By Sidney Madden
Tisk tisk, Azealia Banks is at it again. We all know by now that the Harlem MC with the hard shell is not one to back down from a fight. And now, her current tiff involves stepping on toes and challenging social stigmas.
After she postponed the release of her “Yung Rapunxel” record (which was set to drop on Tuesday, February 12), Banks decided to give her fans something new to chew on while she finalized the track. And what better to rhyme over than the bass heavy house beat bearing the name of her hometown, “Harlem Shake” by producer Baauer.
Baauer’s hit had previously gone viral on YouTube with military, pro sports teams and college co-eds rocking out in mass mobs to the first thirty seconds. (a popular example).
Banks released the track titled “Harlem Shake (Azealia Banks Remix)” at around 11 pm last night as a little VDay gift for her following and coyly tweeted “What Kind Of Harlemite Would I Be If I Didn’t?”. The artist released her version for free download on soundcloud.com . Needless to say, the remix exploded just as soon as it was released. Banks’s energetic verses were so massively received, they caught the attention of the original mix master, Baauer, but not in the good way.
Baauer had Banks’s version taken down from SoundCloud because he felt she was overstepping her bounds by rhyming on the beat without permission. Upon learning this, Banks’s tweeted directly at the producer asking, “@baauer why you c---blockin tho? Lmaoo” to which he answered “@AZEALIABANKS because it’s not your song lol”. It’s at this moment when all jokes were set aside and Azealia’s big guns came out with the reply “@baauer you’re a p---y. You don’t belong in hip hop." At that point, all rules of Twitter etiquette were thrown out the window (as if they weren’t already).
These fighting words caught the attention of one of Bank’s old enemies, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, and the quarrel quickly turned into a threesome, and not in the good way.
Hilton took the side of Baauer, tweeting “@AZEALIABANKS How does it feel to be better known for all your trash-talking than your music, Azealia? #TeamBauuer” to which Banks’s harshly replied “@PerezHilton What does my p---y taste like perez?”
The rest of the convo played out like a game of dirty ad-libs with each counterpart referring to each other’s genitals and cowardice personalities until Azealia dropped a bomb, the f-bomb to be eaxct, deeming Hilton an “evil f----t”. Banks is now a repeat offender in calling Perez the slur.
From there Hilton answered “@AZEALIABANKS There you go again with the F word. Showing your true colors. You are so parched.” Attempting to clarify, Banks explained that she uses the word to mean something other than a derogatory homosexual slur—something more like a male (gay or straight) who acts as catty as a female; an “energy stealer, blood sucker, coward”. She even prompted an open question to her fans to define the word.
After multiple retweets and subtweets, Perez went back to promoting his site’s stories and Azealia tweeted “You give me free speech and then tell me what I can and cannot say???” and “Let’s just all agree to disagree."
Was this the best resolution to the issue of artist sampling at hand? Probably not. But it was undoubtedly much more publicity for all parties involved. And Azealia’s “Harlem Shake” remix is still available here.
What do you guys think of this latest episode of Azealia Banks vs. The World? Let us know in the comments below.