The Girls Are Fighting

Azealia Banks comes for Beyoncé’s new album with a jaw-dropping rant

At this point, Azealia Banks is better known for her endless list of feuds than her music. Her latest target? Beyoncé — more specifically, Beyoncé’s upcoming country album Cowboy Carter.

Yesterday, Beyoncé posted the album’s cover — a striking image of her in full cowboy getup riding a white horse and holding an American flag — and shared some of the album’s backstory on Instagram. Banks wasn’t happy about any of it.

The 212 rapper first took issue with Beyoncé’s choice of album title and imagery, alleging that she’s using the cowboy aesthetic to appeal to white people.

“Wow we didn’t even try to put even a little effort into a more artistic title?” Banks asked via her Instagram stories. “I’m kind of ashamed at how [you] switch from baobab trees and black parade to this literal pick me stuff. […] [You’re] always sharing [your] platform with white women who are so jealous of you but have such a long history of sabotaging other black women’s careers.”

Banks was far from done ridiculing Beyoncé’s switch to country music, saying that it was a wasted opportunity for “pertinent cultural commentary.”

“There could have been a humor to it which would bestow upon you even a smidgen of personality to make you an interesting person again… but you’re reinforcing the false rhetoric that country music is a post civil war white art form,” Banks continued.

Next, Banks tore into Beyoncé’s latest record-breaking achievement: becoming the first Black woman to have the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart.

“We’re supposed to buy into this falsified victim crap about not being accepted in a genre you’ve dabbled in here and there? Like in 2024, is being the first black woman to have a #1 on the country charts an accomplishment when you’ve clearly used your capitalist advantage to smother out the currently existing black artists in country music who have been grinding for years but don’t have money to send fruit plates and backstage passes to Grammy voters?” Banks asked. “Sis I’m sorry to rain on your parade but there’s actually nothing monumental about it.”

(For the record, one of those pre-existing Black country artists, Tanner Adell, said she has no issue with Beyoncé entering the genre.)

Banks’ next target: one of Cowboy Carter’s singles, “16 Carriages,” which she says “doesn’t even make sense in context.”

“What kind of pilgrim fantasy were you having,” Banks wrote. “You’re from 1980s Houston [Texas], a major metropolis…. Was it really giving horse and buggy sis? Come on now.”

Finally, Banks came for Beyoncé’s caption, which detailed how she was inspired to make a country album after being criticized for appearing at the Country Music Awards in 2016.

“Criticism from who? Please stop with the pity party,” Banks wrote. “It’s crazy to me that all it takes is some white [person’s] opinion for her to start tap dancing.”

Beyoncé also wrote that going country forced her “to propel past the limitations” that were placed on her and is “a result of challenging [herself]” — a choice of words that Banks didn’t like either.

“‘Limitations?’ GOLLY …. Beyoncé you’re a notoriously bad actress lmao yet no one ever stops you from doing it,” Banks wrote. “Challenging yourself?! Girl [challenge] your ego and collab with Rihanna.”

Clearly, Banks’ issues with Beyoncé go far beyond this one album rollout. But if Beyoncé takes any of it to heart, we hope it’s the idea of a Rihanna collab.

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