Azealia Banks’ name stayed in the headlines in 2016, but not for her music. The talented rapper seems to always have back-to-back dramas unfolding, from selling infant bleaching kits to taunting Brazilians. As a result, Banks often finds herself the target of ridicule, with a common refrain being that she is ‘crazy’ and needs to leave the public eye, get medication or both. But in a December 22 post Banks made clear that she is aware of her mental health issues and has tried psychiatric medication. The screenshot was caught by AfroPunk.com on Banks’ now-suspended Facebook page;
“When you’ve been trying to engage the public with music and share with via music them your personal struggles with mental illness but they just refuse to pay attention
Instead they joke and prad at you and say you need a doctor yet have no idea about the type of uncontrollable chaos that goes on inside your head.
On top of arrogantly suggesting you need to be medicated, these people
Have no idea how gnarly psych-drugs are.
All the trial and error of finding something that works.
No idea about the sleepless nights, the persistent paranoia, the loss of
appetite, the dull — delayed orgasms, the cystic acne, the skin discolorations,
the weight loss, inability to emote, hair loss, the self loathing and thoughts of
suicide that come along with psych-drugs.
It’s already in the music”
Banks then included a link to the lyrics off her song Soda off of her 2014 album Broke With Expensive Taste.
I tried to hide behind tired eyes, I sigh
I’m tired of trying to try not to cry and
I say soda, soda
Tye dye O’er
I roll the dye
I coast, I dose, I
A smile a guise
I’m trying to hide behind tired eyes, I sigh
I might survive the nighttime, I might die
I say soda soda, I’m a high roller
Yo sir I pose for the poster yep
Banks isn’t the only high profile Black American to struggle with mental health this year, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and SZA have all grappled in the public eye. It is easy to loathe Banks for the many, many foolish, problematic and downright nasty things she says and does. But behind the scenes, there is a woman struggling to find her center. All we can do is wish her well on that journey.