A throwaway detail in a Vanity Fair profile about Twitter’s Jack Dorsey may have provided the most WTF story of one of the most WTF years in human existence. As it stands, I think we’d have to go back to the Middle Ages to find a year more chock full of out of pocket nonsensical news and they had the Plague. Here in the Late Ages, we just have Twitter. Similar, but not the same. Twitter’s founder, often referred to as @Jack, is often the target of ire from literally every side for banning or not banning certain parties, words, or individuals. We may be divided as a country but it seems we can all agree that whatever they’re doing at Twitter, we don’t like it.
It’s this antagonism that led At Jack to, as Vanity Fair notes, send “a rapper his beard shavings to make him an amulet that would protect him from evildoers.” I mean, does it get more medieval than that? The rapper in question was noted spiritualist and Bussy soap entrepreneur (a soap for bleaching your butt!) Azealia Banks. And how do we know this? She told the world when it happened. On Twitter, of course. Move over Meryl Streep in Into the Woods, there’s a new rapping witch in town.
In a series of tweets from April 13, 2016, now-deleted but archived on Stereogum, Banks tweeted “Jack Dorsey asked me to tweet about his cash app and in exchange he was supposed to tweet about my mixtape. he never did. he also sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”
All of this seems very normal. The cash app in question was Square. Dorsey, an intrepid businessperson who is hip to the new ways of marketing, asked a rapper to tweet about his product to raise its profile. Nothing to see here. And, usually, when you ask a rapper to promote something for you, you follow up that ask with a request to make an amulet of protection. Preferably out of your own hair. This is just Business 101.
It’s remarkable how much Azealia buries the lede here. The story is definitely not her deal to tweet about a cash app. Like, why are you even telling me this part? I didn’t come here for a conversation about the intricacies of online marketing; I came here for follicles in an envelope for MAGIC REASONS. Obviously!
I would love to be a fly on the wall (or, more likely, a bot in the DMs) of this conversation. Did At Jack just come out with it? “Hey, I need help promoting Square and also I heard you were a witch. Can I FedEx you some hair and you can make some sort of device? Maybe an amulet of some kind? Of protection? LOL is this weird to ask?”
Or maybe he was shady about it. “Hey Azealia! Thanks so much for agreeing to the Square promotion. I need all the help I can get these days. Super stressed and worried. Feel under attack. I wish I had some protection. Have we talked about how much I like jewelry? Oh, brb, gotta go get a hair cut.”
Who can say how it began but I can confirm, per Banks, that it ended badly. “I’m a real witch with real clients,” she tweeted. “ppl PAY me for my services. He owes.” Additionally, she noted, “I have 3 Strands of a billionaire’s hair. i should steal his luck.” Now that I read it, it seems like that is actually Business 101. I’m learning so much today.
Here’s what I don’t understand—and forgive me, I am not a beleaguered billionaire or a rapping witch, no matter how many times I audition—why would a man who believes that a witch can make him an amulet of protection not keep up his end of a deal? Does he think this is going to end well? Has he even seen Into the Woods? I don’t know what At Jack’s plan was but I can tell you it was not: Business 101. The first thing they teach you in Business School is never cross a witch. That rule has been on the book since the Middle Ages.
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