Azealia Banks

The end of 2014 brought about some lovely surprises.  D’Angelo dropped a soulful/message tinged album that gave us hope for r&b music, the Ferguson protestors  defiantly declared “it won’t be business as usual” and continued their marches/die-ins throughout the holidays, and Azealia Banks called out the erasing of black women artists in a no-holds-barred interview.

Whew!

I remember the buzz on Banks years ago. Now that I’m older, my ears can’t take too much rap music, but I did share about her upcoming music with my younger women of color friends. Then Banks disappeared from the scene. We would later learn she was having problems with her management/record label and wanted desperately to be an independent artist. She stated, “I’m tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about my black girl craft.”

In the controversial  interview this past December, Banks continued her criticism of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and the overall “smudging” of black creativity in the current music scene. Many folks dismissed Banks as being bitter and jealous of Iggy’s success. Banks (who is very astute and intelligent) articulated the fact that she knew people saw her as “an angry black woman.” One of the stereotypes that tends to be heaped on black women who don’t smile, shut up, and accept how they are being (mis)treated.

Also many (white folks) tried to claim that Banks/black folks who rejected Iggy were being “reverse racists.” Actually, the black community tends to be very welcoming of white artists.  From George Michael, Michael McDonald, and of course the late “soul sista” Teena Marie.

A few years ago, I saw Marie in concert. President Obama had just been elected for his first stint in office. Marie gave him a shout out and started grooving to her song “Hit Me Where I Live” giving another shout out to “chocolate city.” She was off the hook. My favorite cut from Marie will always be “Square Biz.”

The reason why a white woman like Marie was embraced (or at the very least tolerated by black folks) was because she stayed in her damn lane. Marie (George Michael and the rest) never tried to put themselves above the black musicians in the r&b/soul music genre. They always gave props, honor, and respect to the black artists who came before them. Iggy doesn’t do this and this is why she gets dragged. It’s probably because she is young, but it’s also due to her white arrogance, white privilege, and white supremacist thought.

I recently listened to Banks new album “Broke with Expensive Taste” and it’s solid from start to finish. I can understand her frustration. She’s very talented and wants her voice to be acknowledged. It’s hard due to the current music industry which is determined to make white women the new black women, all the while forcing black women artists to play into rigid white standards of beauty and sing/rap about nothing. Banks wants to be free to be herself and you can’t be mad at her about that.

This is one of my jams from the album.  Banks has an interesting story behind the song “Idle Delilah.”

“Idle Delilah’s father is a famed slave owner in the early 1900’s (America). Delilah is his favorite child. Delilah’s mother Lillith knew of the hatred her father had created for himself in the town by a pro-slavery activist. One day, the white man’s slaves grow tired of his bad treatment and decide to kill his favorite daughter Delilah as payback.

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Black Music Month (BMM) #4

I always get my laugh on whenever I hear Iggy Azalea rapping. The promotion of Azalea continues the culture vulture antics of the music industry.

“Culture vulture is someone who steals traits, language and/or fashion from another ethnic or social group in order to create their own identity.”  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=culture+vulture

While actual black artists are struggling, especially black female singers/rappers, white artists are being pushed as the new faces of black music.

It started with the crowning of Justin Timberlake  as the new  Michael Jackson (ha, ha!), Robin Thicke as the new Marvin Gaye (ha, ha!), and Adele as Aretha (ha, ha!).

There is also an agenda to take over hip hop. Well, actually it’s been going on for a while now.  Eminem has basically been deemed the greatest rapper of all time. They are now looking for their white female hope. Nicki Minaj degraded Malcolm X for nothing.

Unfortunately, the new blacks are helping to tide in this wave of 21st century blackface. Their obsession with fame and money and white acceptance, is making them sell out black music. Things are probably only going to get worse. I mean, I never would’ve thunk Usher would stick up for racist Justin Biebier, who was dead serious when he made those racist “jokes.”  I guess anything goes with the new blacks.  It’s up to us old blacks to keep an eye on these celebrities.

I’m getting agitated writing this, so let me just wrap up this week dedicated to Black Music Month (BMM). I want to give a shout out to my favorite old school female rapper, MC Lyte. I love her voice! Have a good weekend 🙂

“you can cha-cha cha to this marde grais, I’m the dopest female that you’ve heard thus far.”