Azealia Banks may be the queen of controversy but she knows when to pay her respects…
The fast rising Harlem rapper recently chit-chatted it up with Rolling Stone Magazine about her love and adoration for Beyonce, her latest cosmetic venture with MAC, her music and her love of the word ‘cunt’.
This girl’s definitely gonna go far.
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.
Are you still starstruck by her?
Yes, and I met her – and I cried! It was so embarrassing. It was at the Met Ball. I was fucking around with Kanye and she was sitting there, chilling and eating dinner. I freaked out. And I realized she saw me being a dummy and I started crying. Then I saw her expression, like, “Girl, get your shit together.” I had to walk away and get myself together and pat my face, then come back to properly say hi! And if I meet her again someday, I’ll probably cry again.
What does having a signature lipstick mean to you as an artist?
“Yung Rapunxel” represents what I’m all about: being myself, no matter what it costs. Yung Rapunxel is that girl who pisses people off but doesn’t really mean to. She’s actually a sweetheart! But people are so taken aback that she’s so herself; she’s not even trying to be unique or different. She literally just lives in her head; she does what she wants to do. So, the lipstick is here for someone who is happy to be themself.
What made you want to do a regal purple?
I think purple on dark skin does look really royal. So instead of a brown or red, I thought purple was perfect for me.
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.
So do you feel a special affection for your gay fans?
Definitely. I mean, I’m bisexual, so it makes sense. But I don’t want to be that girl who says all gays necessarily hang out together, of course! I have people say to me, “Oh wow, my friend is gay, too,” and I’m like, “Yeah, so?”