Music

“Fuck Him”: Azealia Banks Says She Had RuPaul’s Album Removed From Spotify

Banks alleges RuPaul ripped off her song 'The Big Big Beat'.

We missed you too. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, so you always know where to find us.

After she alleged last month that RuPaul had ripped off one of her songs, New York rapper Azealia Banks now claims she had his latest album, American, removed from Spotify.

The song in question is ‘Call Me Mother’, American‘s lead single. Produced by repeat RuPaul collaborator Skeltal Ki, it’s hard to deny the song — where the drag icon raps over a house beat — has an incredible similarity to Banks’ ‘The Big Big Beat’, a single from her slept-on 2016 EP Slay-Z.

Multiple fan-made mash-ups reveal the similarities are beyond just the big, big beats, as the cadence and flow of each rapper glide into each other — especially in the one linked below. Meanwhile, open-source music listing sites, such as Genius and Who Sampled, cite Banks as a sample, though she claims any samples were never cleared.

Over the weekend, RuPaul’s American was removed from Spotify, an album which boasted two of his top-streamed songs — ‘Call Me Mother’ and ‘Kitty Girl’.

Given RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s habit of creating music videos and new verses for RuPaul’s singles for each season’s final challenge, it’s likely that Season 10’s finale — which airs in a few weeks but filmed a year ago — will feature ‘Call Me Mother’. ‘Kitty Girl’ featured in All Stars 3.

Banks celebrated the removal on Twitter, where she claimed that it was removed after she reached out directly to Spotify amid filing a lawsuit against RuPaul. She also alleges that RuPaul attempted to reach out to her to solve the issue amid news she was filing the claim.

Billboard report that it is Spotify’s policy to remove songs under investigation — Junkee has reached out to Spotify for clarification. As of writing, the album remains on Tidal and Apple Music, though Banks has said the latter is currently assessing the claim.

Banks, who is bisexual, has framed the dispute as emblematic of the way LGBTIQA+ culture “erases” the influence of “real female” and black voices, later clarifying that she meant trans- and cis-gendered women, and was critiquing how cis-gendered male drag queens, such as RuPaul, can speak over women’s voices.

She also accused RuPaul of diluting and selling out queer culture by going “with popular white gay sentiment” instead of supporting other voices.

Twitter users accused Banks of being motivated by homophobia towards gay men, given Banks’ previous defence of using a slur. To this, she defended herself — among other things, she pointed out that her cosmetic line ‘cheapyxo’ is making a line of ‘bussyboy’ soaps to help soothe inflammation around gay men’s anuses.

RuPaul has not yet made a public comment.

Update: As of Wednesday 6 June, American has returned to Spotify.