The 10 Dumbest Azealia Banks Beefs Of 2013

There’s no better example of unrealized potential than Azealia Banks. It’s been over two years since “212″ dropped and we’re still not sure when (or if) her oft-delayed debut album will ever be released. It’s frustrating to see a young artist prioritize petty feuds over making music, and it’s especially frustrating because I like Azealia’s music. I think she’s insanely talented. Everything she’s put out so far suggests that her debut album would be a must-listen. Fantasea was a great showcase for the rapper. The few songs she’s released this year (“Yung Rapunxel” in particular) show that she knows how to pick good producers and she knows how to experiment within her comfort zone. When I saw her at Governor’s Ball earlier this year, she knew how to put on a show and entertain. She can be a great artist, but she’s held back by her insistence on taking down other artists via Twitter. Azealia’s become the music world’s Twitter troll and it’s tarnished her image forever. But should we really be surprised? Our introduction to the world of Azealia was “212,” the ultimate shit-talking song. Is the visceral and caustic nature of her breakout hit really that far removed from anything Azealia’s said on Twitter? Should we have expected anything else?

I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on with her label or why her debut album has been pushed off for so long (it’s due to come out in January — we’ll see). Two and a half years between a demo and a debut isn’t a long time, especially for someone who is still trying to figure out her sound — hell, look at Sky Ferreira. But it’s one thing to have an album take a while and another to continually put yourself in the public eye without delivering the goods. At this point, she’s wasted so much goodwill in the industry and made so many enemies that it doesn’t really matter if Broke With Expensive Taste is rap’s Next Big Thing or a flop. She’s soured her reputation enough that, no matter what she does, her cred is shot. So instead of celebrating her music and what could have been one of the best albums of the year, here we are looking back at our Year In Azealia: a bunch of trivial spats.

10. The Stone Roses

Following a performance at the Future Music Festival, Banks took on an unlikely opponent in the reunited Manchester band the Stone Roses. After sharing a bill with them at the festival, Banks claimed on Twitter that her former tour manager “made a pact with the stone roses to sabotage my set because I fired him.” She followed that up with wishing “nothing but excrement and death” on the group, calling them some “old saggy white niggas.” The band never responded (though Banks later said that they apologized to her) and this one fizzled out pretty quickly.

9. Rita Ora

UK singer Rita Ora also appeared at the same festival as the Stone Roses and came under fire from Azealia as well. Allegedly, Ora was taking photos of Bank’s backup dancers in their dressing room. Banks said that the singer was “going out of her way to try and intimidate me” and said that she was just “mad she’s Rihanna’s understudy.” Rita responded via text, which Banks posted on Twitter, but overall this is a pretty weak entry in the Banks pantheon.

Rita Ora

8. Iggy Azalea

Azealia has a long history with the Australian rapper and 2013 wasn’t the first time they beefed. It all started after Iggy’s “Pu$$y” started to gain traction and Azealia tweeted: “Fuck Iggy Azalea, I had a song called ’Pussy’ before she ever did. Here’s a link to my song. It’s better.” Even T.I. got involved in that one. The war between the two continued into 2013 after Iggy talked about her relationship with the New York rapper in an interview with Shut Your Pretty Mouth: “She says shit about fucking anything. She called Perez Hilton a faggot. I think she trivialised gay culture… fucking whatever. She’s biased about everybody and everything, even towards the people who help her.” Banks responded: “Lol they’re STILL asking you, about ME, in what’s supposed to be YOUR interview ? #YUNGRAPUNXELWINSAGAIN.” Iggy (wisely) learned not to engage. Maybe the best way to deal with an Azealia beef is to just not respond at all.

7. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga VMAs
Banks and Gaga were rumored to be collaborating for ARTPOP, but things apparently didn’t work out between the two and it turned nasty. In late August, Lady Gaga performed at the VMAs wearing a clam shell bikini and Banks implied that the outfit copied the rapper’s mermaid/seapunk visuals: “hmmmm sounds alot like Azealia Banks’ mermaid balls.” A fan asked Gaga about Banks and she responded, “She’s got a bad attitude,” and a video of the response made it on the web. Banks retaliated by calling out Gaga for allegedly using their collaboration “Red Flame” on ARTPOP, which hadn’t been released at that point. “Red Flame” never made it onto the album.

6. Disclosure

Azealia knows how to pick producers so when she tweeted in September that she had just finished a track with UK duo DIsclosure, it was a welcome surprise. She was a little overenthusiastic in her tweet, calling it “the greatest studio session EVAR.” In a radio interview, one of the Disclosure brothers mentioned that they don’t have a full song with her and had only met her once, adding, “All these blogs think we’ve now made a masterpiece, but really, we just sat there eating sushi.” The two followed that up by tweeting, “We actually did have a good session with @AZEALIABANKS we didn’t just eat food! lol Hopefully it will be in your ears soon!”

Banks didn’t buy that explanation. After their interview, she told the AU that she canned the collaboration because she thought the brothers were “rude” in their interview. “To be honest, I’ve got better stuff on my record… It can be an F-side. A fuck-you side.” Continuing their back-and-forth, the brothers responded in another interview with Triple J: “It didn’t seem to matter that we apologised… We made the beat on the way there in the car, so I don’t give a damn if she uses it. Whatever.” All in all, a pretty diplomatic and polite beef, but the biggest shame is that the collaboration will probably never see the light of day.

5. A$AP Rocky

After A$AP insinuated in an interview with The Coveteur that black women shouldn’t wear red lipstick, Banks was justifiably upset over his comments. This is one of the rare occasions where Banks is probably on the right side of an argument, but of course she always takes it a step too far. Banks implied that Rocky was gay and said he should “just come out of the closet,” alleging that he “used to get his dick sucked by some dude named Kenneth in Harlem. I don’t know why he’s ashamed to just be himself. I mean he wears dresses and gives makeup tips…. Just come out! Be FREEEEEE.” This isn’t the first time that Banks has used someone’s sexuality to try and discredit them (see below) and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

4. Baauer

After “Harlem Shake” became a viral sensation, Banks released a remix of the song that the producer quickly removed because he said that she didn’t have permission to use the track. The rapper launched a tirade on Twitter, telling him that he and his friends should “grab each others dicks in a circle jerk” and “drown in faggotry.” Super classy. She later posted an e-mail that showed that they had been working on possibly doing a remix of the song, but the producer responded in an interview that he pulled the plug after “she laid something on ’Harlem Shake’ and it was so/so.” Banks released a video of the remix, which was never pulled and is still available online.

3. Pharrell

Back in July, Azealia released what was supposed to be another single from her debut: “ATM Jam,” featuring Pharrell. In the year that saw the meteoric rise of “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines,” a song with a Producer Of The Year contender could (and should) have been the follow-up to “212″ that Azealia sorely needs. It was a bonafide flop, though, and what could have been the Song Of The Summer became another in a long line of failed Azealia projects. Most of that is due to the song just not being very good, but Azealia had another idea. In November, Banks tweeted: “The reason ’ATM Jam’ did poorly is because Pharrell changed his mind about wanting to be associated with me after he had his lite skin comeback.”

2. Lily Allen

Lily Allen hinted that her beef with Banks motivated her to write her comeback track “Hard Out Here,” which takes the music industry to task for double standards and serves as a pretty great dis track. The inciting incident? In July, Banks was forwarded an old tweet from Allen and decided to goad the pop singer, saying she: “can’t talk though. Not when I met her coked up at yoyo… And NOT with that ugly husband she has.” The two went back and forth for a while:

And Allen finished everything off with a picture of some beef. Good fun was had by all.

