How Azealia Banks Made Me Fierce by Jamieson Cox:
Banks goes further than the hat-tips to proud sexuality offered by the likes of Katy Perry in “Firework” and Ke$ha in “We R Who We R” by referencing seminal movements and moments in the history of queer culture. The courage of this decision is only amplified by her chosen art form, given the hip-hop community’s current status as one of America’s final remaining bastions of homophobia in pop culture. In a personal sense, I appreciate Banks’ contribution because of my own experience with the distancing effect that can result from encounters with homophobic lyric.
The music industry is like a machine. It’s always going, and this new generation of artists — me, A$AP Rocky, Rita Ora — we’re the fuel that’s keeping it going. And once you get in that machine you’ve gotta run with it. There’s a crazy inertia that’s been going for years and years and years, and it’s not gonna stop for you, so you’ve gotta keep fucking working. The minute you stop working, that’s when you get stuck in the gears. And that’s when it grinds you up and spits you out.
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