An Open Letter to Azealia BanksJune 11th, 2012
Dear Azealia Banks,
What’s good, B? I heard the news of you quitting hip hop and deading your Twitter account and all that over the weekend. Has it really come to this? Really? Have the ills of the music industry already swallowed whole another one of its promising stars before their talent was fully recognized? Say it ain’t so.
The thing that’s so surprising about your sudden departure from the rap game is that you kind of brought this on yourself. By now many people had grown tired of your controversial antics, now it seems like you have also grown weary of being the star of these hip hop melodramas. From one Harlemite to another, let’s be honest, you’ve been in the headlines more for your clashes with opposing rappers than your music. Now you’re pulling the plug after this latest controversy over the state of who’s handling your business affairs.
“No longer wishing to be rapper — from now on I’m a vocalist, and will no longer be associating myself with the “rap game” or whatever the f–k that means…no more twitter for me…it makes me entirely too accessible.”
Though this move is quite puzzling, I’ll remain optimistic that you’ve made this move to defuse all the negative energy around your name as you turn your focus to creating music. It’s certainly refreshing to hear you’re not leaving music entirely, because there are those still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about your talents. Whether you want to be referred to as a “vocalist” instead of a rapper, the bottom line is we want more creditable music. To this point all we’ve gotten from you was attention-grabbing single “212,” a scattering of worthy songs and so-so debut EP 1991.
I’ve been saying for the longest that you have to put out more music and quit the drama. Even Harlem’s new prince of hip hop A$AP Rocky has given you this advice. Seems you’re getting the message, but I’m confused by some of the things you said in your parting statement. You talked about being the victim of a “cyber bully,” growing tired of “paying attention to the bulls–t urban media” and wanting a female or “really gay man” as your next manager. If I recall correctly, you seemed to be the aggressor in your ongoing tiff with Aussie rap hopeful Iggy Azalea. You certainly didn’t back down when T.I. tested your mettle. You carried on making it a news item for the media. Of course your openness on Twitter started your dust up with Lil Kim. These were things you decided to do and no manager, be them female or really gay, could probably have stopped you from doing it your way.
As a fellow Harlemite, even I tend to be a bit biased toward any Harlem MC. After all, we are a special type of people (please hold your applause). But even I’ve grown weary of your antics of late. Yes we all have that Harlem World chip on our shoulders since we rep a small hood. I get that it’s us against the world. But you have to package the drama with some great music. Take some more cues from Kanye West, who co-signed your “212″ banger, if you want to be labeled as that supremely self-confident, firebrand, musical wunderkind. Y’all both obviously share the same strong opinionated personality trait, however Mr. West consistently delivers beautiful music that can make amends for the shortcomings in his personality. I have faith that you won’t let us down and ride with you till the end, slime-ette. All I ask it that you just give me some more substance I can stand on as I defend you to these haters that doubt you’ll ever make it far with that attitude.
Let’s show’em how we ride out in Harlem.