The bitter feud between rappers Azealia Banks and Cardi B exploded over the last couple days resulting in a lot of name calling and the deletion of Cardi B’s Instagram account. Though the two have gone at each other before, this latest incident was sparked by comments made by Azealia during an interview on The Breakfast Club in which she explained why she had previously referred to Cardi B as “an illiterate, untalented rat.”
Here’s a clip:
Azealia Banks explains why she called Cardi B an "illiterate untalented rat” ?
— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) May 11, 2018
“Two years ago, the conversation surrounding black women’s culture was really reaching an all-time high,” Banks says, before referencing Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade specifically. “There was just this really, really, really intelligent conversation going on nationally and then everything just kind of changed and then it was like Cardi B.”
“I’m just talking about this caricature of a black woman that black women themselves would never be able to get away with,” Azealia continues. “Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be canceled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, we would be ragging on her all day.”
It’s funny that Azealia was all up Beyonce’s infamous booty for the Lemonade album when she was previously saying the same thing about Beyonce right after it came out as she is currently saying about Cardi B. “She’s not an artist, she’s a poacher,” Azealia said of Beyonce on Twitter in April of 2016. “She takes food out of darker skinned women’s mouths & pretends to be inspired.” She added of the narratives on Lemonade: “This heartbroken black female narrative you keep trying to push is the Antithesis of what feminism is.”
Soon after Azealia’s interview on The Breakfast Club, Cardi B took to Instagram to call Azealia out for her Beyonce hypocrisy and for appointing herself the judge and jury of what constitutes a valid and/or worthy take on the state of black women today.
Beyoncé? Wasn’t Beyoncé the same woman she was talking sh*t about and dragging all over the media? I’m from the hood, I speak how I speak, I am how I am. I did not choose to be famous, people choose me! … I never asked to be a example or a role model I don’t want to change my ways because I’m famous that’s why I just mind my business. This is coming from a woman that bleached her skin but want to advocate. GOODBYE. I’m not apologizing or killing myself because of who I am.
Azealia switched social media platforms and offered up her response in a series of tweets. “So because I point out that you get away with being the typical caricature of a black woman that society says is wrong … and you respond by calling me unattractive and bringing up skin bleaching to basically make fun of me for not being light skinned?” she wrote.
“You’re illiterate, you’re baby mama 4/5 to [a] man who has women crawling out of the woodworks with kids,” she added, referencing Offset, the father of pregnant Cardi B’s unborn child. “You’re a real life episode of Maury sis. … The fact that your overall statistic-ness is being merited as success is a clear indication that the suits backing you are using you as a weapon against black women’s consciousness and culture.”
The “suits backing you” comment is very reminiscent of Azealia’s previous attack on Cardi B back in September, just after Cardi B’s single “Bodak Yellow” hit Number One on the Billboard charts. In addition to referring to Cardi B as “a poor mans nicki,” Azealia also blamed all the men (white and black) who are apparently in charge of determining which singles make it to the top: “Charlemagne and black men in hiphop should have gotten me, remy AND nicki a number one before they gave cardi or iggy one,” she tweeted. “But literally white guys buy black men away from black women and it’s soo cringe.”
Cardi B brutally shut Azealia down by posting a video of Azealia dancing wildly to “Bodak Yellow” on Instagram. “One of the reasons Bodak Yellow went #1!,” Cardi B captioned the clip. “Cuz even the HATERS love it!”
