Azealia Banks Wants to Emulate Jay Z’s Career
In her new cover story for Playboy, Azealia Banks gives a candid interview about sex, leaving America for another country and, above all else, race. It was with an eye to that last subject that she told the men's magazine the only rapper whose career path she hopes to follow is Jay Z's. The Brooklyn rapper, in Banks' eyes, is the only hip-hop artist to attain a mass amount of critical and commercial success while still being unapologetically Black. "I want to get there being very Black and proud and boisterous about it," Banks told the magazine. "A lot of times when you’re a black woman and you’re proud, that’s why people don’t like you. In American society, the game is to be a nonthreatening Black person." The "212" rapper had previously taken shots at Kendrick Lamar for what she felt was him playing the respectability politics game, and she reiterates those points here: "That’s why you have Pharrell or Kendrick Lamar saying, 'How can we expect people to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves?' He’s playing that nonthreatening Black man shit, and that gets all the white soccer moms going, 'We love him.' Even Kanye West plays a little bit of that game—'Please accept me, white world.”'Jay Z hasn’t played any of those games, and that’s what I like."
Banks' long-delayed album Broke With Expensive Taste was finally released at the end of last year. She has been noted for becoming embroiled in beefs over social media with other artists, but in the Playboy interview, she attributes much of the rejection of her viewpoints to her race. You can read the feature here and watch the behind-the-scene footage below. She also tweeted out a very NSFW picture from the photo shoot (click here).