Members of the hacker group Anonymous got involved in the ongoing dispute between Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and her rival, New York rapper Azalia Banks, on Saturday.
The hackers threatened to leak stills from a sex tape featuring Azalea if she does not apologise for comments she made to Banks in the wake of the killings of two unarmed black men by police officers in America.
Although Azalea has denied footage exists of her having sex, Anonymous claim to have a video of her, threatening: “No sex tape of any kind will be released … however we will release various snapshots of her face to confirm.”
The hackers tweeted on Saturday: “We have so much s— on you, your scandal would be bigger than Bill Cosby’s… You are guilty of misappropriating black culture, insulting peaceful protesters, and making light of [police suspect] Eric Garner’s death … You have exactly 48 hours … to release a statement apologising to @AzealiaBanks and the protesters in NYC.”
The Anonymous twitter account has since been suspended, but the hackers made a statement on their backup account saying: “It’s okay everyone, we’ll be back. We just have some stuff to take care of.”
Banks and Azalea have shared a feud since 2012, shortly after they both emerged on to the music scene.
The longstanding rift between the two rivals worsened recently after Banks accused Azalea of selectively reappropriating black culture. Azalea didn’t tweet about or make a statement on the deaths of Garner or, previously, Mike Brown in Ferguson, as many prominent musicians and celebrities have.
Banks tweeted in response to her silence: “Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?… If you’re down to ride with us b—- you gotta RIDE ALL THE WAY.”
Azalea responded: “Theres more to sparking a change than trolling on social media. World issues shouldnt be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles.” The Australian MC went on to link to a piece about the five ways the public could help Ferguson and encouraged her followers to: “do something to let YOUR government know how you feel when something is unjust., not JUST your followers on twitter…”
Celebrities including Spike Lee, musician J Cole and Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul have joined the thousands protesting Garner’s death in the streets of New York City. Anonymous included the campaign hashtag, #ICantBreathe, inspired by Garner’s final words, with the initial tweet to Azalea.
Anonymous gave Azalea 48 hours from Saturday to issue an apology.
By Alice Vincent