We Drunk-Interview Music Critic About Super Racist Azealia Banks
By Samuel Leighton-Dore
It’s been a pretty hectic week for once-cool rapper Azealia Banks.
First she came out in support of Donald Trump. Then she started a racist shit-storm by going on a confusing tirade against One Direction’s Zayn Malik – in which she blasted him as a “hairy curry-scented b****” – and was subsequently slayed by a super mature 14-year-old Disney star.
Oh, and then her Twitter account was de-activated. FUN TIMES.
Heaps Gay caught up with our resident existential music writer and critic, THE BRAG’s Joseph Earp. We were both a little drunk and feeling depressed about the turn of events and general state of the world’s flailing decency.
HEAPS GAY: Hi Joseph, as a critic for Australia’s most respected music street press magazine, The Brag, you have interviewed and written about countless of the most respected names in music. Which is why it might seem surprising that I’m going to ask you about massively racist Azealia Banks.
JOSEPH EARP: I think you do her a disservice by simply describing her as racist. She’s got a handle on the entire spectrum of hate speech, and dance between homophobia, ageism, and racially motivated hatred with a dexterity that would make a Neo-Nazi’s head spin.
I mean, she verbally assaulted a 14 year old on twitter. If there was a version of the Olympics for Awful Things, that would be a Gold Medal winner.
But surely this kind of erratic racism is somewhat excused by her talent? I mean, Woody Allen married his own daughter but is forgiven due to his occasionally decent films. We mustn’t forget that Banks is the mastermind behind lyrics such as: And fit that tongue tongue d-deep in, I guess that cunt gettin’ eaten.
I unashamedly admit that I love that song. And most Woody Allen movies, in fact. But you hit on an interesting point. I don’t know Banks or Allen personally. I shouldn’t ever pretend I do, just because I listen to her music or because I watch his movies. So because they are essentially strangers to me, there is no reason why I should feel personally affronted when they say and do dumb shit. Azealia Banks is just another dumb, Trump supporting racist. The world is full of them. America is full of them – enough of them that the most openly racist U.S. politician in a long, long time has a shot at the White House.
And yet, here’s the clincher: it’s super fucking hard to separate personality and art. It’s a problem that I experienced when Mark Kozelek, the man behind the Sun Kil Moon moniker, started saying awful, sexist things a few years ago. I was a fan of his. And I wasn’t a fan because he was a stranger – I was a fan because he was singing about his own life. He sings about personal matters. So does Banks, actually. Can’t get more personal than oral sex, after all.
So you can’t say ‘oh, they’re just strangers, you shouldn’t care what they say’ because *of course* you care what they say. You’re buying Azealia Banks’ records cause you care about what she says. So where do we draw the line?
Given her penchant for personal lyrics, as a music insider do you imagine there would be much of an audience for what will presumedly be Banks’ next single, possibly a collab, titled “Dick Rider”?
Donald Trump could guest on it. Maybe he could provide a little rap breakdown where he starts quoting her tweets about Malik being a ‘sand n*gger’.
I don’t even really mean that as a joke. Trump and Banks share a lot in common. So do the people who defend them. The scary thing about Banks being so hideous is people really have crawled out of the woodwork to try and argue she was just ‘saying it how it is.’
So many people feel like political correctness has gone too far, which is really just another way of saying people are sick of having to care about other people. Political correctness is just feeling empathy – something neither Banks or Trump have.
They’re perfect for each other, actually. They’re both racist, and homophobic and gross. Only thing is, Trump is pretending to be those things to win votes. Banks actually believes ’em. Which is worse? I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.
Speaking of opinions, what are the chances of Banks being interviewed by those like yourself in the future (who, let’s face it, can have a big say in whether an album tanks or soars) you know, without the interviewer choking on his or her own vomit and repulsion? Is this it for her career?
Probably not, sadly. Again, she’ll just do a Trump. She already kind of has. She offered a non-apology, and now she’ll just attack anyone who tries to bring it up ever again. There’s a kind of demented genius in that refusal to accept you’ve made a mistake. You just keep getting progressively worse and your fans like you more and more. As long as you never say you’re sorry, you can be as hideous as you like.
Certainly, it’s the end for me. Can’t imagine that I will ever listen to her music again. But maybe I shouldn’t have been anyway. I mean, this is a particularly gross example of her hate-speech, but she’s been saying awful things for a long, long time.
She sure does love the word f*ggot, don’t she? But she also believes cancer is a fungus and that God will sort us all out in the end, so she’s not the suppository of all wisdom, as ole Tone would say.
Haha fuck. She sure does. Is it the end of decency, Joe? Now that music can be created, shared and profited off of without passing through the usual gatekeepers, are we likely to be exposed more regularly to this gross and confusing underbelly of humanity?
Yep. But the end of decency isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Decency in music has always kind of sucked. Musicians like Vanilla fuckin’ Ice are decent. What we need is music that is depraved but not hurtful. I listen to a lot of music that people would call cruel or harsh – a lot of punk and post-punk. But it’s never racist or hate-filled. It’s scary, but it’s got a weird kind of love to it. We shouldn’t value decency – we should value love. There’s nothing loveable about Azealia Banks. There will be others like her, sure, but we have to just ignore ’em. I’m glad that festival dropped her. The best way to treat a scummy nonce like Banks is just to stop paying attention to her. The opposite of what I’m doing now, I guess.