It’s the conversation you have with friends on a chill Saturday night. The one where social construction and personal experiences mix; the conversation surrounding the representation of black women. The topic was lead by Azealia Banks, who used Cardi B’s persona to frame her argument about the dwindling image of black woman in music.
The “Anna Wintour” creative chopped it up with The Breakfast Club this week about an array of topics, like her music and some of the lessons she’s learned in times of hardships. But the most talked about point came at the 21:36 mark of the video above when she was asked about her previous comments on the “Be Careful” artist.
After confirming her comments about calling Cardi illiterate, Banks gave more perspective to her point about black women losing intellectual ground after Beyonce and Solange’s dynamic projects Lemonade and A Seat At The Table.
“I think that it’s very concerning to me that this conversation surrounding black women’s culture changes from..two years ago the conversation was really reaching an all time high. We were discussing the power of ourselves, Beyonce came out with Lemonade and there was just this really really intelligent conversation happening and everything kind of just changed and then it was, Cardi B.”
Cardi’s breakout single “Bodak Yellow” was the talk of 2017. She went on to earn two Grammy nominations and earned fans like Beyonce, Denzel Washington and most recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Banks explains that Cardi’s personality wouldn’t be as receptive if it came from someone like Nicki Minaj or herself.
“I’m talking about this caricature of a black woman that black women themselves will never be able to get away with,” she added. “If my spelling and grammar was that bad, I would be cancelled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, you would be ragging on her all day. When it comes to this black women’s culture thing, I just don’t understand how we go from Beyonce, Solange, Lemonade and all these great conversations to like, this.”
Her comments received backlash, evoking several replies from Cardi herself. The rapper accused Banks of being jealous of her success, pointed out her vernacular shouldn’t be up for debate and also accused Banks of pitting women against each other.
The debate has continued with fans supporting Banks and others taking Cardi’s side. Both women raise valid points in today’s view of black women in music and other platforms but it seems like fans are looking for a right and wrong label in the conversation. Cardi has since deactivated her IG account with hopes to focus on her pregnancy.