Azealia Banks Talks To Rolling Stone
Azealia Banks isn’t afraid to lay it all out there when giving an interview. While discussing her new M.A.C Lipstick (Yung Rapunxel) with Rolling Stone she covered her views of fashion, her love for gays (and their love for her) and how her Young Rapunxel moniker came to be.
1. On creating her Young Rapunxelalter ego:
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.
2. On Creating her new signature lipstick for MAC:
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.
It goes well with your hair.
It’s actually inspired by it! I got this purple weave when I went to Australia and had a meeting with [MAC] and said, “This is my hair for the fall. Let’s do purple.”
3. On her love of fashion, her bisexuality and being “cunty”:
I love the way experimenting with fashion and beauty products can also trigger an unexpected response from someone’s subconscious or imagination. Then you can become an enhanced character. Is that how you utilize fashion?
Definitely, but I have lots of help. People always ask me about fashion, but I don’t know the first thing about it. I can’t even pretend I do. I’m very lucky the fashion world has embraced me and helped me with image. I feel like I don’t know how to create a look, but I know how to make music. I know how to work. And I work so hard.
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?”
To Read the rest of the interview check out Rolling Stone Magazine Blog.