Open up Twitter, type in “azealia banks”, and witness the 23 year-old rapper-singer-songwriter’s solitary crusade against any soul that she sets in her sights. A lot of artists talk huge game about being above caring about the public’s opinion of what they do or say but make no mistake, they, like many of us, shiver when they hear the phrase “did you hear what Azealia Banks said this time?” She utterly embodies the term “outspoken”; her Twitter is essentially a platform through which she unleashes barrage after barrage of unfiltered passion.
Banks is seemingly inexhaustible when it comes to her unflinching hostility, and the list of targets who have been unfortunate enough to come under her heat reads like a who’s who of key music industry figures and past and current stars. There’s T.I., Lil Kim, Diplo, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, The Stone Roses (?) and of course, Igloo Australia, whom Banks reserves a singular hate for. No one is too large for her to size up and attack, proved most recently by her brief spar with Erykah Badu, an indisputable hip-hop/r&b/soul/black music dignitary. Her long list of enemies made in her short career garnered Banks the reputation of an unproductive troublemaker during the period of time in which Banks’ debut Broke With Expensive Taste languished in label hell. As Hazlitt writer Sarah Nicole Prickett notes, Banks had been seen as more famous for her acidic insults than her actual music.