Q&A: Azealia Banks On Growing Up On Stage, Being Compared To Nicki Minaj, And Why Women Have More Sexual Power Than People Think

Azealia Banks & Lunice, "Runnin'"

What do you think separates you from her at this point?

I mean, it's not to insult her at all, because she works hard and has worked hard for everything she has, and just as a former student of LaGuardia, I'm very proud of her. Because so many people graduate from the school and don't do shit with anything they've learned. Like, nothing at all. So I feel like the difference between she and I is that I may—maybe just by luck or by chance or fate, who knows?—I have a little more time to experiment with my sound and have fun. Not to say that she's not having fun doing what she's doing, but a lot of what she's doing seems a little, I don't know, satirical.

I feel like when she was first doing the mixtape thing it was kind of like this raw girl from the streets. But then when she started to get a little bit of attention, she kind of decided that she wanted to be accepted by pop media, the white world, if you will, and a lot of that original stuff—that original rawness— just really went away. It kind of just became a big cartoon.

Even with that said, having been an actress, even if i don't like something or not, i can always understand something and I feel like that's why i love her so much and i support her. Like, I have three copies of Pink Friday. I bought it twice digitally and once physically. I'm interested in knowing what she's doing because she's a pop star now. It's weird, sometimes I kind of look at it and I'm like, "What? How did this become so big?" But it is big so there's something she's doing right and I guess I'm just trying to figure that out [laughs].

The "212" lyrics are pretty sexually forward. Are you that bold in your day-to-day life?

Yeah, I mean, what am I scared of? I feel like there's a time and place for everything, but no I'm not afraid to talk about it.

Do you think it shouldn't even be a factor? Like, if a guy were raunchy, it would probably go unmentioned.

I feel like what a lot of men don't realize is just the power we have as women. And I feel a lot of women don't realize the power they have. If every woman decided tomorrow that she never wanted to have sex again, what the fuck would men do? Women don't have that same kind of sexual urgency that men have, you know? We're more into romance and being proteced and stuff like that. We just have different impulses. But I think it's like psychological warfare between men and women. Sometimes women don't know they're in control because they've just been tricked by men for centuries and centuries and fucking thousands of years. Since the beginning of time, we've been tricked by men to feel like we aren't the ones in power but really we are.

I'd agree with that! So what are your plans going forward? Will there be an album soon?

I'm in the studio a lot. Right now I'm in negotiation with labels and I just switched management. Once I sign a deal and get shit in place it's gonna be like nonstop, just fucking drilling on music for like, the next five years. I don't really have any other plans aside from making money [laughs] If I can say that.

With that said, I'm not going to do anything stupid to make money or get attention. I'm not gonna, like, I don't know, wear a fucking fried chicken necklace or any stupid shit like that, you know what I mean? I'm just going to try to keep everything as authentic as possible and make good music, make good art.

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