Entertainment

Rapper Azealia Banks Is Criticized for Hurling Anti-Gay Slur at Perez Hilton

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 8, 2013
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Rising rapper Azelia Banks has been slammed by GLAAD and colleagues for calling celebrity blogger Perez Hilton a "faggot" on Twitter, All Hip Hop reports.

The controversy started when Banks, who has gained a large LGBT following in the past two years, got into a Twitter spat with Angel Haze, another up and coming female rapper. After the two musicians, who are both out bisexuals, released "diss tracks," Hilton chimed in on the argument and sided with Haze, which caused Banks to lash out at the blogger.

According to BuzzFeed, Banks, 21, tweeted to Hilton, "does your butthole whistle? Like is your butthole so stretched and raggedy the air whistles when you move?" After a few back-and-forth comments, Banks eventually tweeted to Hilton, "omg u should just kill yourself...like for real." and "lol what a messy faggot you are."

Hilton replied and wrote, "Sweetie, you’re not ignorant. You know you shouldn’t call me the F word. That AND wishing I die? You hoping I get AIDS next?"

At first, Banks attempted to defend herself and wrote, "A faggot is not a homosexual male. A faggot is any male who acts like a female. There is a big difference." But rapper has never been adverse to foul language as her hit single "212" features the lyrics "I’m-a ruin you cunt."

Despite Banks’ definition of the anti-gay slur, GLAAD released a statement about the issue.

"Regardless of her intent or her personal definition, what matters is the meaning given to that word by those who hear it, and the damage it causes when they do," the statement reads. "Undoubtedly there are gay kids who follow her on Twitter who hear this word in an entirely different context. This word is used almost universally by bullies, often as part of a larger verbal or physical assault. This word hurts those kids, no matter what Banks meant by it."

Later on the musician backpedaled and apologized (sort of) on Twitter and wrote, "My most sincere apologies to anyone who was indirectly offended by my foul language," she wrote. "Not sorry for Perez tho. Lol"

Jake Shears, the openly gay leader of the Scissor Sisters, also got in on the action and reacted to Banks’ controversial remarks.

"Oh yeah. ’Faggot.’ Totally cool. Give me a fucking break," he wrote on his Twitter account. "It all about context. And right now, I’m sorry but context is not on your side." The singer also brought up the late Donna Summer and tweeted that she "was ostracized for a decade from words she used about her gay fans. Too bad she didn’t have twitter to recant them immediately."

Shears may have taken Banks’ comments to heart, at least more than Hilton, since the rapper was featured on the Sister Scissors’ single "Shady Love" from their 2012 album "Magic Hour."

It should be noted that Hilton was at the center of similar drama in 2009 when the blogger and Black Eye Peas’ member, will.i.am got into a feud and Hilton called the pop star a "faggot" in a video statement. Soon after the incident, however, Hilton apologized for using the gay slur, the Associated Press reported.

"I am sorry," Hilton said. "And I mean it. No one is forcing me to write this. I am not feeling pressured to say this. I am speaking out because I realize that the last few days have been more hurtful to me - and many others - than the repeated blows I suffered to my head in Toronto this past weekend."

Banks has been consistently popular with the LGBT community through her music, as she’s sampled the essential LGBT documentary "Paris is Burning," mixes Chicago House with modern rap elements and often borrows from queer culture. She became increasingly popular in late 2011 and most of 2012 on the success of her single "212" and she was eventually signed to the world’s biggest record label, Universal Music Group. Last year, she released her "1991" EP and a free mixtap titled "Fantasea." Her debut album, "Broke With Expensive Taste," is scheduled to drop in February.

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