Is Azealia Banks the Musical Equivalent of Donald Trump?

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Many surreal things have been happening in this great land of ours since Donald Trump won the Presidency last month, but a shell-shocked-looking, possibly-still-mid-breakdown Kanye West dropping by Trump Tower to "take a picture right now" is definitely on the list of things we didn't see coming.

It's impossible to know what this odd couple actually talked about, but if Trump is going to be inviting other members of the rap community over to discuss "life," it would be even more fascinating if his next guest of honor was Azealia Banks.

Banks, like Yeezy, is a Trump supporter. Back in February, she tweeted: "Okay, so I think I’m ready to admit that I’m going to vote for Donald Trump... I think Trump is the only one who truly has the balls to bust up big business."

True to form, Banks' endorsement didn't stay positive for long. She later tweeted: "I only trust this country to what it is: full of s**t. takes s**t to know s**t so we may as well, put a piece of s**t in the White House." Later still: "In conclusion I think Donald trump is evil like America is evil and in order for America to keep up with itself it needs him."

Truthfully, as unlikely as it seems, Trump and Banks do have far more in common with each other than Trump and Kanye do. Banks' career started with a MySpace profile; Trump's campaign relied heavily on his use of Twitter (and it looks like his Presidency will too).


For the last month, there have been discussions in every corner of the media about whether Trump's shock election win was at least partially attributable to the inflated amount of press he received while on the campaign trail, largely on account of his habit of sending controversial Tweets out into the ether. The same argument could be made about the methods Azealia Banks uses to keep herself in the public eye. These two operate the same way: say something inflammatory online and wait for the media attention and popular discussion to commence.

We know virtually nothing about Trump's in-depth policy plans, but we remember a multitude of crazy things he has tweeted, word-for-word. Similarly, even if you can't name (m)any of Banks' songs, there's a high likelihood you still know at least some of the beefs she's started on social media. In the end, it is as impossible for us to ignore Banks when she spews racist slurs at Zayn Malik, as it is to ignore Trump when he's referring to Mexicans as "rapists."

Theories abound that Trump tweets outrageous things to distract us from darker things that are going on in his campaign and cabinet. The Telegraph went so far as to say: "It is up to the media to attempt to hold the obstinate new president to account and trawl through his business dealings with meticulous detail. Instead, they are chasing their tails over provocative tweets about the number of illegal votes and Hamilton actors. Trump is a master of misdirection. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted."

In the same vein, Azealia Banks receives more critiques of her personality than her music. Attacking people on social media is a way of forcing us to think about her even when she's not promoting a record. She knows that we -- the music press, the gossip sites, music fans -- will talk about her if she behaves badly.  We simply cannot help ourselves. Consider the fact that Banks didn't release an album in 2013, but she did receive a nomination for the "Villain of the Year" Award by Britain's well-respected NME publication. Who won that same award in 2016? You've guessed it: Donald Trump.

Undoubtedly, these two are cut from the same cloth. Is it possible that they truly believe all of the things they say on social media? Sure. But there's also a strong likelihood that they do it simply because this method has been tried, tested and successful for them both, and they've noticed that their careers don't suffer, no matter what they say to keep the focus on them.

In the end, when self-created, self-promoted controversies are beneficial to someone's career, that person is not incentivized to be more respectful to others -- quite the opposite. Banks and Trump may never end up in the same room as each other, but if they did, there's a high likelihood that the meeting would be an explosive clash of egos, an absurd waste of time, and one of the most annoyingly entertaining distractions of the year.  Not even Kanye could beat that.