Never one to shy from a topic of conversation, Azealia Banks talked about creating her alter-ego, and the femininity of the "c-word".
Azealia Banks is a young female rapping prodigy hailing from Harlem who has garnered as much attention for her escapades on Twitter, as she has for her lyrical ability. The 212 rapper, has a larger-than-life personality, and it comes out in her style and rap personae.
In an interview with Rolling Stone she discussed how creating her Yung Rapunxel alter ego, and how it stems from her first getting a 24-inch long weave while in highschool working at Starbucks and believing she was the "sexiest shit ever". She took her moniker from the allegorical fairy tale, and the "Yung" just kind of developed naturally.
As usual, Azealia did not hold back and talked about her influences growing up, and how both Aaliyah and Beyonce are sources of inspiration. Then, as keeping with her personality, the female rapper got a little vulgar and talked about using the "c-word", and how she feels that term evokes femininity.
Check out some excerpts from the interview below, and you can listen to her Fantasea mixtape here.
Can you discuss how you developed Yung Rapunxel into a heightened alter-ego?
When I first started wearing long weaves – this was when I was about 16 and worked at Starbucks and could afford it, [because] before that, my parents wouldn't let me! – I bought this 24-inch-long weave. And you could not tell me that I was not the sexiest shit ever. I was like, "Oh my gosh, look at me." And I started calling myself Rapunzel; when I wrote "212," I randomly added the "Young" to it. Sometimes when you're writing, ideas just spring up randomly, and I realized "Yung Rapunxel" sounded so cool.
Your new video for "1991" really touches upon the steely, bionic videos of early Nineties house artists. What about vogue-ing and ball culture inspires you?
Well, I'm from Harlem. I went to art school; I grew up with the cunts. And that term doesn't come from me! People think I invented it, but I didn't. To be cunty is to be feminine and to be, like, aware of yourself. Nobody's fucking with that inner strength and delicateness. The cunts, the gay men, adore that. My friends would say, "Oh you need to cunt it up! You're being too banjee." Banjee means unrefined and rough. You need your cunts: they fix your hair for you and do your makeup. They give you confidence and give you life.
Who did you admire growing up?
Aaliyah. And I love Beyonce – she's the queen of everything. She's the most remarkable performer and musician. And this is just my humble opinion, but I just think she's better than everyone else making music right now.