Azealia Banks Throws Shade At Madame Tussauds’ Racist Nicki Minaj Wax Figure

Azealia Banks and Nicki Minaj via Wikipedia 

Nicki Minaj is the latest in a long line of celebs to get the wax treatment (Tussauds, not Brazilian) and though it’s regarded as an honor much like a walk of fame star, not everyone is happy about how she was depicted. Responding to the fact that Nicki Minaj’s wax figure presents her in a submissive and sexualized position, Azealia Banks tweeted:

Banks is bringing attention to the racist undertones of Minaj’s wax figure. As PAPERMAG points out, the position of the wax figure represents to submission and deference. Banks is rightfully frustrated with the museum’s perception of a successful black woman, pointing out the hypocrisy when they’ve depicted white people:

Banks’ tweets may surprise some as she doesn’t have the strongest track record of supporting Minaj. Earlier this year, she had a fit about how the “Anaconda” singer got too many BET Award nominations, leaving other artists, including herself, empty handed. But Banks is showing her values supporting strong black women are a priority over any silly awards beef. Her recent tweets are not the first time she spoke out about race issues in America. The “212” singer previously spoke out on Hot 97 about how T.I. is facilitating Iggy Azealia’s cultural appropriation. We must say, we love a musician who makes us think, even if it means keeping up with their Twitter feuds. Check out the wax figure and judge for yourself:

Ok u know da fuq wut

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Azealia Banks Raps About Tamagotchis in New Lil Internet-Produced Track

Azealia Banks, opening show of Life Ball 2013 at the city hall of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Photo by Manfred Werner. 

It looks like rapper Azealia Banks is wasting no time in sharing new music since parting ways with her label.

Released yesterday, “Heavy Metal and Reflective” is in the same style as her previous single “Yung Rapunxel” with a unique beat and a hypnotic, almost monotonous flow. Produced by Lil Internet, the song is an eclectic mix of echoing synths and samples that sound as if they were taken directly from a movie. In typical Banks fashion, the lyrics bounce from her calling herself the head bitch to odd phrases about traveling to Japan and buying Tamagotchis.

The controversial star released “Heavy Metal and Reflective” to applause from fans who were worried it might take some time for fresh tunes to come out. It’s been less than a month since Banks left Interscope, though she had been very open about her desire to leave the label for months. When it was made official, the hip-hop star celebrated, tweeting “IM ABOUT TO GET OUT OF MY DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS THE BIG SURPRISE!!!!!” and “I’m gonna have a fresh start. I’m so excited!!!!”

The song is available now through “Azealia Banks Records” (AKA her), and is expected to be on her full length debut album Broke With Expensive Taste, which still doesn’t have an official release date.

This Week’s Miami Happenings: Ultra Music Fest, Harry’s Pizzeria, Lucali Opens

FRIDAY: Ultra Music Festival Rages On
Get ready for the ultimate freak show that mixes top DJs, herds of mask-wearing, half-naked club kids, hallucinogenics, and Miami traffic jams at Ultra Music Festival. It may be tough to top last year’s unexpected appearance by Madonna at the turntable, but that doesn’t mean that the likes of Azealia Banks, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and Deadmau5 won’t try. Should you opt to stay home this year, the Ultra soundtrack – slated to hit digital stores on March 19th – ought to give you a taste of all that you missed. Minus the traffic, of course.

Ultra Music Festival kicks off Friday the 15th at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown). For tickets, visit the officialwebsite.

TUESDAY: Charitable Bites At Harry’s
Harry’s Pizzeria is the location of chef Bill Telepan and his effort to raise funds via a $150 dinner for the replanting of the edible garden at the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Overtown, a project that emphasizes locally-sourced produce and nutrition in public schools, potted by Harry’s Pizzeria and Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

Bill Telepan hosts the event at Harry’s Pizzeria (3918 N. Miami Ave., Design District)Tuesday the 12th. For details, read the listing in BlackBook Guides.

NOW: Lucali Opens In South Beach
Sticking with the pie theme, Brooklyn’s finest has finally landed in South Beach. Heralded as the country’s top pizza maker, Lucali has opened its first out-of-borough post of this wildly successful, no-thrills eatery. No sign, no menu; just seven toppings to pick from, secret tomato sauce, and on-tap Brooklyn beers.

