azalea opts out of a Pan-African costume design and set—one of her more comical moments of colonial memory.

Migos' Quavo collects his feature check, yawning through the chorus; his absence in the music video leaves more room for fluorescent crosses, in case Azalea's serviceable verses ("Had a dance with the devil and he got a grip on me") don't communicate her pseudo-spiritualism. An ode to her bumpy breakup with basketball star Nick Young and shelved sophomore album, "Digital Distortion," "Savior" wants to be a let's-party-through-the-bad-times anthem, but settles for you've-heard-this-song-before-done-better background noise.

"I wrote it at a really heavy period in my life where I'd had a lot of changes that had happened overnight," she told iHeartRadio in a recent interview. The single is to appear on her upcoming album "Surviving the Summer." There's no denying that Azalea has suffered the type of media assassination reserved for pop stars with a bit more stamina. Unfortunately, Azalea's Twitter beefs, public meltdowns, and embarrassing live performances eclipse her artistry (or rapping? If that's what we're calling it). As an entertainer, Azalea is hard to listen to and fun to watch: Will she get her bars right? Will she try her hand, again, at a Jamaican accent while rhyming "dutty wine" with "grind"? Who knows!

Her label change from Def Jam Recordings to Island Records is telling of her contractual inconsistencies, her many leaked songs, videos, and delayed album releases. Rap is a genre of change, always reinventing itself through language, whether incoherent, mumbled, or a complete lack thereof. Maybe one day Iggy Azalea will find her sound in rap, maybe not. Maybe she'll settle for twerk videos and the occasional hosting gig on Aussie's "X Factor." Maybe she'll wake Quavo up from his nap.


Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.


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