AZEALIA BANKS: WHO’S GOT BEEF? THE BLACK BARBIE OF HIP HOP SPEAKS TRUTH
Azealia Banks hit the scene like a fire cracker – bursting with noise and hype. The nature of the music business is to be moving constantly with no time for rest. But after some time away, the rapper is rejoining the industry with a new album and a new outlook on the things that formed her work.
Photographer Rony Alwin
What are you obsessed with right now?
I’m obsessed with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and my new album!
Your song “212” is practically iconic by now, how has your relationship with New York shaped you?
My relationship with NY has definitely given a real sense of awareness. There are so many people and characters in NYC who are all exploding with ambition. It’s definitely a place where you keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Is there a person in your life that has made the biggest impact?
My oldest sister Latwan for sure, she’s really really smart and feminine. I get a lot of my antagonism from her.
It’s a Saturday night in New York City, what are you doing?
Probably somewhere eating sushi and smoking weed.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the bedroom (or outside the bedroom)?
I like to wear costumes alot. I love bunny ears and cat ears and gloves and things like that. I really like wearing glitter during sex too, it makes it really fun and sparkly.
You’ve said you tried your hand at acting first, what made you switch to music
I wasn’t making any money as an actress, LOL.
What do other girls do that make you cringe?
Oooh, those cheap ass nail salon eyelashes. The ones they stick on with hair glue. It’s really ghetto and gross.
You’re known for your style and have collaborated with some pretty legit names in fashion, Alexander Wang for one, how has your fashion evolved with your career?
I made all that stuff up, I actually don’t care about fashion at all. LOL.
Who’s your favorite fashion designer of all time?
I wouldn’t know.
What’s up with your doll collection?
My dolls are amazing. I’ve recently been buying lots of black American memorabilia. Like the rag dolls, I also bought a 1945 children’s book with the story of “Little Black Sambo”. Lots of minstrel show posters and materials. I’m at a place in my black experience where I’m starting to do my own cultural/social/personal research and conduct my own social experiments. I’m going to write a book about it one day. Be it profound or not, I think there’s something to be said about art in all forms especially those that are tinged with irony. Right now, we’re having this surge of white folk “acting black” and I’m making lots and lots of correlations in the art world between then and now. More so, I’m trying to figure out for myself if these ironies actually have any real social standing, or if it’s just some weird fetishism white people have for blacks.
Did you play with the black Barbie Christie growing up?
Top 4 Female Rappers of all time?
1. Azealia Banks
2. Kanye West
3. Jim Jones
If you could collaborate with any performer in another genre of music who would it be and why?
Definitely Coldplay. For personal reasons. And Lorde, I like her music a lot.
4 tips to the perfect weave?
Good hair! Watch the tension in the braiding, wrap it EVERY NIGHT, and use leave in conditioner.
What 5 things do you look for in a guy?
Smart, Tall, Clean, Responsible, Big dick.
If you’re Ariel of the lil’ mermaid who is the Ursula aka the sea witch of the rap game?
Gaga. She gets on my nerves and wants to steal my voice for sure. She’s too rich to be that lame.
If you were a disney princess what would be your name and your story?
I dunno, what do u think? I think Princess Azealia would be nice
You like to cook? What dish do you cook when you want to impress the man in your life?
Whatever he asks me to cook. I can literally cook anything, and really well.
What is the best part about your life right now?
My new album!
What song on the new album is your fave?
What can we expect from your follow-up mix tape, “Fantasea II; The Second Wave”?
More good music.
Interview by Max McCormack