Azealia Banks can be mercurial. It feels like she's beefed with everyone. Action Bronson for sounding like Ghost; Iggy Azalea for daring to be corny and white; New York radio for not playing her music; T.I. for being Iggy's boss and a sea of others. But let's not mistake hilarious arrogance and deep sensitivity for true malice, I think Azealia Banks is more Maxine from Living Single than Ali from Transparent

It's not just Azealia Banks, guys



azealia
Photo: Giphy


Her beefs are never the one-sided massacres people make them out to be. This one, for example, seems to have stemmed from her claiming Crowe's new horror flick was going to "suck." She's just an easily-disturbed hornet's nest. Another in the long line of talented artists who can be tricky to work with. Everyone's different. Which makes this current spat with Russell Crowe Hamiltonian-level theater. Mr. Crowe, himself, has a reputation for starting things and finishing them. Remember at the Bafta awards, when show director Malcolm Gerrie had the unenviable task of editing out Russell's rendition of "Sanctity" by Patrick Kavanagh for broadcast? Remember how he called him a "c**t motherf***er" and threatened to expunge him from Hollywood? Or the time he was arrested in Soho, New York for striking a hotel clerk in the head with a telephone? It's much easier for many to frame Russell as a fiery Aussie or a man's man than it is to give Azealia Banks the same kind of leeway. Women don't get to behave badly in public, after all.

It's all about the angles



Yeezy Season Kanye
Photo: Giphy


It's easy to view Banks as someone who's lost, demolishing her enormous talent and potential by being sour and explosive. There may even be some truth in that (word to Zayn Malik), but in a hyper-viewed world, things can easily be distorted. There's a long list of male artists whose antics are legendary. Kanye West, for example. Or what about Eminem? Let's ease off the accelerator a bit and talk someone a little less famous. The aforementioned Action Bronson has body slammed people on camera and it was all jokes. G-Eazy got caught snorting a substance off a woman's naked torso. There are many more examples. A$AP Rocky (who is so deeply underrated in my view) released a record wherein he slandered Rita Ora by name. Yes, none of these people have cracked a glass and threatened to cut someone's throat with it (that we know of!), but if RZA had done it, would we have just said, "that's gangsta?"

Azealia Banks has a bad rap



Yeezy Season Kanye
Photo: Giphy


Let's not shy away from language on this, either. Men behaving badly are generally considered heroic. Their exploits are called antics. The same safety net is not available to Banks. So even though RZA came out and publicly stated that Russell Crowe was in the right for tossing her out and spitting at her, that doesn't make it so. And just because Azealia Banks has a reputation for trying to destroy people on Twitter doesn't necessarily mean she bullied her way into this one. I'd like to propose to see Azealia Banks as a person and not an abstract. She's not just an "angry black woman," and I think that idea is getting in the way of seeing her for who she truly is. Azealia Banks might not be someone who will hold her tongue when it might be more advantageous to her career to do so, but I don't think she's the bane of everyone's existence that her antics paint her to be.

I'll wait and see if there's a consensus on the facts before I paint her as the queen of the bad girls club.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.




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