Azealia Banks, Hip Hop and Sexism


You need no more evidence of the certainty that we live in a sexist society than the fact that Azealia Banks ain’t a superstar.

She’s an MC; a profession not only known for the ugliness of its participants, but actually celebrated for it.

In the whole history of the genre of Hip Hop, there’s been perhaps two great-looking-to-the-point-of-beautiful male MCs; Tupac and LL Cool J.

The rest of them dudes would be lucky to be considered “cute”.

And some of them – and I ain’t saying no names but they’re a few of the best ever – are actually quite grizzly.

Meanwhile, I have to shamefully admit that I had never openly acknowledged the absolute necessity of a female MC’s possession of an at least pleasant exterior.

I remember how when the video for “Player’s Anthem” came out and naturally curly-haired Lil’ Kim struck me as such a cutie in her fur that I was actually relieved that she was cute.

I could have never known then the internal chaos she must have been experiencing which is evident by all the surgical steps she’s taken subsequently, nor, as I learned from the movie Notorious, that initially, she wanted to spit that gangster shit but was discouraged by Biggie himself who informed her (and me) that men would never really accept a female gangster rapper and that sex would be her best bet to sell.

Enter Azealia Banks.

When I first heard her spit, I thought “gold!”

I can’t even remember the name of the songs now, but it was clear the woman had talent and it transcended into confidence.

I even liked her smile though I found her a bit too slim for my general tastes.

5 years later and she’s back in the news though this time, not for her music, but for a beef with one-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin due to Ms. Bank’s profanity-filled and rape-suggesting Twitter response to a satirical piece which claimed that Ms. Palin said that African-Americans “liked” slavery.

Admittedly, I’d lost track of Ms. Banks’ music as she became more known for feuds with prominent artists like Beyonce and Nicki Minaj.

The point is, I’m guilty too.

Because I sure as hell didn’t lose track of Nicki with her big phat ass and Beyonce’s impossible to miss.

And even though I’ll review Ms. Bank’s latest musical offering, the mixtape Slay-Z here, now and quickly – “The Big Big Beat” and “Along the Coast” are standouts on an altogether tight offering – going beyond Tina Fey’s old assertion that the “definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman that keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore”, it amazes me to admit to myself that even my own – which I would have thought were “superior” – tastes could be thus so affected by sexual commercialism.

And for once, this even goes beyond complexion; another top divisive issue in the Black community.

Rapper Foxy Brown was jet-Black but had huge tits, a nice ass and was gorgeous. You wanted to fuck her if you wanted to fuck women.

So it almost begs to wonder what point Ms. Banks – who for whatever reason but unsurprisingly posed topless for the Slay-Z mixtape cover and was certainly indulging in the role of provocateur – was trying to make.

Was her toplessness an indulgence in the status quo or a mockery of it?

Sadly, what you think of her point may ultimately parallel what you think of her tits.

About the Author


Dickie Bhee is a self-styled lunatic, a Renaissance showman, a Class A, Grade A buffoon, a nigga that believes in the greatness of Niggerhood a social gadfly and a genuine Man About Town.

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