The possible meaning of 'apartheid Clyde' in Azealia Banks' odd Grimes message

Shania Wilson April 27, 2022
The possible meaning of 'apartheid Clyde' in Azealia Banks' odd Grimes message
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Azealia Banks was suspended from Twitter in 2020 but flash forward two years and the rapper has made her return thanks to Elon Musk’s takeover.

Banks took to Instagram to thank the businessman, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion this month, while simultaneously criticising the platform’s former chief executive Jack Dorsey.

The rapper appears to be on friendly terms with Musk judging by her latest Instagram story, but some fans are recalling a time when Banks wasn’t so fond of the entrepreneur.

If you cast your mind back to last year, you may remember Azealia wrote a bizarre message to Canadian musician Grimes, who had just split up with Musk. On Instagram, the artist called the entrepreneur “apartheid Clyde” – but what exactly might she mean by that?

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Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Azealia Banks returns to Twitter thanks to Elon Musk

Azealia Banks was previously suspended from Twitter but, thanks to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the rapper is back on the platform.

As reported by Newsweek, many speculated that those banned prior to Musk acquiring the platform might have their suspension reversed thanks to the billionaire’s advocacy of free speech.

Banks took to Instagram to thank Musk, sharing: “I *have* to thank Elon for buying Twitter, I actually got back on.

“The amount of money I lost by being banned from Twitter and not having access to the fans/consumer base I worked so hard to build seriously made everything so much more difficult.”

The artist then revealed she will post under new Twitter handle @azealiaishere

Despite Banks’ now seemingly friendly relationship with Twitter’s new owner, some fans are remembering a time when she wasn’t so keen.

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Rapper calls Elon Musk ‘apartheid Clyde’ in odd message to Grimes

In 2021, following Grimes and Elon Musk’s split after a three-year relationship, Azealia Banks tagged Grimes in a bizarre Instagram story that alluded to a feud.

As reported by Insider, Banks wrote: “Ok girl, can we finally make those darn songs now that apartheid Clyde is out of the way? We were really supposed to eat these b***hes up.”

The same outlet reports Azealia had previously opened up about her rocky history with Musk and Grimes, real name Claire Boucher.

In 2018, Banks said she was supposed to collaborate with Grimes but wasn’t able to finish the music because Grimes was too busy “coddling her boyfriend”.

Possible meaning of ‘apartheid Clyde’

It has been a fair few months since Azealia Banks branded tech billionaire Elon Musk ‘apartheid Clyde’, and we’re still not exactly sure what she meant by it.

Cambridge Dictionary records apartheid refers to “a system in South Africa under which people of different races were kept separate by law”. Musk was born in Pretoria in South Africa in 1971, a time when apartheid still existed in the African state.

Banks’ use of the name ‘Clyde’, however, is something of a mystery. Of course, the name rhymes with apartheid, well sort of, which might’ve played into her rap-style reasoning.

In other possible meanings, the rapper might have been refering to criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, alluding to her rocky past with former couple Musk and Grimes.

The Focus has reached out to Azealia Banks for comment.

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Shania is a Magazine Journalism graduate from the University of Derby. Her main passion is rooted in print journalism, however, she also branches out towards social media and is also interested in public relations. Outside of writing, Shania enjoys using social media, reading, and drinking coffee.