We all know how the music industry operates. Those at the top monopolize all opportunities, making it hard for new up and coming artists to get a chance to breakthrough and shine. When it comes to female entertainers in the hip-hop genre Miss Minaj wears the crown. I am not quite sure why. I mean she definitely has a few hits that I like and occasionally sing in the shower (Moment 4 life and Starships). This changed drastically once Stupid Ho and Beez In The Trap was released. Listening to her croon “stupid ho” while gyrating and shaking her surgical “enhancements” in a cage was crossing the line for me. I had to really access what Nicki Minaj was doing for me and all women? Nothing, I concluded. Which brings me to Azealia Banks.
With Azealia Banks, it was an instant love affair. She was different, cute, and youthful. When I caught a glimpse of her infectious smile and explicitly raunchy lyrics rapping over dance music in her hit single 212, it was a done deal. Eager for more, I impatiently waited for the release of Liqourice, Van Vogue, and 1991. And now, I find myself completely enthralled in the music of Miss Banks. I am obsessed and I am not exactly sure why.
On one hand, her music is fun. It gets me revved up and ready for the day. But on the other hand, I am like “Did this girl really just say that?” And the fact is that she did. In the realm of sexual affairs, this girl knows no boundaries. Yet, like a moth to a flame, I am pulled to her.
Let me give you an example. Recently Banks received a great amount of attention for her controversial cover with Dazed and Confused magazine. The cover features Miss Banks posing with a blown up condom in her mouth which subsequently is banned in seven nations. I was shocked. I had to take a break from her. Why is it that Black women in the music industry go to extremes in order to gain recognition. Was this her intention? Probably, but either way I felt I needed to sever the tie between me and her. And this break lasted for two weeks and I was back on the wagon.
It is then that I came to the harsh realization that the same reason why many love Nicki Minaj is the same reason I like Azealia Banks. They are both talented, attractive women, with hypnotizing beats, and an affinity for wordplay. Despite the images that are sometimes degrading and oversexualized, I still listen, watch, and support Azealia Banks. And as a result, contributing to this rap/pop fusion that is has taken over the music industry. Now I am starting to think that there is no difference between the two ladies in terms of how they are perceived and what they represent on a larger scale.
What are your thoughts on Azealia Banks? Is she doing something different than Nicki Minaj? Or are they one and the same?
Check out their latest videos and you be the judge…
Azealia Banks, 1991
Nicki Minaj, I am your leader