Azealia Banks has lashed out at Sam Smith and social media giants, Instagram and Twitter in a series of posts.
The musician, 31, accused Smith of leaning into their sexuality in order to make music and described them as “cringeworthy.”
Banks shared a screenshot of Smith’s recent music video for the song “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” which generated a lot of discussion about LGBTQ music and performers.
Smith, who identifies as gay and non-binary, is dressed in camp outfits throughout the video.
During the video, Smith is surrounded by many gender-diverse performers in historically inspired, but risqué, outfits. Some complained about the sexual nature of the video, while others fat-shamed Smith for wearing figure-hugging outfits.
But Banks has some other opinions on Smith’s new music and posted them to her Instagram stories.
“What people need to understand … Especially these gay artists that think these forced displays of sexuality are revolutionary…. is that this type of s*** is so f***** post- Drag Race and cringeworthy,” she began, referring to the popular drag reality series, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“No one makes ‘gay pizza’—people from all walks of life enjoy pizza. We don’t need so many stacked vocals on this hook. Humans can tell what’s dope and what’s trash and this is absolute garbage.”
Banks added: “What happened to the days when gay male artists were able to express themselves in unique and groundbreaking ways that were truly FABULOUS? What bag of desperate publishing company songwriters cattle call did this song come from?
“What is this bootleg Pussycat doll aesthetic? You all need to study Freddie Mercury, Boy George, Haddaway, Keven Aviance, Jake Shears, Luther Van Ross and the like.”
Banks added: “On another story, all and all we do not give a f*** if you are gay/bi/purple or green. We like good music. Point blank.”
She also went on to praise Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears and described the group’s music as “legend.” In another story she praised Brandon Urie and told fans, “we are also going to stop sleeping on Adam Lambert.”
“You cannot lean on your sexuality as a crutch to make trash music. Honestly, Jake Shears is HIGHKEY THE MOTHER,” Banks wrote.
“The white gays just don’t know what to do with themselves anymore.”
Newsweek reached out to Smith and Banks’ representatives for comment.
Prior to her comments about Smith, the rapper had posted to her main Instagram page saying “everyone can suck it” in the captions.
She posted a lengthy note beside it saying how she wanted to sue Instagram and Twitter. Banks has had plenty of run ins with the social media platforms and has been suspended several times from both Twitter and Instagram.
“I feel like I should be able to retroactively sue Twitter and Instagram for canceling my accounts due to hate speech,” she started.
“I’m sorry [but] ‘hate speech’ is unquantifiable in a society where there is a multi-billion dollar industry surrounding the use of the N-word.”
She added: “Using the excuse that I’m allowed to say it because I’m of African descent is super duper racist, and I am having trouble understanding how a generation of white people so recently removed from a class of ancestors that would have had me hung from a tree for drinking out of the wrong water fountain feel as though they have any social, moral or legislative authority to determine what is and isn’t hate speech.”
The scond slide in the post questioned how people working at “tech platforms” allow “rampant use of the N-word” and graphic videos depicting violence against Black people “shared under the guise of it being ‘news’ then turn around and tell us that black_lives_matter?”
“How do these record industry executives justify not being inherently racist while they are happy to profit from the sales and exploitation of music/cinema and other conent that specifically perpetuate the degradation and abuse of African-descendant livelihood’s that they subsequently claim to be in protest of?” Banks contined.
She then turned her attention to the LGBTQ community, wondering how it has “received such protection from “digital ‘hate speech’,” compared to Black people who she said are “physically and psychologically terrorized on these platforms?”
“Wigh all due respect, I don’t want to hear another word out of any industry executives mouth about ‘hate speech’,” Banks wrote.
“I need all of my n***** money back before anyone has the right to condemn, humiliate or punish me for use of any word.”
Last year she thanked Elon Musk for purchasing Twitter and hoped she could return to the platform. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October, 2022.
“The amount of money I lost by being banned from twitter and not having access to the fans/consumer base I worked SO HARD TO BUILD SERIOUSLY MADE EVERYTHING SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT,” Banks wrote on Instagram in April last year, when Musk first announced his intentions to buy Twitter.
She then went on to slam Twitter’s founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey: “He knew it would effect [sic] my value as an artist because if I don’t have access to these channels to promote new music/new merch/concerts etc … He could effectively stop my bag which is miniscule as f*** compared to his.”
In 2016, she was suspended from Twitter for homophobic and racist slurs she wrote about former One Direction singer, Zayn Malik. She had lashed out at him because she believed he had copies one of her music videos for his song, “Like I Would.”
Then using the Twitter handle, @cheapyxo, Banks’ account was again deactivated after she tweeted her disdain for RuPaul’s Drag Race and its host, RuPaul Charles.
Fast forward to 2020 and Banks returned to Twitter under the account, @seaqueen2001, but was later shut down after posting a series of seemingly transphobic tweets.