Speaking of Cardi B comebacks, she did exactly that in response to Azealia’s series of tweets by sharing some more of Azealia’s flip flopping in the form of an XXL interview from July of 2017 in which Azealia had nothing but high praise for Cardi B:
Much later, Cardi B shared an Instagram post that she made sure to check the grammar on so that it would measure up to Azealia’s standards:
I reread this a couple of times for the Akeelahs and the bees out there!! A woman who constantly finds joy in belittling black women (Beyonce, Rihanna, Skai Jackson, Remy Ma), cant try and stand for them because it’s convenient! The difference between me and you, I’ve never pretended to be or represent someone I’m not! I’ve made it where I am for being myself and staying true to that. I’m not trying to represent nobody but myself You busy trying to be a voice of reason and a representative for women of color when you can’t even reason with yourself. You can’t understand where your insecurities come from and why your not happy in your OWN skin so you think because YOU can’t figure your sh*t out that you can create confusion for me, make me unsure about who I am! I know who I am! A daughter to a Hispanic father and a carribean mother and I’m proud of that! I’ve never dismissed my heritage or my culture, I’ve never pretended to sound like anyone or look like anyone for attention or to make me feel better about who I’m not! I’ve been this way, always! You think because someone uses a lot of big words and long sentences that makes them smart!? How smart are you if you don’t know that the meaning of illiterate means to not know how to read or write. I can do both, and speak 2 languages fluently. Just because I mix a few words up forget to use commas or misspell a few words doesn’t make me illiterate and doesn’t make me stupid. And because I laugh a littler harder or talk a little louder doesn’t make me a caricature! You think your advocating for women and your doing the opposite! I pray you find peace in your own heart and reason in your own mind! Pray for your own success before you pray for the downfall of others!
That would turn out to be Cardi B’s last post before she deleted her Instagram.
Azealia decided she hadn’t had enough and returned with her own lengthy Instagram response, which was posted along with a photo of Cardi B without makeup:
Belcalis …… sis, give it up. You have a fever and are leaking breast milk everywhere trying to come up with a refutable comeback. Sis spent 12 hours proofreading a message while still COMPLETELY missing the point. You and whoever wrote this reply for you don’t have the intelligence to engage in this not-so-complex discussion. I spoke about it for all of two minutes in an interview and you respond by calling me unattractive .. mentioning my bleaching my skin and telling me to “suck your ass”. Immediately proving yourself to be exactly who I thought you were.. A bird. Sis.. let us not forget that you look like a big toe with a Hammernail without all of that contour on your face. You are a very mediocre looking light-skin woman with cold sore scars on the sides of her mouth, a coated tongue you love to wag around and horribly deep set eyes. For your information… I bleached my skin due to a severe breakout I had from a depo-provera shot. Some Dark skin women have problems with hyper-pigmentation and it can take years for our scars to fade. Once Again.. you missed the point. The color of my skin has absolutely nothing to do w/ this greater discussion surrounding black women’s culture and our representation in the media. From what I know, you have always identified as a Latina. You’ve only recently began to identify as black once you became a part of hip-hop and felt pressured to represent the women you so often called burnt, bald-headed roaches. Even so, it’s clear that you are having a problem with this new found proximity to blackness as evidenced by your propensity to turn any and all attempts to engage you in these important cultural discussions into faux-sympathetic cry baby rants about how you’re just a dumb bitch from the hood who never asked to be a role model. Reverse psychology will not work here. As a Black Woman in hiphop it is IMPERATIVE that you use your (new found) Black Womanhood responsibly. Saying things to Rolling Stone like “I don’t even use condoms,” when HIV remains a threat to the many minority girls who patronize your music is IRRESPONSIBLE. I suggest you leave these types of cultural conversations alone for now. You don’t have the range
It seems quite obvious from this post that Azealia Banks is a condescending and entitled troll who is under the impression that she is the Alpha and the Omega of what black women should be doing, saying, and singing. She is a bitter crab in the bucket who falsely imagines herself being higher than others when she tries to
push pull them back down. What’s not obvious from this post is that she is also a homophobic, chicken sacrificing loony bird who might as well change her name to Azealia Tequila. I can’t believe she played a part in the demise (albeit temporarily, I hope) of one of Instagram’s freshest celebrity voices!
I just shared a post last week in which I was singing the praises of the raw manner in which Cardi B speaks and raps and how it cuts through a lot of the more polished noise on the airwaves and in the world of celebridom in general. “Cardi’s wonderful mixture of unapologetic confidence and hunger — combined with just a pinch of humble self awareness — gives her a uniquely refreshing edge,” is how I described it.
Meanwhile, Azealia Banks is EXACTLY the impediment to real discourse and artistry that she accuses Cardi B of being. Normally I wouldn’t give her the time of day, but I felt her exchanges with Cardi B merited recognition if only to highlight what Cardi B had to say in response.
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm.