Azealia Banks Talks Race, Reparations, And Why She Doesn’t Need ‘White’ Approval
Azealia Banks was in rare form for Playboy’s “Sex & Music” issue, but don’t let the playful cover fool you. During her lengthy interview, the 23-year-old hip-hop star talks about picking fights with teachers in pre-school, her seemingly constant feuds with fellow music icons, and practically gives a treatise on racial issues in America.
Like we said, don’t let the cover fool you.
“People have always been scared of me,” she says.
“I punched my teacher in the face one time when I was in preschool. We were playing house, and the lady was like, ‘I’m a monster! I’m gonna eat your family!’ I punched her right in the eye. [laughs] It was a Head Start program, so I was three.”
That kind of rambunctiousness has followed her into adulthood, and her music career. Aside from being known for hits like “212” and “Chasing Time,” Banks is very well known for her highly public feuds with the likes of Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Nicki Minaj.
As to how she always seems to find herself in the midst of these superstar melees, Banks says, “It’s always about race. Lorde can run her mouth and talk s**t about all these other b***hes, but y’all aren’t saying she’s angry. If I have something to say, I get pushed into the corner.”
Race is a major point of contention for Banks, who is also well known for her sometimes controversial stances on social issues. To wit, last December, she encouraged black families to actively seek out former slave owning families for reparations, saying “they owe us money.”
“We are the children of the people who perished in the name of modern capitalism and we deserve a piece of that f**king pie,” she said.
In her Playboy interview, Banks had that and a lot more to say about race in America.
“In my adulthood I’m having to destroy all these things society really wants you to think. The history textbooks in the U.S. are the worst if you’re not white,” she said. “‘The white man gave you the vote. He Christianized you and taught you how to speak English. If it weren’t for him, you’d still be living in a hut.'”
“I could write a book about why black people shouldn’t be Christians. Young black kids should have their own special curriculum that doesn’t start from the boat ride over from Africa. All you know as a black kid is we came over here on a boat, we didn’t have anything, and we still don’t have anything. But what was happening in Africa? What culture were we pulled away from? That information is vital to the survival of a young black soul.”
She said that other hip hop stars like her collaborator Kanye West are sometimes part of the problem. “Even Kanye West plays a little bit of that game. ‘Please accept me, white world.'” Unlike West, “Jay Z hasn’t played any of those games,” she argued, “and that’s what I like.”
As for what else contributes to the problem for Banks, why not the entire country itself?
“I hate everything about this country,” she said. “Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma—that’s really America.”
You can read more of Azealia Banks’ explosive Playboy interview here.