Azealia Banks returned to social media to give an update on her status after she made a series of distressing posts alluding to suicidal thoughts.
On Sunday (August 9), Banks shared a new photo of herself and expressed that she's doing “fine, better than I was before” following concern from her fans via social media. In a subsequent social post, the Harlem rapper implored people to be there for her when she’s doing well and not just just when she’s going through personal turmoil.
“Don’t express concern for me when I’m down,” she said. “When I’m down, that’s because I'm down. Support me when I’m up. Y’all gon’ have all these conversations about Black women’s mental health and all this other s**t. Support me when I’m up. Support me when I got a smile on my face.”
She continued, “Don’t just give me support when I’m crying and got my face down in the dumps after y’all done, ridiculed me and made fun of me all last year. Don’t support me when I’m down ‘cause that’s kind of where y’all put me, you know? Support me when I’m up. Support me when I’m putting new music out and exploring my creativity and when I’m doing all of those things to free myself from whatever cage that I feel locked in. Don’t support me at the end.”
Over the weekend, fans rallied around Banks after she took to her Instagram Live Story and told her followers that she's “done here.” The 29-year-old specified the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lack of social interaction “combined with constant public ridicule,” have taken a toll on her.
“I’m not begging for attention or asking for sympathy or] empathy,” she expressed. “I’m just ready to go. Peacefully of course. I will document my last times and release a film for you all to finally understand me, from my perspective...My soul is tired. I'm ready to go.”
The rapper also asked her followers to give her some space amid this time. “Please don't bombard me with messages. I am not in pain. I am at peace,” she wrote.
Alongside her written messages, Banks uploaded audio clips where she said “My decision is made. I'm just gonna really try to push through these next couple of months.” She added that she didn't want to be someone “people continue to make fun of” anymore.”
Immediately, an outpouring of love and support flooded social media as many rushed to check on her. Her mental health episode also prompted broader calls for the mental health of Black women to be taken more seriously as many noted the lack of goodwill extended to Banks, who has long been open about her mental health struggles.
Rising rapper Yung Baby Tate was among those who spoke up on Banks’ behalf, tweeting, “Y’all don’t wanna give people their flowers ‘til u by their gravesite & that’s the problem. Y’all ignore Azealia Banks every day. Talk about how problematic she is. Now the aftermath of years of being treated poorly and unappreciated is showing its head and y’all wanna fake care.”
Another person wrote, “I really hope that Azealia Banks is covered/protected at this moment. Black women with mental illness genuinely do not get the same grace/empathy as others do. She deserves a healthy life where she doesn’t feel this pain.”
If you're thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, you can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential emotional support.
(Photo: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)