Music

A History Of Iggy Azalea And Azealia Banks’ Rivalry

Let’s go back to the source.

1. If you’ve been on Twitter at all over the past week, you’ve no doubt noticed that the long and bitter feud between Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks peaking yet again.

Daniel Boczarski / Getty

Jennifer Graylock / Getty

 

Most recently, Iggy sent a series of tweets calling Azealia a “bigot” and a miserable, angry human being” over her candid comments about the other.

2. The spat, which takes as its root the appropriation of hip-hop by white artists, has caused a slew of other musicians to weigh in, including Q-Tip, T.I., and Will.i.am.

3. But their beef goes all the way back to 2012, when both rappers named after pink rhododendrons were beginning to gain notoriety around the same time. Here’s how we got here:

4. 2011: Iggy and Azealia both put out hits that would jumpstart their careers:

After her freestyles on YouTube went viral, Iggy caught serious attention for her debut mixtape Ignorant Art with standout tracks “Pu$$y” and “My World”.

In that same year, Azealia released her debut single “212” with a memorable music video that’s now been watched nearly 80 million times on YouTube.

7. 2012: Iggy makes the XXL Freshmen cover as the only female rapper, kindling the first publicized attacks from Azealia.

XXL

It’s been speculated the two have had problems with each other long before this first exchange, but it’s the first time they’ve engaged publicly. Much of the hate stemmed from an early Iggy lyric from her track “D.R.U.G.S” in which she calls herself a “runaway slave-master”. After the magazine cover dropped, Azealia took to Twitter to speak her mind, calling XXL’s roster “all wrong”.

She then went on to explain why the endorsement is racial.

Iggy responded but paid her comments no mind and even threatened to block her.

12. 2012: Rapper T.I., who signed Iggy to his label, jumped in the ring and called Azealia out on her comments about the XXL cover. Now T.I. and Azealia are at odds.

Getty / Kevin Winter

Simone Joyner / Getty

 

In a radio interview, T.I. suggested Azealia should worry about her own business: “If you spend half of your day getting money and the other half of your day counting money, you ain’t got no time in your day to worry about nobody else,” he said.

Azealia ordered him to stay in his lane, and then went on to explain her initial comments, via another Twitter rant. Here’s a shortened transcription of her tweets:

“@tip you corny for that one. LMFAOO how u a grown man commenting on what’s going on between two girls. Come on son. Stop it.
… This situation is really funny to me. It’s not like I said some foul out of the water shit about iggy azalea… I questioned her artistic integrity because of insensitive lyrics. Its not like I made bullshit some up and came at her head. In fact the issue wasn’t even really her. The issue was xxl. Why were the only three females nominated for that cover kreayshawn, v-nasty and iggy? Where was Rapsody, or nitty Scott, or Angel Haze? But y’all niggas don’t hear me tho. Lol I think what’s even more interesting about this, is how unable iggy is to explain herself. T.i can’t even explain for her. Those r my last comments about it. The Internet is making me look like a villain.”

13. 2012: T.I. then responds to Azealia’s tweets, which only sparks more Twitter heat.

Getty / Michael Loccisano

Getty / Tullio M. Puglia

 

On another radio show, T.I. said the following about Azealia’s tweets: “That’s bitch shit, I’ma man. You ain’t got no business addressing me. Get your man to address me, if you got a man, get him to address me and he and I can speak on it.”

It only set Azealia off even more. She took to Twitter again — this time more personal and all directed @Tip:

“T.i …. Please shut the fuck up about this. Like seriously quit it … funny how you have plenty of time to address me but have nothing to say to the dudes who been calling u at as a snitch forever … it’s dead… The streets already know what kind of dude you are. Stop making yourself look softer by dragging this out … ain’t you the same dude that got photographed butt naked n a pair of sneakers and a beanie???!?! … what a fucking clown.”

15. 2014: Azealia calls out Iggy’s silence on the events that transpired in Ferguson and New York surrounding police killings of unarmed black men.

its funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen... Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren't huh?

— CATTY NOIR (@AZEALIABANKS)

And links her silence to inauthenticity and the macro problem of appropriating black and hip hop culture. Old tensions seem to rise again.

LOL... IM PETTY, but its so true, ugh, that wannabe black girl shit makes me wanna throw a jar of my piss at her LMFAOOOO.

— CATTY NOIR (@AZEALIABANKS)

Nicki is a hard-working rap-BEAST. stop trying to degrade and BELITTLE Our culture with this fucking kkk iggy shit.

— CATTY NOIR (@AZEALIABANKS)

(She makes one more dig at T.I.)

AND I DARE THAT SHOE-SHINING COON T.I TO SAY SOMETHING.

— CATTY NOIR (@AZEALIABANKS)

Iggy responds by, again, dismissing everything.

👀 I see all hell broke loose while I was at rehearsals today.

— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA)

we've all read the script 49584068408540 billion times now, find a new game plan.

— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA)

24. 2014: Azealia gives a candid, emotional interview with Hot 97 in which she explains her beef with Iggy and how it’s emblematic of “cultural smudging” in music.

“I feel like in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like black issues or black politics or black music or whatever, there’s always this undercurrent of kinda like a ‘fuck you.’ There’s always a “fuck y’all n*ggas. Y’all don’t really own shit. Y’all don’t have shit.

“That Macklemore album wasn’t better than the Drake record. That Iggy Azalea shit isn’t better than any fucking black girl that’s rapping today… The Grammys are supposed to be accolades of artistic excellence. Iggy Azalea is not excellent.”

And Iggy fired back hard, dismissing Banks’ entire tumultuous career as that of a “poisonous,” “miserable,” “bigot.”

28. The war wages on.

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