THE MAINSTREAM GAME: Azealia Banks V.S Cardi B

DISCLAIMER: I love Azealia Bank’s music and have been a dedicated fan for a long time; but I’m about to shade her for filth, kinda.

During a recent visit at the Breakfast Club, New York’s most polarizing Hip-Hop radio station, rapper Azealia Banks explained to host Charlemagne that Bronx rhymer Cardi B, is “illiterate,” and a “caricature of a black woman.” The statement caused quite a stir, especially considering that this hasn’t been the first time these New York MC’s have been at each other’s throat; or actually, lemme rephrase that- Banks coming for another black woman more successful than her.

Last September, when Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” made number one on the Billboard 100, Banks went on to social media to call Cardi, “a poor man’s Nicki Minaj,” which caused Cardi to bite back with a video of Azealia herself dancing to “Bodak” in a club. What’s even worse is that Azealia further explained that black men in Hip Hop, specifically Charlemagne – a prolific influencer and personality in the Rap music industry, should have given “Remy AND Nicki a number one before they gave Cardi or Iggy one.”

With Cardi B’s debut album “Invasion Of Privacy” at number one on Billboard’s top 200, Azealia couldn’t wait to bring down Cardi again during The Breakfast Club interview a few weeks ago. Azealia compared Cardi B’s work to Beyonce’s “Lemonade.”

“Two years ago, the conversation surrounding black women’s culture was really reaching an all-time high…there was just this really, really, really intelligent conversation going on nationally and then everything just kinda changed.”

It only took a day for Cardi B to delete her social media accounts and leave a response to Azealia and her offensive comments which eventually caused an all out tit for tat on Twitter. And while the uproar against Azealia has been strong since- there is some truth to what she’s saying.

During the same Breakfast Club interview, Azealia also explained that Cardi B’s behavior wouldn’t be acceptable in the real world.

“I’m just talking about this caricature of a black woman that black women themselves would never be able to get away with. “Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be canceled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, we would be ragging on her all day.”

If I could diagnose this drama, it’s a classic case of hating the player. Azealia doesn’t like Cardi B because she is successful despite not having the resources and “proper channels” to gain that success. It is no secret that Azealia Banks is uber talented.  What other female rapper do you know was combining Hip-Hop and House music in 2009 on a scale that Banks was executing? That’s right, no one. It’s not shocking to me that Azealia Banks isn’t impressed with Cardi B, yet I find it specifically disturbing how low Banks will go to offend her.

This is where my “third eye” comes in. Our society, media and pop culture has a singularity issue with black women. Our representation has been overwhelmingly negative. And it doesn’t matter how many Oprah Winfreys or Beyonces we have, women like Cardi B and most times worse, will always be the common denominator/ receive more exposure. Given how long Azealia Banks has been in the Hip-Hop community and never been fully accepted makes for an awkward disposition when someone like Cardi B surpasses her. And I forsee in Azealia’s mind, that Cardi B’s very transparent behavior, the same thing Banks was demonized for, adds insult to injury. Not to mention that there are likely colorism issues sprinkled in this controversy. Azealia recognizes the media’s push for Cardi B and isn’t accepting the damaging effects it could have on the culture down the line.

What Azealia doesn’t understand is that there is no glory for bringing down Cardi B or Skai Jackson or Remy Ma. The only thing worse than being a black woman, is being a black woman insulting other black women- especially in front of a white gaze. Stay in your own lane sis. How lame would it be if Beyonce tweeted how bad Rihanna was in her formitive years? It’s honestly pitiful.






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