Azealia Banks may be back on Twitter and back to making music, but it appears that she hasn’t lost her penchant for instigating feuds and calling out what she views as anti-blackness in pop culture. This time, her target is MIA, who recently posted a lengthy diatribe to her Instagram disclaiming the idea that producer Diplo “discovered” her or “made” her career.
When a Twitter user pressed her afterward, stating that she relies on “black sounds like everyone else,” for popularity, she responded: “I came right after the ’90s early-2000s success of Indian riddim in dancehall/hip hop! Missy/Timberland/Big Pimpin’ coolie riddim sounds ta.” That was all it took to spark the latest in a long line of Twitter rants from the outspoken Banks, who despite a somewhat rough method of delivery, often finds support for her ideas online.
“MIA be low-key trying to take credit for Black culture and the sh*t is annoying. She’s like clearly quite anti-Black,” she tweeted. “I don’t get her points a lot of the time. It’s like she came up in hip-hop, then wants to be like, ‘What about my people?’ But tries to discredit. It’s always like, ‘Why do you care about blacks and not Indians when blacks took this from my culture?’ She stay trying to compare struggles. When it’s like honey… just spit your rhyme.”
MIA backtracked on her comments after repeated pressure from Twitter users calling out her reluctance to address the original claim that she borrowed sounds from the Black diaspora to stake her claim in the pop sphere. “Cultures all have similarities,” She explained, “So one can’t dominate the narrative of others.” While both women made salient and valid points, both have been in hot water before for problematic statements and behavior, the best case would probably be for cooler heads to prevail, and for more well-read, articulate voices to take over this particular debate.