The Notorious Ms. Banks

By Diana Kerbeck

March 8, 2021

A rapper, a singer, a songwriter, and an internet troll. Azealia Banks’ immense talent cannot be understated. She is a highly skilled vocalist, an excellent rapper, and a captivating personality. She broke out into the scene with the hit single “212”, a critically acclaimed song that broke boundaries of what rap could be perceived as. Azealia soon became a gay icon as her unique mix of house beats, soulful singing, and rap was seemingly catered to the LGBTQ+ community. However, since then, her career has changed drastically, mostly due to her feuds with nearly every celebrity that exists including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lana del Rey, Iggy Azealia, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Cardi B, Zayn Malik, and the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. 

 It was, at one point, a trend to google one’s birthday followed by Azealia Banks and see what ridiculous article came up. For me, I received a wonderful story about Azelia Banks calling a flight attendant the f-slur. This begins the dichotomy of Azealia, where she has at many times been a vocal supporter of the gay community, and at others offended it deeply. She is openly bisexual, yet has been known to go into homophobic or transphobic tirades. An overarching theme of Azealia’s feuds with artists is her ability to mix valid criticisms over genuine issues, with offensive and incomprehensible nonsense. Some of her more valid criticisms include calling out Eminem over his mockery of victims of domestic violence or Lana del Rey’s inconsistent feminism. Others are more humorous in nature, such as her calling Cardi B a “poor man’s Nicki Minaj” or her lawsuit with Elon Musk where he is accused of stealing her phone. This then leads to her most recent controversy involving a video posted to her Instagram account where she digs up her buried dead cat from her backyard, brings it into her kitchen, puts it into a pot, and boils it. She did eventually clarify that she didn’t eat the cat but the purpose of this endeavor remains a mystery. 

 This has become what Azealia is known for, her music rarely receives the attention it once did, yet she remains in the news due to her inability to stay off Twitter. Ms. Banks may still have once been able to stage a comeback, but after alienating so much of her fanbase, it is far less likely. Just a few days ago she announced that she was engaged and this might help her career return, but likely she has already done far too much harm. In fact, the mere announcement of this engagement has already created a new controversy after Azealia proclaimed herself to be jewish and calling transgender women “men in wigs”. Whether her constant internet drama is a conscious attempt to stay relevant, a symptom of an underlying condition, or a genuine expression of hate, is unknown. Lastly, after her comments have hurt and offended so many people, many believe it’s finally time to remove her platform.

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