The female rapper war is ON! The two next big things in female rap couldn’t be more dissimilar. Twenty year old Harlem hip hopper Azealia Banks must have army rolled out of her mother, sworn at the doctor, then swaggered off to begin her t.h.u.g l.i.f.e, her aim being to learn all the curse words in the world and put them to a bitching beat. Iggy Azalea is a rareity in female rap, a six foot four white Australian with all the features of a runway model, but the mouth of a randy sailor.
Born Amethyst Amelia, Iggy was brought up on a farm in a house of handmade mud bricks in Mullumbimby, a tiny town on the outskirts of Nimbin, Australia’s weed capital. The fact that she is now signed to Grand Hustle Records and is banging A$AP Rocky seems unatural, seeing as she should really be a sunbleached, surfy stoner, selling woven bags made of hemp to the rest of the hippy commune. Kudos to her for making it out with all her teeth and no tolerance for banjo music. While her peers were ‘taking ecstasy, getting glowsticks and wearing gumboots’, she heard Tupac playing for the first time and became obsessed, getting herself a pair of ‘boys jeans’ and started rapping about sex at the age of fourteen. Admitting she was shit to begin with, she started travelling to larger towns where she jammed with Sudanese refugees (quite amazing seeing as to small town Aussies, people of colour might aswell have two heads). She fled stateside at sixteen after quitting her maid’s job and has been there ever since, being told she wasn’t marketable and was better off being a pop star or a runway model. So she did the sensible thing and retired to Youtube, where her tune ‘Pu$$y’ was picked up by Perez Hilton (uncanny as he isn’t a fan of it) and subsequently went viral.
21 year old Harlem hip hopper Azealia Banks didn’t seem destined for rap either when she was performing musical theatre at the age of ten. After some disappointing auditions, she hardened the hell up and decided to ‘fuck around with rap’. She dropped out of high school to persue ‘fucking around’ as a career. Banks also used Youtube as a portal, initially releasing some digital download tracks, including a cover of Interpol’s ‘Slow Hands’. In September 2011, she released ’212′ and everyone went mental, presumably for the most memorable repeated line ‘I guess that cunt gettin eaten’. BBC 1 Record of the Week followed, as did a spot on the NME Cool List and the track came in at #9 on Pitchfork’s ‘Top 100 Tracks of 2011′. Are you paying attention, aspiring femcees? Churn out as many dirty words as you can over a ruddy phat beat and you’re golden. Well, if you value the opinion of NME that is.
It was inevitable that there would be controversy between the two as they clawed their way to the big time, presumably ‘You stole my name bitch!’ seemed likely to come up at some point. But Banks piped up when Iggy became the first female MC named in XXL Magazine’s list of fastest-rising rap stars, scoring a shot on the cover. Like any sensible show biz row, it took place on Twitter where she moaned ‘How can you endorse a white woman who called herself a ‘runaway slave master’?, referring to Iggy’s track D.R.U.G.S. ‘Sorry guys, but I’m pro black girl’ she tweeted.
Sensibly, Iggy commented ‘Race to me is a low blow that people just use when they have nothing else to hate on. There are a million and one stereotypes people try to put on me every day. How a woman should act, how an Australian should act, how a white person should act.’ In response to her ‘sounding too American’, she points out that if she were a chef and she went to learn to cook in France, people wouldn’t say ‘Well you don’t cook like an Australian.’. Word. Is this the most sensible rap battle ever? When is the shooting? I’d personally like to see them make up and do a cover of ‘Ebony and Ivory’.