The Complicated History Of Rihanna & Azealia Banks

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Rihanna isn't usually one to be involved in public discourse, but she went against her better judgement this weekend when she started a social media feud with rapper Azealia Banks. This is far from Banks' first time engaging in mean-spirited Twitter or Instagram takedowns, and it surely won't be her last. But no one, likely not even Banks, could have predicted the internet argument escalating this far. It started with a tweet from Rihanna and ended with phone number being leaked for all to see. But the two performers do have a bit of history between them.

According to a leaked set-list of Anti
, Rihanna's eighth album released in January 2016, Banks was supposed to appear on a track. It didn't appear on the album. But then in April 2016, Banks still leaked a 90-second clip of the song, presumably annoyed the song wasn't featured on the album itself (a similar thing happened with Lady Gaga and Kanye West). But other than that musical mishap, Banks and Rihanna have mostly stayed in their lanes. To give some context to how little their careers overlapped: Banks released the single that made her famous, "212," in 2011 as a free download. That same year, Rihanna performed at the Grammys (where she won "Best Dance Recording") and later released her sixth album. But that changed this weekend, thanks to Donald Trump. (Isn't that how every dramatic story starts these days?) Banks' unfiltered approach to social media, her career, and just life in general has led her down a path of remorseful behavior before (and has maybe even ruined her career as New York magazine pointed out over a year ago). But she has never been put back in her place by the person she's publicly dissed like she was this weekend. So, what exactly happened? And why is Rihanna wasting her time responding to Banks' trolly methods? Well, it's a long story. But we'll explain it now. Here's exactly what went down:
At around 8 p.m. EST on January 28, Rihanna responded to the news of President Donald Trump's executive order to ban immigrants from seven countries from entering the United States.
Banks, a known (but wavering) Trump supporter, took Rihanna's comments to heart and decided to respond (multiple times) to the "Umbrella" singer's tweet. In a string of four now-deleted comments, she dissed Rihanna, and anyone who agreed with her thoughts on the ban, repeatedly. She wrote, "No. this all stupid and wrong. Is she even American ???? Can she even vote?" As a cherry on top of an inflammatory sundae, Banks shared a screenshot of what appeared to be Rihanna's phone number, which is the utmost betrayal for celebrities. Then, shockingly, Rihanna entered the ring. Below, their now-deleted messages are side-by-side. The text message exchange that Rihanna posted has been assumed to be with Banks, based on the mean message and the context of the feud. (Banks even managed to drag Beyoncé's name into the argument.)
Then Rihanna responded with an Instagram post the next afternoon, on January 29.

the face you make when you a immigrant ?? #stayawayfromthechickens #iheartnuggets #saveourhens.

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

An hour later, Rihanna posted another image making fun of Banks' outburst, saying that her messages were the internet equivalent of someone "screaming into an empty room."

the face you make when you screaming in an empty room

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Banks responded with a selfie, which she captioned, "Keep playing with me."

"Keep playing with me"

A photo posted by Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on

Finally, Rihanna posted a (sort of petty) selfie of her blowing a kiss to the camera (and her haters, namely Banks). This is her final post about the feud, in total RiRi fashion.

what u came for...

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

While it's easy to quickly side with Rihanna after reading both of the celebrities' comments to each other, it's also important to acknowledge the pre-existing trend of Banks provoking celebrities (who are oftentimes more famous than her) to get a reaction out of them. Additionally, Banks' own mental health has been brought into the question as her internet rants are often unprovoked, extreme in nature, and written in an almost paranoid tone. Rihanna and Banks have never been friends (and it's safe to say that they never will). This is probably the last time we'll see these two singers' names together for the near future. And don't expect any apologies to be made. (Banks came close to apologizing for a racial slur once, but that was it). Banks has already been banned from Twitter, and after this outburst, Instagram could very well be next. In a world where there is already so much negativity, it's painful to see two talented artists going at it on the internet in front of their fans.

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