From blue-eyed soul to straight-up theft, Black music has long been imitated and acculturated by Whites. we take a look at the difference between flattery and misappropriation.
Fed up with her Caucasian semi-namesake being credited for “running” hip-hop by no less than Forbes magazine, a frustrated, struggling, even tearful Banks decried White cultural appropriation of hip-hop music in a now-famous 2014 interview on New York City’s Hot 97 radio station.
Banks’ rant went viral. She name checked White rapper Macklemore and charged that his recent Grammy-winning album “wasn’t as good as Drake’s record.” She declared that Azalea, who once referred to herself in a lyric as a “runaway slave master” . . . “wasn’t as good as any f – – –ing Black girl that’s rapping today.” Banks boldly continued her argument over the interwebs. She reiterated what many in the listening audience had long thought: Certain White performers profit from misappropriating Black culture.
With her own musical ascension at a halt (although she was nominated for BET Award this year), Banks accused the Australian-born rapper of essentially assuming her identity—and being wack at it. The situation led to a hip-hop blogger heaven in which everyone with a computer tried to dissect the apex of this years-old beef. When Azalea dismissively responded on Twitter, it became clear that Banks’ basic idea was all but lost.
Read more in the August 2015 issue of EBONY Magazine.