Azealia Banks Talks The Erasing of Black Culture, Hip Hop, and Calls T.I. a “shoe-shining coon”

Azealia Banks Talks The Erasing of Black Culture, Hip Hop, and Calls T.I. a “shoe-shining coon”

In an interview on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning, Azealia Banks talked about Hip Hop media, receiving unfair criticism and gets emotional speaking about the intentional erasing of Black culture.  The Harlem rapper also goes in on Iggy Azalea and T.I., going so far as to call him a “shoe-shining coon”.

Azealia Banks Hot 97 Interview

Azealia Banks has been receiving a lot of attention recently for comments made about Iggy Azalea and in response to the murdering of Black men at the hands of police officers.  While many seem to agree with her, more people seem to be distracted by her methods, missing the point entirely.  Whether you appreciate her methods or not, you can’t deny that Azealia Banks is speaking straight facts about Iggy Azalea, T.I., and American culture in general: white America takes from Black America and attempts to own it, then makes is seem as if they’ve bettered it.

I both understand and agree with Azealia: methods and inventions that either originated in Africa or were created by Black people have been re-credited to Whites.

Azealia Banks Hot 97 Interview2We’re in a culture where the picture that has been painted and paraded around is that white people are superior to Black people in every way – even with regards to things that African Americans have created or established.  Banks touches on this when speaking about awards, specifically the Grammys and labeling all non-singing music as Hip Hop, saying:  “I have a problem when you’re trying to, like, say that it’s Hip Hop and you’re trying to, like, put it up against Black culture…all it says to white kids that ‘oh yeah, you’re great, you’re amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to’, and it says to Black kids ‘you don’t have sh*t, you don’t own sh*t, not even the sh*t you created for yourself’, and it makes me upset in that way.”

As the conversation continued, Banks got emotional when she began speaking about reparations and the desire for white America to leave [Black Americans] alone saying, ” …until y’all motherf**kas are ready to talk about what y’all owe [Black Americans]…at the very f**king least, y’all owe me the right to my identity and to not exploit that sh*t…That’s all we’re holding onto [Hip Hop]”.

What’s sad to me is that too many people who hear this will disregard it and chalk it up to (as she says) the “bitter Black b*tch” being emotional, instead of waking up to what’s happening to Black Americans, Black people, and Black culture.  I also think it’s equally frustrating to witness those individuals in positions to do something choosing to do the opposite and appear to only be out for self, showing no interest in speaking up for or defending their culture.  As has been previously stated: Iggy Azalea isn’t the only sellout in Hip Hop.

Azealia Banks Hot 97 Interview3She takes things step further when the brings up T.I.: “…and then you got f**cking coon-head-ass T.I. …T.I., you out here trying to f**king promote this white b*tch [while] they got your wife on VH1, why they got your wife on VH1 and that b*tch can’t f**king read? You understand?…you got your priorities f**ked up…that’s really how I f**king feel about you.  You a f**king shoe-shining coon, how dare you…you a f**king coon.  Your wife can’t read and they got your wife on TV…[they’er making fun of her]”.

Now, her harsh words may throw some people off, but Azealia Banks is on point.  Too many significant things are happening within and to Black culture for those who have a platform to remain silent.  Look at how we are portrayed on TV, how we are treated in the (in)justice system, and with regards to education.  All of these things are connected.  To too many powers-that-be who are white, Black people are good for no more than entertainment and we are dispensable.

Watch the video below 

The discussion of black appropriation, Iggy Azalea and T.I begins at 7:45 and continues until 23:00.  It picks up again at the 34:30 through the 47:20 mark, but you should really watch the full interview.  The conversation beginning at 26:30, where Azealia Banks talks about Starbucks having her on fleek was hilarious and a nice break in action from the serious talk.

Azealia also spoke on Hip Hop media, those outlets she says are responsible for painting the “negative image of Azealia Banks”.  Instead of these outlets truly keeping it 100 (as they claim), they contribute to the problem of Black people not being taken seriously when they speak passionately about an issue affecting us.

I do think Azealia could have a deeper impact if she tried a different approach, but I wholeheartedly respect the stand she’s taken and largely agree with her.

And now to Iggy Azalea, whose response proved to me that she has NO clue, said in part: “Make it racial! make it political! Make it whatever but I guarantee it won’t make you likable & THATS why ur crying on the radio.”  Actually, what Azealia became emotional over is the messaging being projected to and received by our Black youth and the extent to which white America has stripped and hijacked Black people and culture.  It’s not about Iggy Azalea.  It’s about the targeted effort to marginalize and discredit and discount Black people and make us feel inferior.  That’s why she was crying, because she feels the pain and suffering of our people and because she is frustrated, as all of us who are conscious are.





Miya W.

Living, working, and writing anonymously in the Chi.

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