Yesterday Azealia Banks released another single. According to Billboard, the house-inspired “Movin’ On Up,” speaks for Azealia, despite dogged headlines of her social media outbursts.
I wish this were true.
Azealia’s meltdowns, lashing out, name-calling and shocking outbursts scream louder than her lyrical acuity. Ask anyone who Azealia is, and more than likely the response will be some variation of “The crazy rapper chick?”
But listen to her music, and her talent is clear. Look at her face and body, and she is unquestionably beautiful and fit.
Yet she is perpetually lonely, angry, and frustrated. Her profile could be bigger, but she’s been labled “a problem.” One writer suggests she may have “trolled her career to death.” People don’t want to work with her. She openly pick fights with other performers, calls them names, then cries about being misunderstood. She’s like a frustrated child who can’t figure out how to put the wooden square peg into the proper hole, so she picks it up and throws it against the wall with a crash.
If you consider what she was born into, it’s no surprise she reacts the way she does. From a feature in Vibe:
Banks grew up in Harlem with her mother and two sisters. Her father died of pancreatic cancer when she was two, “from red meat, coffee, cocaine and Courvoisier”. He was a cokehead, she says with a note of pride, “till 63”. Her mother “lost her mind” a few years after he died. Banks claims she became physically and verbally abusive. She had fistfights with her daughters, sometimes attacking them with baseball bats, Banks says. She once beat up a Mexican limo driver in the street after he hit Banks with a bag of rubbish. When her mother found out one of their boyfriends had cheated, she went round and hammered on his door, saying she would “cut his dick off and put it in a pan with some onions and peppers”. “She’s crazy,” says Banks.
Azealia has spoken of mental illness, and for sure that is a major componenet, especially if it goes untreated. But I also believe she has never had anyone around to school her in the “softer skills” that women learn in order to get what they want without lashing out. And while the behaviors she displays–cursing, yelling, lashing out in anger–are often tolerated in the black community, it is social suicide outside of it. If we don’t know, and nobody tells us, how can we change? Many times, black women are surrounded by others who behave in similar ways.
I addressed this yesterday in a video.
Some notable comments…
“I had a couple of childhood friends like Azealia. What they all had in common was abusive mothers or mothers who let step fathers abuse them. Such beautiful girls who could have made it anywhere in the world. But absolutely no social skills at all. Angry, confrontational, just so much rage in them. It was of course understandable but it really was a drawback for them.”“I love 💕💗 Azealia I’ve been listening since 212. She is ridiculously talented and gorgeous. I honestly believe if she had a pink pill things would go over better for her. She’s admitted to mental health issues. I hope everything turns out alright for her.”