Some of the issues raised by Azealia Banks about colorism as it exists in the entertainment industry, including Hip Hop, is no secret: the industry demonstrably prefers light skin over black. As can be seen in most Hip Hop videos, Dark skin Blacks receive only token representation. It is quite possible that if Azealia Banks looked like a Beyoncé or a Rhianna, she would have been much more popular, and perhaps richer too. Those aspects of her comments are quite valid. Where she and I part ways is her demeaning of Cardi B to make these points.
In one of her responses, she spoke about Cardi B's use of facial contouring to appear attractive. But, why go there? Why bring up the way in which Cardi B speaks or her grammatical inaccuracies as though she should be silent?
In many respects, the media, with the complicity of Hip Hop culture, ensures that Brown skin, Light Skin and even White people are promoted over Dark-skin Blacks with more talent. If Azealia Banks and others are really concerned about who represents Black culture, then they should also look at what is being promoted within Black culture that contributes to these prejudices. Banks must also look at her own complicity in promoting Eurocentric values and ideas of beauty. We should examine the obvious weave hairstyles, skin bleaching and body augmentation that is now a trope in Hip Hop/Rap culture. None of this really encourages the appreciation of Dark-skin.
Highlighting these issues can encourage important discussions. However, attempting to shame someone because of their physical appearance or their lack of verbal dexterity to articulate in the manner of former colonisers, fuels all the wrong things that we should be fighting against.