1. Angel Haze

And the biggest beef of the year goes to… Azealia’s spat with Angel Haze, which resulted in two dis tracks and a warning from gay rights activists. Following the success of Detroit-born rapper Angel Haze’s “New York,” where she asserts that she “runs New York” throughout the song, Azealia tweeted that she had a problem with “non-new yorkers claiming NY.” Azealia insisted the tweet wasn’t about Haze, but it didn’t matter because what happened after was one for the record books.

Angel Haze started things off:

Angel Haze
(via Complex)

And Banks retaliated: “Angel Haze has a crush on me. Thats it. Case Closed.” and “Whatever, angel haze was just waiting for an opportunity to express her Azealia Banks jealousy.” Things got even messier from there. Gossip blogger Perez Hilton got caught in the crosshairs after siding with Haze in a post on his website, which caused Azealia to go after him, calling him a “messy faggot” and suggesting that he kill himself. She later defended these comments even after she was called out by GLAAD for her use of homophobic language.

The feud didn’t stop there. Each rapper issued dis tracks shortly after the Twitter fight. Haze’s “On The Edge” called out Azealia for her delayed album: “Bitch put an album out/ I think my album’s more done than yours and I just started a week ago” and Azealia responded with the passive aggressive “No Problems.”

The relationship between the two rappers hasn’t improved in the year since the fight. When Haze leaked her album earlier this week, she alluded to Azealia: “I did not promise an album and not deliver, unlike every fucking one else.”

Comments (21)
  1. A no talent hack who is only hanging on to relevance by creating absolutely arbitrary “beefs” with anyone who even breathes in her direction.

  2. This is just kind of sad.

  3. She’s so damn annoying.

  4. I admit to thoroughly enjoying Jumanji, but her persona has kept me from seeking out her material. I listen to enough problematic artists without throwing in my lot behind someone who probably has a diagnosable form of narcissism.

  5. I don’t know if I’d say “insanely talented”. All of her songs are just her rapping/singing over various producers’ work. Lone, Machinedrum, etc. are the insanely talented ones.

  6. Why did I just read that. Dumb indeed.

  7. How did you keep the list so short?

    • I agree that Angel Haze’s beef was the most intense and the one that damaged her reputation. but her feud with Gaga was probably the one that hurt her the most. It’s bad enough that she never found mainstream success, it’s even worse that you make a lot of people’s first impression be hating on one of the most popular music stars on the world when you don’t even have an album out. During that time, I remember I could go to her twitter page, refresh every 5 minutes, and you would just see her hemorrhaging viewers. But really, you could pick almost any of them for beef #1. Girl is extremely committed to her feuds (not so much actually making music).

  8. i better not say anything too harsh. she might call me out on twitter or something. but I gotta say, 212 is one of the best songs I have ever heard.

  9. Part of me feels for her…she probably just sits in a ball on the floor insulting herself now her career has gone down the drain…

  10. Jumanji is still a tune though…

  11. 212 is great, but unfortunately AB bought into the hype, too, and forgot that music careers aren’t based on one single. She seems highly homophobic, ignorant, bratty, and a bore to be around based off these feuds.

    If everyone you come in contact with in the music industry can’t seem to work with you, it’s not them. It’s you.

  12. “After A$AP insinuated in an interview with The Coveteur”
    ….insinuated what?

  13. I love how on “On the Edge” Angel Haze was able to correctly guess that she’d be done with Dirty Gold before AB came out with Broke with Expensive Taste.

    While I’ve deeply enjoyed a lot of Banks’ material—“212” is insanely fun—and I understand that huge egos are just a part of the rap game, her inability to let anything slide is now tiresome and, more crucially, distracting everyone from her music.

    I mostly hate how in the Angel Haze/Perez Hilton spat she actually made me side with Perez Hilton. That’s unforgivable in my book.

  14. As she said on ’212′… “You got a lot but you just waste all yourself. They’ll forget your name soon and won’t nobody be to blame but yourself.”

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