Azealia Banks vs. Angel Haze: Is This Cat Fight Worth Your Attention?January 4th, 2013
By Gee King
Hip hop now sees beef between male stars as either buffoonish braggadocio that will lead nowhere or an overcooked publicity stunt meant to re-spark struggling careers. But beef between female MCs? That’s still very interesting on most fronts. Angel Haze and Azealia Banks are interesting enough when they’re not clawing at one another on Twitter. But the full-fledged war that Detroit upstart Haze ignited by launching the scathing “On the Edge” online Thursday night will only be as intriguing as the music it is able to inspire.
Jay-Z and Nas’ epic 2001 battle was sensationalized by many factors (sex, possible violence, title of King of NY). But it was made classic by the incredible music it pushed the feuding masters to make. No battle has matched the feeling of “Takeover” and “Ether” since, as most are either too Hollywood to be taken seriously or too real to be seen as entertainment. Led by Drake and Kanye’s anti-confrontational stances, most of today’s rappers keep their beef out of the public eye and focus on getting money. While the occasional dust-up over a pop princess may lead to a couple broken bottles in the club, it seems irresponsible to label most music-based conflict these days as “beef” when Gucci Mane and Chief Keef can offer much realer streams of negativity.
Nicki vs. Kim was necessary to prove Ms. Minaj worthy of the Queen of Hip Hop title she once seemed poised to claim. Now that we know Nicki’s ambitions go far beyond the sex-kitten lane Kim, Foxy and Trina took turns dominating through the late 1990s and early 2000s, Barbie and the Queen B’s war of words turned out to be as silly and meaningless as it seemed at the time. Angel and Azealia’s beef will be silly and meaningless until one or both of them proves worthy of our steady attention. Azealia’s brat antics overshadowed an otherwise triumphant 2012 and Angel is still yet to prove herself fully worthy of the industry-wide hype her and her team were able to build last year. From what we’ve heard so far, though, this could be one worth watching in 2013.
“B—h, I’m from the 313, with a f–kin meatcleaver out like, who want beef?” begins Haze on “On the Edge.” Slyly jacking her enemy’s “212” flow, Haze struck first as the underdog. Though some disagreement has arisen as to how long ago the diss was recorded, Banks will not be able to avoid responding for too long now that past disses (most notably of Harlem legend Jim Jones in mid-2012) have proven her ready and willing to spar with her bars. Haze’s diss is no “Bridge Is Over” and Banks’ reply is highly unlikely to be the next “Second Round Knockout,” but with rhymes like “Rapunzel gon’ be missing like her edges and her bangs is,” it will at least be more entertaining than reality stars throwing drinks on each other. Meek Mill and Cassidy may want to take notes.