Lucali is open now (1930 Bay Rd., South Beach.) For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

Be the first to know about the latest openings & events in Miami by signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email and downloading the BlackBook City Guides app for iPhone and Android.

Azealia Banks Covers The Strokes’ ‘Barely Legal’

It seems like each new week brings something new and cool from Azealia Banks. 

This week, via The Fader, its a cover of The Strokes’ 2001 song Barely Legal with a dance remix twist … and I daresay its really, really good. Banks debuted the song on a New Zealand radio station on Thursday. Last week Banks remixed the original Harlem Shake song

You can listen to Azealia Banks’ cover of Barely Legal below. 

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Azealia Banks Remixes ‘Harlem Shake’

"Harlem Shake" is the new dance craze the kids are doing these days. If you have to ask what it is, you’re probably too old to know. Also, Azealia Banks video won’t explain it to you.

Banks remixed "Harlem Shake," a song by the New York-based DJ Baauer whose ’80s-inspired dance became a meme overnight and spurred reaction videos everywhere from schools to campaign videos to puppies

Azealia Banks’s remix isn’t a true "Harlem Shake" video—it’s her swinging her gorgeous long hair in the air and shaking her ass at the camera. Which is kind of like making a Gangnam Style spoof without doing the dance. But whatever!

Watch Azealia’s remix below:

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Governor’s Ball Festival Returns to Randall’s Island With Kanye, Kendrick, More

It’s freezing and gross in a considerable chunk of the country, which means it’s time to start thinking about summer, and with it, the crowded, drunken, heavily-Instagrammed bacchanalia that is the summer music festival. Your first major festival lineup announcement of 2013 happened today, in this case the third-annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which returns to its home on Randall’s Island June 7th, 8th and 9th. The biggest names on the flyer are Kanye West and Kings of Leon, as well as one blacked-out name to be revealed later (let the speculation begin!). The bulk of the bill features people whose albums you really liked last year, or whose albums you didn’t really like but maybe read about a lot on music blogs, including Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, the xx, Nas, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Beach House, Azealia Banks and dozens of other year-end list luminaries. Like musical confetti made from cut-up Pazz & Jop ballots. 

Other notable names on the lineup include one of BlackBook’s Stars of 2013, HAIM, Swedish party starters Icona Pop, Erykah Badu, Feist, festival regular Pretty Lights, Wild Nothing, Fucked Up and Dillon Francis. Those less inclined to care about the music can find food courtesy of a few familiar trucks, including Asia Dog, Mexicue and Pie for the People. There is also ping-pong, croquet and bocce and something called a "Silent Disco," which seems to be on the bill at a lot of festivals and the impetus for some half-baked thinkpiece somewhere about the way we live and share music now. Tickets for the big festival thing go on sale this Friday at noon. 

Several top-rated tracks of 2012, including Kendrick Lamar’s "Backseat Freestyle" and Japandroids’ "The House That Heaven Built," soundtrack the Austin Peters-helmed lineup video, which features Jonathan Sollis and Fabrizio Goldstein strolling around New York in tuxes and dark sunglasses, on a neverending quest to make it rain. Watch.

Azealia Banks Calls Perez Hilton A Faggot, Janet Mock Jumps In, Shitshow Ensues

Last week the Internet rolled its eyes at rappers Azealia Banks and Angel Haze and their sparring diss tracks. Kids today! In short order, Perez Hilton interjected himself into the debate and Banks lashed out, calling the openly gay blogger a "faggot" and asking him "does your butthole whistle?"

It seems like Banks was simply provoked by some finger-wagging posts published on Perez Hilton which chastised the two women for their "bickering" and "beef." 

Banks responded with tweets — which looks like it has been deleted:

@PerezHilton does your butthole whistle? Like is your butthole so stretched and raggedy the air whistles when you move?"

And then:

"omg u should just kill yourself… Like for real. lol what a messy f–got you are."

When other Twitter users rightly freaked out on Banks for her use of gay slurs, she got defensive and bullshitty, claiming that "faggot" isn’t really a gay slur. It’s a slightly-more-okay-somehow sexist slur!  She tweeted:  

She eventually apologized … sort of … but not really:

That could have been the end of it, maybe, save for more tweets for Banks licking her wounds.

