Azealia Banks Tackles Music Industry Racism in a Refreshingly Honest Interview

Love her or hate her, Azealia Banks released one of the most impressive records this year. Unfortunately, her comments on social media continue to overshadow her clear creative brilliance.

She sat down with radio hosts at Hot 97, and offered some insight on why she's so outspoken about music industry racism and cultural appropriation.

I'll say the interview completely changed my mind on the 23-year-old. She's young, passionate, incredibly talented and she made some great points.

This interview is expletive heavy, but watch below.

On capitalism and cultural appropriation
Now everybody knows that, like, the basis of modern capitalism is slave labor--really just the selling and trading of these slaves, There are f------- huge corporations that are still, like, caking off that slave money and s--- like that. So until y'all motherf------ are ready to talk about what y'all owe me, whether the number is $7 trillion or $8 trillion or $9 trillion, at the very f------ least y'all owe me the right to my f----- identity and to not exploit that shit.

On the Grammys:
Then they give these Grammys out.  All it says to white kids is, ‘You’re great. You’re amazing. You can do whatever you put your mind to.’ And it says to black kids, ‘You don’t have shit. You don’t own shit, not even the shit you created yourself.’ And it makes me upset.

On the popular embrace of white rap artists:
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 'F--- you...There's always a 'F--- y'all n---as. 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 f---ing black girl that's rapping today.

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or


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