Azealia Banks Open Letter To Hiphop An Intellectual Brutal Truth About Oppression

Photographer: Tahir Register © 2017 Exclusive Shot During The Masquerade Concert Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks pens an impressive, woke, detailed and factual-filled letter to hip-hop about the cyclical ways of the culture that continuously oppresses itself and others via instagram. Many gawked about her public apology to Beyonce, but glanced over the long form much needed digest of the reality of Hip-Hop. It’s not easy being a Woman of Colour that flourishes in the very brand/genre/culture she is speaking of, many refuse to do it because of that, but Azealia Banks is a powerhouse intellect fearlessly fearful, yet ready to tackle the real at all times.

Azealia Banks Exclusive Interview About The Industry

Azealia Banks’s letter is nothing short of keeping it real, all the way real, so real that those who are comfortable in their oppression will reject the truth because it’s easier to follow the rules then to watch your sister scream; “somethings not right” and disrupt the norm. Our norm is a created norm that only we live under, it’s skewed euphoria, and those awake to it, often scream because they are suffocating within it. Azealia Banks is one of those warriors. Many of Azealia’s themes are present in hip-hops own David Banner’s interview on The Breakfast Club, proving, she’s not the only one who thinks so.

Azealia Banks’s Open Letter To Hip-Hop:

“Someone told me not to release the Christmas song [I created]…they said; “you can’t complain about hiphop when you only make music for gays…the hood don’t wanna hear that gays hit. You cater specifically to white gays and white gays don’t like you. White people don’t like you…” The person even went so far as to say; “you beg for approval from the same people who spit on you (Russel Crowe) you need to stop acting like some fake artsy European bitch and make music for your people”. She said; “The hood runs hip-hop, the black gay don’t like you either, you need to stop catering to white people because they won’t accept you and you’ll never be one of them”. 

If I’m not mistaken, the one time I attempted to align myself with True Hip-Hop (RZA) rather than helping me make real music for the hood, he was the person who instead took me out to parties and dinners. True hiphop was the reason I got spat on. True hiphop and me “not being black enough was the reason Ebro and all the rest of hiphop felt it was okay to laugh at me when I was hurting. What was adhering to these so called rules of hiphop ever done for me?

Banks On Hip-Hop Twisted Standards:

Hiphop tried so hard to tell me how when and why to be Black. Hiphop disc includes my unique Black experience. Hiphop tells me that If I sleep with a white man Im a bed wench, but its okay for Black men to rap about glorifying white/light women. Hiphop tells me that it is the beginning and end of Black culture and that gay people have no place in hip-hop. Hiphop says “the hood don’t wanna hear that…” As if there are no gay people in the hood, as if gay people dont come from the hood. Hiphop refuses to acknowledge anyone and anything that doesn’t directly agree with/appeal to the hyper masculinized straight Black male’s idea of (it) himself. Hiphop is in the closet.

Hiphop has an ego so big that it will go so far as to convince you of self-hate or that you are actually in fact not a negro, [but] a sub-human for not adhering to it’s unwritten rules of Blackness. Hiphop will make room for a variety of white men and women before it makes room for more than one Black Woman. Youre allowed to be white and act Black, but not allowed to be Black and gay, or Black gay, and female. Hiphop is a tale of [the] Black experience. Hiphop must learn to accept all Black experiences as valid. Hiphop must realize that it has a life outside of the hood, and outside of jail, and drug dealing.

Hiphop will never save its people if it keeps being divisive and putting its people into boxes. This is exactly what Black silk did to Jimi Hendrix. Jimi FUCKING Hendrix, is a Black American treasure. So many of his people wrote him off and said he wasn’t Black enough because he made music to free himself, music he thought would free his people. His people shunned him, refused to understand him and left him (and his legacy) in the care of 1960s Jim Crow ear white businessmen.

Azealia On The Irony Of Hiphop:

And until the official language of hiphop becomes a Bantu language, Swahili, Yoruba, or some other amalgamated neo-African language it has no right to be telling anyone who is or who isn’t Black enough. The nerve of hiphop to chastise any Black person about “keeping it real” when it speaks a bastardized version of the Queen’s English. The nerve of hiphop to suggest that I chase white amerikkka’s money then turn around and accuse me of thinking I’m white for speaking a standard version of the same bastardized Queen’s English.

Azealia Banks On The State Of Hiphop:

The current state of hiphop is some Total post traumatic slave disorder mess where the oppressed (Black-Male) seeks to embody and impress his oppressor. The Black male ego running hiphop so stupidly assumes that if he can find ways to acquire (white Amerikkkas) money (money that already doesn’t belong to him, and of which a large amount has already been allowed to the continuation of white supremacy and an even smaller amount to the middle/lower/underclass of minority'(s), he will be respected amongst white men and finally see himself as a noble man in Amerikkkan society.

This little pool of money that has been allowed to advancements in the Black art of hiphop is nothing to be proud of in the grand scheme of things. And the little pool of money is certainly nothing that should be a comparison piece to be used to quantify or qualify actual Black art expression. Hiphop (and Black art in general) has ben cut off from the rest of the music/finance world and confined to “Urban/Rap/Hiphop/and R&B”. The free art expression of hiphop (Blackness) has been widdled down to integers, graphs and pie charts by capitalism and economics — based on how well or unwell Blackness performs within this oppressive vacuum of white Amerikkka.

Banks On Blacks False Freedom:

Keep in mind that capitalism was build on FREE LABOR. Hiphop is being chastised by white Amerikkkan money to only promote criminality/self-hate/divisiveness as the root of what it means to be Black Amerikkkan. This promotion is what keeps jails full of Black people.

They “freed” us then lured us into jail with drugs and hiphop where we still to this day lend a hand in free labor. So many big Amerikkkan corporations get to skip out on paying workers real money because they can hire Black inmates to do the job for .34 cent an hour! And hiphop keeps feeding into it because it feels it’s “keeping it real”. Hiphop glorifies jail time [like its] a badge of honor when it’s really akin to being branded by slavemasters.”

© 2017 Tahir Register
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