Rapper Azealia Banks reveals the hardships she endured on her road to fame, including some that still impact her.
The 31-year-old snagged the cover of Dazed Spring 2023. In the interview, Banks disclosed that she once had to sleep in a storage space because she was “so f****g broke” during a career downturn.
The “212” rapper admitted that her turbulent rise to fame and constantly being called a “bad person” by the media and public made her believe that was true– and possibly the cause of her struggle.
During the intimate interview, the artist spoke about the ups and downs that have plagued her career, which spans well over a decade. At one time, Banks was dubbed the new “it girl” of house music. Ultimately, she says being outspoken in an unsupportive music industry left her on the outs.
“There was a time when people didn’t want to hire me,” the Harlem native said.
“I had n****s stealing my royalties and all type of s**t,” she said. “Like, there was a point in time when I was so f*****g broke that I was sleeping in a storage space. You know, famous and broke.”
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Banks went on to admit that she had an active hand in being ostracized, saying that she could be “a little messy.”
She added, “Everybody makes a bad joke sometimes. Like, who cares? Quentin Tarantino gets paid $500m to make really bad jokes all the time, you know? Come on. Let me get my s**t off.”
There is a long timeline of Banks getting her “s**t” off that has kept her under a dark cloud.
Daily Mail mentioned the 2015 altercation Banks got into with a Delta flight attendant, calling him a “f*****g f****t” because she could not deboard the aircraft.
In 2016, she was dropped from the Rinse – Born & Bred Festival following her homophobic, racist and xenophobic Twitter rant against Zayn Malik. She accused the pop singer of plagiarism and stealing ideas for his music and visuals from her.
Most recently, in December 2022, Banks called the entire continent of Australia racist.
Her rant stemmed from her canceling a show in Brisbane because of alleged treatment she received in the down under in 2015.
Banks tweeted, “I’m so sorry you guys – actually I’m not sorry – but listen: last time I was in Brisbane and y’all threw s**t on the stage and damn near almost f*****g hit me in the face with a f*****g bottle of soda or whatever that s**t was. That was the most racist, most demoralising experience of my f***ing life and right now I’m on a really good track.”
Banks provided some insight into her actions and claimed she just began to embody what people pushed on her.
“I was always being told that I was a bad person, and I guess I kind of just accepted it as the truth,” she said. “And I think a lot of that early indoctrination, especially during my fundamental years, followed me into the music industry – where you would see me lashing out at people and just, like, being bad. Because that’s who I was told I was.”
Banks has been quiet on the social front lately, as she is putting her energy into her online wellness store, CheapyXO.
The brand sells products like hydrosol mists, acupressure tools, herbal teas and soaps to help alleviate hemorrhoids.
While understanding her responsibility for some of the cracks in her career, Banks doesn’t want anyone to think she’s issuing a full apology anytime soon.
She explained, “People are always like, oh, it’s the Azealia Banks redemption arc. But who the f**k am I redeeming myself for? You should be trying to redeem yourselves for me.”