Monday, March 26, 2012

Azealia Banks vs. Iggy Azalea: Who's who for dummies (like me)

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Azealia Banks is the black one; Iggy Azalea is the white one
  • Azealia Banks is the black one; Iggy Azalea is the white one

All these rappers sound the same. Or so it's been said. But sometimes, it's the soundalike monikers more than the flows that can make a complete mess of things. Beyond the neverending plethora of Lil rappers and Yung emcees, Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks (aka Yung Rapunxel) are two of the female upstarts who commandeered blog rap last year. Their talents for getting noticed slightly outweigh any other skills they bring to the game; and besides rocking similar stage names they both have a brash, sexually-charged style that, when pitted against one another as they have been lately, makes them shoo-ins for a new millennium redux of Foxy Brown vs. Lil Kim.

With the recent announcement that Iggy Azalea is falling through Atlanta this week - and Azealia Banks newly released Iggy diss record "Fuck Up the Fun" (listen below) - there's no time like the present to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, with an off-the-cuff breakdown of who's who and what's what. Just to make sure you know who you're rooting for in the latest ridiculously non-essential rap beef.

1) Both take cues from Diplo: Azealia and Iggy have collaborated with the DJ/producer/tastemaker; the latest being Azealia's newly released "Fuck Up the Fun," which launches a few subliminals in Iggy's direction. Meanwhile, Iggy appeared on "I Think She Ready" off Atlanta duo FKi's latest mixtape, Transformers in the Hood; the song was co-produced by Diplo, Derek Allen, and Atlanta's Heroes x Villians. Still, Azealia gets it by a nose: We're partial to the home team and all, but "Fuck Up the Fun" is hard to hate:

Update: Iggy Azalea's "Murda Bizness" ft. her boss T.I. dropped today. It's the first single from her upcoming album The New Classic.

2) Both love to pop that p-word: Azealia made a song about her "P-U-S-S-Y" (sorry mom); like to hear it, here it go. Not to be outdone, Iggy made a song and video about her "Pu$$y." Iggy wins: Azealia's song is tighter (pun!), but Iggy's video was shot in L.A.'s Rollin' 60s gang turf; who am I to argue?

3) Both have major co-signs: T.I. announced this month that Iggy Azalea is one of his newest signees to Grand Hustle/Interscope. He also had some choice words for Azealia Banks, who'd previously dissed XXL magazine for selecting Iggy Azalea for its 2012 Freshmen cover issue. "How can you endorse a white woman who called herself a "runaway slave master," Banks tweeted last month in reference to Azalea's line from "Drugs" in which she spits, "When the relay starts/I'm a runaway slave/Master." Tip's response to Azealia: Maybe you'll get kept back and become a Freshman in 2013, sweetheart. Azealia's response to Tip's response: Stop trying to make it a threesome; this is girl talk. But here's the trump card: Kanye West follows five people on Twitter; the Universal Records signee Azealia Banks is one of them. They've also been creatively linked and share a predilection for fashion. Banks performed at Karl Lagerfeld's crib in Paris last week and he flew her out to Japan to perform at Chanel's pop-up store. Azealia wins: Kinda hard to top Kanye and Karl.

4) Both fux with Harlem heavy: Azealia, figuratively, since she hails from Harlem; Iggy, literally, since she's been romantically linked with Harlem MC A$AP Rocky. As if having his album title tattooed on her fingers wasn't confirmation enough. Iggy wins by default, because love is stronger than pride.

Overall: So I'm calling it a draw for now, not because they're neck-in-neck (though Azealia seems to have the meaner menstrual), but because I'm just not that invested. Maybe Iggy and Azealia will up the ante with the releases of their respective debuts, The New Classic and Broke With Expensive Taste later this year. Until then, it's a lose-lose situation: Azealia can't play the race card without being called a reverse racist, and Iggy can't retort without looking like a slave master. The only worthwhile investment here is in a future collaboration. Take my advice ladies; bury the hatchet. Everybody knows two slick-talking, hypersexed ill nanas' on the same track are better than one.

Iggy Azalea with Gangsta Boo, Heroes x Villains, Speakerfoxxx. $10. 10 p.m. Thurs., March 29. 18+. The Basement, 1245 Glenwood Ave.

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