What we could learn from Azaelia Banks and “Culture Appropriation”

Yesterday, I was surfing the internet (like most of you reading this). After doing research on a variety of stuff including YouTube, I decided to click on a video entitled, “Azaealia Banks goes off on T.I. Iggy +Black Music being smudged out.” I was curious to see what was going on in “ratched” news so I gave into my guilty pleasure and “clicked.”

Keep in mind I am not a fan of Azaelia Banks and started liking her less because of her rants and disrespectful comments to other artists, especially as someone who is not well-known or getting play on mainstream radio. Sure, she’s made several magazine appearances, interviews and even secured a short-lived contract with M.A.C cosmetics. But that does not give someone a “unwarranted” right to talk outside ones neck about assumed “talented” people.

[Update] 10/11/15: I feel Azaelia Banks has every right to exercise her freedom of speech, even if it is deemed offensive.

After watching the interview I gained a new-found respect for this young woman. Fortunately, I went in with an open mind and not place judgement on her and listened with “open ears”. So glad I did! Although she could enhance her vocabulary skills by  not using so many obscenities to express herself. The message was not convoluted in any shape or form. Even the Radio Personalities on the show from Hot 97 “co-signed” for her and I appreciate them even more for using their platform to address race relations and cultural biases in the music industry. In addition, they were not being afraid to  piss some people off even if it meant exposing the truth.

Azaelia made several key points in her interview concluding that her “harsh” criticism against “rapper” Iggy Azaelia and Iggy’s “handler” T.I. “Tip” Harris had some logic behind it and could help awaken and enlighten the young generation including music artists today.

Here are a few key points (“quotes”) she made regarding cultural biases in the music industry, Iggy’s “authenticity” as a  “Rapper” and T.I. serving as a modern-day “uncle tom” and “coon”.

On the Grammys Awarding white artists with “Best Hip Hop” accolades who put out mediocre albums.

“When it comes to “our” thing, like black issues, or black politics or black music, or whatever there’s this undercurrent of a “f*** you”, like  F*** ya’ll N***s you don’t own s**t.” I have a problem when your trying to say that it is “hip-hop” and put it against black culture.

On the category that Iggy Azaelia should be placed in.
“Put her in the “pop” category or put her with Katy Perry, put her and Miley Cyrus in the same f**** box together. Don’t put her in hip hop. Just because she’s not singing does not mean it is “rap” music.

On Capitalism in America and Politics in Music

“Everyone knows the basis of modern-day capitalism is the modern-day slave labor, really just the selling and trading of these slaves. There are still corporations caking off that slave labor, so until ya’ll mutha f***rs are ready to talk about what ya’ll owe me…at the very f**** least ya’ll owe me the right to my own identity and to not exploit that s**t.”

 On T.I. and his role in the Music industry

“T.I. is out promoting a fake white B*** rapper and you have your wife on VH1 who can’t f**** read, you got your priorities f**** up, thats how I feel about you, you’re a f**** shoe shinning coon, how dare you!.

Although her comments are emotionally fueled and can be mistaken as “hatefully” fueled, they are nonetheless emotionally fueled and serve some valid points in my opinion (hence the comments above). She is passionate about the Hip-Hop culture and how credit is taken away from African-Americans on a constant basis.

I remember watching the Grammy awards myself last year and when Macklemore beat out Kendrick Lamar I was stunned. Immediately my mind went to, “because he is white”. Don’t get me wrong he has good fun “dance music”, but it was not better than Kendrick Lamar and the message is “screw black folks and their contributions to their own creativity and culture, WE run this.” Our education and socio-economic status is being dismantled as we speak from HBCU’s (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) and business’ led by African-Americans.

You can be mad at Azaelia Banks all you want for her boldness and willingness to expose whats really going on, but you can’t be mad at this “90’s baby” for being aware of her history and culture, the young generation needs to jump on the band wagon.

What do you think about Azaelias Views?


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