This week’s “beef” between Azealia Banks and Igloo Australia Iggy Azalea was way more than just beef: it was about what it really means, on a socio-political level, that America’s favorite rappers keep getting whiter (as exemplified by Azalea’s Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, mimicking Macklemore’s success last year). Banks gave a brave, emotionally-charged Hot 97 interview earlier this week, during which she cried describing how she feared things like Azalea’s Grammy nomination were contributing to the erasure of hip-hop’s blackness, and blackness in general: “When they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is ‘You’re amazing, you’re great, you can do anything you put your mind to,’ she said. “And all it says to Black kids is ‘You don’t have shit, you don’t own shit, not even the shit you created for yourself.’ And it makes me upset.” Azalea took to Twitter to respond (you can read her response here); it was flippant, wholly unempathetic, and re-defined missing the point.
Today, Q-Tip hit Azalea with a long, informed response—not as an a “chastisement” or “admonishment,” he said, but simply for some context. It’s worth reading for all of us. Azalea has yet to respond.