Beyond the weird similarity of their names, Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks seem like versions of the same person, but from parallel universes. This is a cool concept off top, ’cause it suggests that somewhere out there, there’s a white Scissorhands who makes indie pop tunes with old school hip-hop influences, writes about how utterly comprehensible women are…and is famous.
But, I digress. These two have had a very public war of words going on for the last couple of months, and as as symbol of hip-hop’s race and gender conflicts I found the whole thing fascinating. But, before I give you a war report, you need to be briefed on the combatants.
Banks is a 20 year-old native Harlemite who got the industry buzzing in 2011 when she released her single “212” (the area code for Manhattan). The music for the track itself is a sample of a bouncy, playful, electro house song by producer Lazy Jay and sounds nothing like anything anyone might associate with Harlem…except for the ratchet-ass talk about “cunts gettin’ eaten.” And when I say that, I don’t mean it the way I’d mean it if I were talking about the music of Houston-festishizing fellow Harlemite A$AP Rocky. I’m talking ’bout the fact that this sounds like some straight-up fist-pumping, ecstasy-enhanced, White Folks ClubTM shit. One listen tells you that this woman is a smart, artful rhymesayer in possession of an open mind that she’s filled with a buncha DIFFERENT shit.
When you think about it, that probably isn’t so surprising since she’s a product of New York City’s famed arts high school LaGuardia, alma mater of Isaac Mizrahi, Slick Rick, Liza Minnelli…and Nicki Minaj. From an early age, she was prepped to draw inspiration from an outside world that was inaccessible to most black girls in NYC. I mean, she spent time listening both to Interpol AND Lil’ Kim as a teenager…which was like, three fucking years ago, in case you forgot.
After a failed deal with label XL Recordings left her depressed and detached, she picked up and moved to Montreal to regain focus. Since “212” went planetary in 2011, she’s been storming Europe, working with Adele producer Paul Epworth in London and performing for cultural bigwigs like the
King of the Vampires Karl Lagerfeld in Paris. C’est la vie, and her new life really began once she catapulted herself out of the hood and, importantly, out of America.
Iggy, on the other hand, spent the better part of a decade trying to land her amazingly melanin-deficient, yet seemingly ample ass in pretty much the exact muthaeffin’ spot that Banks vacated. Growing up in Mullumbimby, Austrailia, she was a lonely, shunned elementary schooler who was introduced to 2Pac at age 13 and never looked back. A year later, she was getting booed off stage at rap battles and…
Wait a minute. I want to pause right here and take a moment to have y’all reflect on how bad you must be to get the Sandman treatment in Arsefucking, Austrailia. Think about that, seriously. That’s like showing a newly sighted, formerly blind woman a painting you did and having her be so unimpressed by it that she pulls up her dress, summons the requisite muscle control, and takes a piss on that bitch standing up. Horrible.
But now imagine how big Iggy’s femballs must be, ’cause she didn’t give up.
No, she kept at it, and using money that she saved from her commercial cleaning business (hustle), she moved to Miami in 2006 at the age of six-fucking-teen. She made ends meet by both working illegally and doing illegal work, the latter consisting of credit card scams (hustle hard). All the while she kept at the music thing though she knew no one in the industry, that is until she bounced to Houston, got mentored, and finally started sharpening her darts, as the Wu might say. Moves to Atlanta and L.A. followed, and at the start of 2011 she uploaded the homemade and fragrantly titled “Pussy Two Times” video to YouTube. By August of that same year it was easy to see that our favorite Aussie was on the come-up, as she released the still vaginally themed but MUCH more polished “PU$$Y” promo video to fuel interest in her first mixtape “Ignorant Art.”
Listening to Iggy would provide most people with no clue that she’s from the twangy-ass Land Down Under. I mean, babygirl straight sounds like a New York chick who spent a few years visiting her peoples down south or some shit…which she halfway is. And that’s interesting, because Azealia Banks often sounds like a Harlem chick who spent years raving with white girls in Brooklyn…which she absolutely is. It’s scary how much these two seem to have in common, which makes it all the more sad that they’ve got enough beef between ’em to host a barbecue. With shrimp, of course…so Iggy can skew it. ‘Cause she’s Australian.
Now there are a couple thoughts as to why this beef popped off. You know I got my opinion, but since I’m past my 800 word limit for you ignorant bastiches, you’ll have to read the rest in a couple days. That’s right, I’m DOUBLE POSTING within a week. Yay, for you! And for anybody making cracks about me not having written the conclusion of “Beauty and the Beast” yet, close your mouth ’cause nobody cares about you or your life. Beautiful art takes time to produce, and so does this shit. So just wait.
Devil Fingers Salute!