Ever since New York rapper and singer Azealia Banks broke into public consciousness with her wrecking ball of a track 212 in 2011, her career has not been short of controversy.
The rapper, who recently released Anna Wintour, the lead single of her upcoming second studio album Fantasea II: The Second Wave, has made different kinds of waves feuding with everyone from Iggy Azalea and Zayn Malik to Nicki Minaj and most recently Cardi B.
And Banks appears to have reignited the row with the Bodak Yellow singer in May 2018, when she went on The Breakfast Club and called Cardi B an ‘illiterate, untalented rat’, among other things.
Cardi B subsequently deleted her entire Instagram, but only after posting a riposte in which she promised to stay true to herself.
Here is all you need to know about Azealia Banks, including her most famous feuds, net worth and upcoming album.
Azealia Banks reignited her feud with Bodak Yellow rapper Cardi B, calling her ‘untalented’
Who is Azealia Banks?
Azealia Amanda Banks was born in Harlem, New York on May 31, 1991 and initially began releasing music on the Myspace social platform.
In 2008, at the age of 17, Banks signed a development deal with XL Recordings, but left later that year after a disagreement with owner Richard Russell.
‘I got turned off on the music industry and disappeared for a bit. I went into a bit of a depression. Oof!’ Banks told Self Titled magazine.
Following her departure from XL Recordings, Banks used YouTube as a platform for her music and worked as a stripper in Queens.
In September 2011, Banks released her single, 212, as a free download. It was well received in Europe, charting in the top 20 in the UK and Netherlands charts.
Following 212, Banks began working with British producer Paul Epworth on a debut studio album.
In May 2012, Banks released her first EP, 1991. In 2014, two years after announcing the name of her debut album would be Broke with Expensive Taste, Banks surprise-released the album on iTunes in November.
The following year, Banks appeared in the RZA-directed film Love Beats Rhymes and subsequently revealed she wouldn’t be able to release new music until beginning of 2016.
At the end of March 2016, Banks released her mixtape Slay-Z and began touring in 2017, appearing in cities in North America and Europe.
In 2018, Banks will release her second studio album, Fantasea II: The Second Wave.
Azealia Banks and Cardi B feud
Banks’s ‘illiterate, untalented rat’ jibe at Cardi B is not the first time the two rappers have clashed.
Back in September, 2017, Banks branded Cardi B a ‘poor man’s’ Nicki Minaj and went as far as to accuse the Bronx rapper of having a ghostwriter pen her No.1 hit Bodak Yellow.
On May 11, 2018, Banks reignited the feud by not only calling Cardi B an ‘illiterate, untalented rat’ but also saying she was a ‘caricature of a black woman’.
Banks told The Breakfast Club that black women’s culture peaked with Beyonce’s release of Lemonade in 2016: ‘Two years ago, the conversation surrounding black women’s culture was really reaching an all-time high.
‘There was just this really, really, really intelligent conversation going on nationally and then everything just kind of changed and then it was like Cardi B.’
The 212 singer added: ‘I’m just talking about this caricature of a black woman that black women themselves would never be able to get away with. Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be canceled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, we would be ragging on her all day.’
Cardi B responded to Banks with a now-deleted Instagram, writing: ‘I’m from the hood. I speak how I speak I am how I am. I did not choose to be famous people choose me! People followed me on Instagram and the people gave me a platform to introduce my talent.
‘I never asked to be a example or a role model I don’t want to change my ways because I’m famous that’s why I just mind my business. This is coming from a woman that bleached her skin but want to advocate. GOODBYE. Im not apologizing or kill myself because of who I am [sic].’
Cardi B responded to Banks with a now-deleted Instagram post, and switched her Twitter to private.
The Finesse rapper ended the post by telling Banks to ‘pray for your own success before you pray for the downfall of others’.
Azealia Banks and Beyonce
Banks’s references to Beyonce’s Lemonade may seem at odds with her 2016 comments, when she branded Beyonce as ‘not an artist, she’s a poacher’ and saying Lemonade was the ‘antithesis of what feminism is’ on Twitter.
