Hip hop and fashion have always intermingled, in some type of way. But when Azealia Banks called out Kanye West, and the future of hip hop, I got little confused. When asked about hip hop in 2015, during an interview with France's Skyrock, Banks touched on how she feels like hip hop is doomed because of people like West – and his connection to "the white fashion world."
She did go on to credit people like Kendrick Lamar for being different, but seemed stuck on West because of how his fashion has changed over his time in the hip hop game. "Someone like Kanye West, when he first came out, it was a different thing," said Banks. She continued, "Now, he's really focused on, like, being accepted by, like, the white fashion world, and it's kind of like... It's a little confusing."
What I find more confusing is that whole statement. If Banks wants to comment on black hip hop artists taking part in "the white fashion world," she needs to look in a mirror. In the past year, she, too, partook in her share of "white fashion world" events. So if we're keeping count, I think attending the Met Gala and performing at Karl Lagerfeld's house put her over the limit of interaction with "the white fashion world."
In my opinion, Kanye West isn't (as Banks said) trying to be "accepted by white people." When it comes down to it, he's doing what he loves, and making money – which he also loves. Aside from this West/Banks drama, I find the thing that's most problematic about her interview is the fact that she thinks meshing together the fashion and hip hop worlds is a problem. Isn't collaboration the best way to reach a broader audience? I think yes. I can understand her fear that artists will sell their souls to be accepted by all, but what if others are just testing new waters? I mean, Rihanna does it all of the time and we're all okay with that. I just hope Banks recognizes what she's implying about the state of hip hop, and the lack of connection it has with fashion.
Check out a clip from her interview, here.