Azealia Banks Talks About Her "Hot Temper," Running For President & Hip Hop History
No stranger to controversy or a confessional interview, Azealia Banks appeared on the UK's Channel 4 to promote her album Broke With Expensive Taste and touched on the subject of her "hot temper," and in a surprising turn of events, also said that she would consider running to be the first female president. Though her political aspirations are probably more of a symbolic pipe dream, Banks did discuss the racial politics of hip-hop music and white appropriation. "Things like hip hop, these are the things we have created for ourselves in the face of all of the adversity," she said.
The 23-year-ol Harlem rapper was not so subtly alluding to her feud with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, which came to a head late last year after Banks accused Azalea of appropriating and gaining from black culture but not carrying about black issues — specifically, the lack of indictment of the cop that killed Eric Garner. "It's funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen... Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren't huh?," she tweeted on December 3. It only escalated from there, in a tense back-and-forth that was pretty vicious.
On Channel 4, Banks said that she was working on reeling in her rage a little bit: "I definitely have a really hot temper... which I'm working on." That's all well and good, but I hope her attempt to calm down doesn't totally prohibit her from speaking up and staying mad about race and racial justice, especially in the hip-hop community, because I think she's an important voice.
Banks said that music, for her, is an escape from this "messed-up" atmosphere, and spoke about the pain and anger she feels from the appropriation of hip-hop culture by white artists:
I just feel like for centuries and centuries and centuries black people have been painted to be these animals and just be these crazy people when we are really not and I feel like all of the things like hip hop -- these are the things we have created for ourselves in the face of all of the adversity. We've created these things for ourselves and they are ours. And they make us feel good and we don't want you in the same way you don't want us in I don't want you in here.
She touches on a sensitive but crucial point: the black hip hop community is intended to be a space of support for people of color, and that shouldn't be offensive to white artists. It's not exclusionary: artists of color and especially black musical artists should have their own safe spaces.
As for running for president, Banks said that she would consider it — on the condition that a new, black political party be created. Fair enough!