Azealia Banks' Kendrick Lamar Comments On Twitter Are Important, But Social Media Feuds Don't Solve Anything
Kendrick Lamar has a lot of people talking, but for once, the heightened buzz isn't related to his infectious music. On Friday, Kendrick Lamar's cover story with Billboard sparked some feverish debates online, mainly due to his comments on the numerous Ferguson protests that took place after a police officer Darren Wilson killed an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August. The 27-year-old rapper said, "I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it's already a situation, mentally, where it's f***ed up." He continued, "What happened to [Michael Brown] should've never happened. Never. But when we don't have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don't start with just a rally, don't start from looting — it starts from within."
While many took issue with the "i" rapper's perspective, some of the strongest opposition came from Azealia Banks, who tweeted her disgust with Lamar. She began by tweeting, "When we don't respect ourselves how can we expect them to respect us" dumbest shit I've ever heard a black man say." Banks continued with, "Lol do you know about the generational effects of poverty, racism and discrimination?"
But Banks didn't stop there. She obviously had a lot more to say:
While I completely admire Banks' outspokenness and desire to spread awareness on racial issues, I just hope that her approach doesn't cause a riff between two very aware and brilliant young artists who appear to both want to uplift their communities. Instead of sending out a bunch of passive-aggressive tweets, how great would it be if Banks and Lamar could come together and hash things out face-to-face in a respectful manner that didn't involve insults or condescension? They could even make the most of their musical artistry by collaborating on a song that addresses social and racial issues that impact the African-American community. Unfortunately, these types of social media outbursts don't really seem to be conducive to a healthy dialogue taking place between the two artists, because the issue really is an important one that should be addressed. So far, Lamar has yet to address the backlash over his Ferguson comments or Banks' criticism on Twitter. But when and if he does, it would be nice if it's delivered in a manner that addresses the issue at hand without creating another.