But then Janet Mock, a former editor at People and a trans woman, jumped in with her own critique which made really good points yet stirred the pot even more (for some Twitter users, at least):

Mock also retweeted a fellow black feminist who agreed with her:

But she got a lot of pushback on Twitter from users accusing her of condoning Banks’ homophobia and misogyny by seemingly defending her and blaming Hilton, the victim in this scenario:

That all happened this morning. Thankfully it’s died down for now, most likely because everyone’s agents are screaming "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE STOP." 

Alas, recapping the continued bigotry in our popular culture probably never will die down …

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Angel Haze Drops Azealia Banks Diss Track Following Twitter Spat

There are few turns of phrases that make me feel old than "Twitter beef," but it is so: hip-hop starlets Azealia Banks and Angel Haze were caught feuding online this week after Banks suggested that one cannot claim to be a New Yorker if one was not born in New York. I call myself a New Yorker, despite being born in Virginia, but I kept pretty quiet for fear of an all-caps response from Banks. I don’t want to be in a Twitter beef with Azealia Banks! Angel Haze, whose song "New York" includes the line "I run New York," despite her Michigan upbringing. Rappers are always on edge about these sorts of things. Naturally, the two of them spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon shit-talking each other.

Rather than letting this feud curtail her artistic endeavors, Angel Haze dropped a diss track called "On The Edge," which allows Haze room to spit enough insults ("Bitch put an album out / I think my album’s more done than yours and I just started a week ago" is a good sample) to keep me waiting for Banks’s response. Also, I should really figure out how to use GarageBand the next time someone pisses me offline, because making my own diss track sounds more fun than just blocking them.

[Via Pitchfork]

Update: Because the internet waits for no man, Azealia Banks has already released her rebuttal. This is what happens when you take your lunch break in between writing a post and actually scheduling it to publish online. Lesson learned, ladies! 

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People On The Internet Mad At Rihanna and Azealia Banks For Stealing Stuff Stolen From The Internet

Nothing has made me feel more ancient than the news this morning that some kids on the internet are mad at Azealia Banks and Rihanna. What did they do? Well, they both performed in front of green screen-projections of sea imagery (in the video for "Atlantis" and on SNL, respectively). Apparently, there’s a whole world of people who are into that sort of thing. Naturally, they live in their underwater cave fantasy worlds, but mostly on Tumblr, where 90% of terrible things exist under the guise that it is "art" (or porn, I guess). 

First, here’s Banks’s new video, which premiered online over the weekend:

And here is Rihanna’s performance of "Diamonds" on SNL:

And, via Buzzfeed, here’s some video that a guy named Jerome LOL (née Johnson, probs) made two years ago, when this kinda shit was "cutting edge" or something:

The similarities have pissed some people off, particularly this person named ∞SHANTASY☹ISLAND❤✌➫, whose insane tweeting was brought to my attention this morning:

First of all: everyone is terrible. Second of all, these kids might be kinda annoyed that these two famous women jacked their style, but is that annoyance valid? After all, their "style" appears to be a cocktail of stuff they jacked from other places. "But we put it together first!" I bet they are tweeting (in all caps, likely misspelled). (I’d also like to do an informal poll to see if any of them have ever illegally downloaded songs by either Azealia Banks or Rihanna, but that’s a post for another day.)

Basically, this should be a lesson to any "underground" artist, whether they put their art on a wall or on the internet: your work is up for grabs. That’s how we do things now. Everything is inspired by something else! Sometimes it’s an homage, and sometimes it’s deliberate theft. I have a feeling that there are other factors in how Rihanna and Banks discovered this certain aesthetic. I’m willing to believe Banks found it herself, whereas Rihanna probably had the benefit of label creatives who were like, "You know what the kids are digging these days? Mermaids and the year 2000."

And, come on, this sort of thing isn’t new. Take one of the greatest examples of how culture trickled up: voguing. First seen in the Latino and African-American queer communities, Madonna jacked that shit hard (and poorly) for what is arguably her biggest hit. And now there are millions of people across the world who think some white gal from suburban Detroit invented it. Them’s the breaks, you guys. 

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