To save sending a million tweets – I thought I’d blog my thoughts on the Azealia Banks Banning From Twitter Storm.
For a start – I think she’s adorable. I think she’s smart, funny & beautiful (not that it matters). I love 212 where she says the most disgusting things while wearing a cute Mickey Mouse jumper. It’s not what you expect – it’s shocking, but non-threatening – so it’s a guilty transgression everyone can giggle at.
Her twitter diatribes – she’s known for throwing out racial and sexual slurs – can be the same or more tiresome. I occasionally agree with a point, but I wouldn’t follow because it’s relentless and it doesn’t discriminate between those who can take it, and those who are having a nervous breakdown because their mentions are full of aggro.
In short – she comes across as unbalanced – and I think she probably is unbalanced. And I entirely understand why – she’s an artist – she’s got ambitions – but she’s internalized every social message that says she can’t do it – and she can’t get rid of the feeling – and worse – her talent is kooky. It doesn’t cleanly fit into a mainstream box – and I can count the black American hipsters on one hand – Solange Knowles, Jaden Smith and The Weeknd. Two with family to back them up and one who is actually Canadian so my thinking was wrong.
She’s sort of drifting around on a retro 90s vibe, dabbling in rave and surf music (!?!), not getting any chart success and sort of getting a cult audience but not quite because she keeps melting down on twitter and fandoms are very unforgiving of female weirdness. It’s not as bad as it used to be when the ‘scary crazy lady’ could only sing at lesbian festivals or be Kate Bush – I’m exaggerating for comedic affect here – but it’s still not great. If she broke down less she could drift into Erykah Badu or Lauren Hill territory. If she married well she could be Courtney Love or Yoko Ono.
And that makes me feel sad… All artists who face failure or ridicule or uncertainty or doom have my sympathy. It reminds me of my own list of rejections. And my own crippling doubts. And – more universally – that everything ends and it doesn’t much matter.
So – although I know we have to stop her harassing people – I will give her a break. And I present in evidence – that she’s suffering from acute status anxiety – her own mess of an explanation for slagging off Zyan Malik, formally of One Direction, a boyband with the credibility of ASDA own brand instant coffee (Walmart if you’re in the USA).
(I often feel like this – although the people and things that make me feel lesser are different – and I’m more aware that other people are not really my problem – and while the social structure isn’t amazing for a woman on the last train to Hagsville it could be worse – my problem is sloth and preferring horses. But still – I empathize).
Calling him racial slurs was my way of trying to angrily remind him that he is in fact not one of them, he is one of US. The white privileges he’s so eager to take part in do not apply to him. He’s colored, like me. His people suffer at the helm of white supremacy just like mine do. He has NO RIGHT to treat me as if I’m not “worthy” of anything, because the white privilege he’s reaching for does not apply to him. In the racial-social construct of the pop world he is STILL beneath Justin Beiber [sic]. There are countless other white male pop stars who will be pushed to the front of the line while he has to work TWICE AS HARD to even be noticed. He needs a reality check and needs to respect that I am one of those people WHO HAS TO WORK TWICE AS HARD maybe 3x to make this happen for myself. Respect that we are both in the same boat and stop letting all that white p—- go to ur head.
Black folk are the first to discard their own especially when white media/society hangs one of us out for public crucifixion. From the minute I appeared on the scene I was told by black men in black media that I was ugly, skinny, had bad hair, was weird, made music for white people etc… And those messages penetrated the social consciousness of black America very quickly.
I’ve been belittled, berated, stolen from, called crazy when making clear and true observations about the world we live in only to then have all of those things reveal themselves to be truths. I’m not blaming anyone or anything for any of my actions but I think it’s really important to for people outside of us (black folk) to understand the detrimental effects of whiteness and white supremacy/white cultural pervasiveness on black peoples’ MENTAL HEALTH as a whole and the MENTAL HEALTH of black individual herself.
Zayn feeling as though he’s too good to acknowledge me, yet not too good to STEAL and copy my art is f—ing HURTFUL. And it happens everywhere. People steal and copy my art ALL THE TIME and try to pretend as if they are somehow above me when they are the ones without their own creative ideas to begin with. Music industry politics which completely mimic racial social constructs allow people like Zayn to hide behind his popularity amongst white folk when he himself is aiding in the work of white supremacy. Cultural Erasure. Another instance of a ‘white’ artist taking credit for the black artists hard work and passion. And truthfully, it’s pushing me over the f—ing edge. White society grinds down the self esteem of black artists to the point where we are expected to be silent about such obvious transgressions.