Rapper Azealia Banks Urged to Cancel Tel Aviv Show: 'You Support Blacks, Until It Comes to Boycotting Israel'

African-American hip-hop artist reminded on social media of Israel's plans to expel African asylum seekers

Itay Stern
Itay Stern
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Azealia Banks. In addition to Tel Aviv, will be visiting Istanbul, Seoul, London and Tokyo.
Azealia Banks. In addition to Tel Aviv, will be visiting Istanbul, Seoul, London and Tokyo.Credit: A screenshot from AzealiaBanksVEVO Youtube channel
Itay Stern
Itay Stern

African-American rapper Azealia Banks has signed to perform in Tel Aviv’s Barby Club on May 7, and at least some of her followers want her to cancel in observance of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

One surfer wrote: “You are known as a supporter of blacks, until it comes to joining the global force that is calling for a boycott against Israel, in order to make a small profit.” Another commenter noted that Israel is working toward the expulsion of 40,000 African asylum seekers. To date, Banks has not reacted to these remarks.

The American movement Black Lives Matter works in the United States in cooperation with the BDS movement, and this cooperation has led to a cancellation of performances by rappers in Israel, for example the concert of Princess Nokia.

In a post on her Instagram account Banks wrote that as part of her performance tour, in addition to Tel Aviv she will be visiting Istanbul, Seoul, London and Tokyo. Banks’ Tel Aviv concert will be produced by Yellow Brick, with ticket prices ranging from 215-240 shekels ($61-$68).

In 2008 Banks, who was born in Harlem, posted her first song, “Gimme a Chance,” on her Myspace account, which she recorded when she was 17. That same year she signed a contract with XL Recordings, which she left shortly afterwards. She burst into international awareness in 2011 when she released the hit “212.”

U.S rapper Azealia Banks performs on the main stage at Wireless festival in Finsbury Park, north London, July 5, 2014.Credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

After leaving the recording company, Banks supported herself as a stripper in nightclubs in Queens. Early in 2012 she began working with the highly regarded British producer Paul Epworth on her debut album, which included the single “212.” Shortly after the release of the EP, she released the experimental mixtape “Fantasea,” which was enthusiastically reviewed in various music magazines.

Later she dubbed one of the main characters in the Pixar film “Coco.”

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