Banks went on to say that Lemonade was Beyonce’s way of ‘capitalising’ on ‘blackness’ and that the Formation singer ‘takes food out of darker skinned women’s mouths & pretends to be inspired’.
In 2017, Banks apologised to Beyonce for ‘throwing tantrums in the past’.
‘They totally came from a place of feeling left out.. you’ve inspired so much of the way I think about/value you myself as a performer and I ADORE you. Your presence in the art world and on earth is supernatural and and am so so so inspired by you. YOU DESERVE THE BEST.’
Azealia Banks and Nicki Minaj feud
Before Banks compared Cardi B to a ‘poor man’s’ Nicki Minaj, it was Minaj herself who was the target.
Back in 2012, Minaj reportedly offered Banks a chance to tour with her, an opportunity Banks turned down because she was finishing her debut album.
Allegedly in response, Minaj tweeted: ‘#ManTheseBitchesDelirious’, which led to Banks responding via Twitter with messages like: ‘Use good grammar when insulting others,’ and: ‘I don’t believe the “Rap game” hierarchy…..sorry’.
A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on May 13, 2018 at 9:04pm PDT
However, this particular feud ended amicably after Banks apologized to Minaj in 2017, saying: ‘I really do enjoy your artistry and think you’re so intelligent and clever,’ said Banks. ‘You have a really brilliant art mind and often times remind me a lot of myself.’
Minaj responded: ‘You’re very talented & very smart,’ she said. ‘Focus on what really matters from now on.’
Azealia Banks and Rihanna
Over the course of her career, Banks has shown that she isn’t afraid to feud with the A-listers and biggest stars in the music industry—even Rihanna.
The rapper beefed with the Umbrella singer and now incredibly successful entrepreneur back in 2017, after the Fenty Beauty founder criticised President Trump’s travel ban.
‘As far as Rihanna (who isn’t a citizen, and can’t vote) and all the rest of the celebrities who are using their influence to stir the public, you lot really REALLY need to shut up and sit down,’ Banks wrote on Instagram.
Rihanna sent an oblique response of a kissy smiley face on the social media platform with the caption: ‘The face you make when you a immigrant [sic],’ she wrote in the caption.
Rihanna also mentioned the story that alleged Banks sacrificed live chickens by using the hashtags ##stayawayfromthechickens, #iheartnuggets and #saveourhens.
Azealia Banks feud with Iggy Azalea and T.I
It’s a feud that reportedly started after Iggy made it onto the 2012 cover of the XXL Freshmen.
After the issue came out, Banks took to Twitter to ask: ‘How can you endorse a white woman who called herself a “runaway slave master”?’, referring to a lyric from Iggy’s D.R.U.G.S track.
After Iggy was signed to T.I’s label, he also got involved with Banks, calling her out about her comments.
The feud continued to escalate, and in 2014 Banks said her feud with Iggy is a case of ‘cultural smudging’ in music.
Iggy fired back, calling Banks a ‘miserable, angry human being’ and a ‘bigot’.
Azealia Banks feud with Zayn Malik
Not even the pop stars from across the pond were safe from Banks’s ire. Back in 2016 the rapper went on a racist rant, calling the former One Direction member a ‘curry scented b***h’.
Following the string of transphobic and racist messages, Twitter suspended Banks’s account, and a UK festival, Rinse FM, cancelled her performance.
Six months after the messages, Banks wrote a letter apologising for her behaviour, saying that ‘there are no words that can fully express how sorry I am’.
‘Recent events have taught me the importance of taking accountability for one’s actions. I want and need to say I am sorry, I was wrong.’
Azealia Banks and Rita Ora feud
Banks also tussled with Rita Ora back in 2013 over jelly shoes, saying she wore them first. She then followed up by saying: ‘She’s mad she’s Rihanna’s understudy. She’s been TRYING IT on this tour man…..Lol Rita Ora is so thirsty. She climbed over the wall of my dancers dressing room to snap photos.’
Other feuds Azealia Banks was reportedly involved in include Lily Allen, Lil Kim, Remy Ma, Pharrell, A$AP Rocky, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
What is Azealia Bank’s net worth?
Azealia Banks’s net worth is estimated to be $3 million (£2.2m), according to Celebrity Net Worth.