Last week rapper/singer Chris Brown revealed he lost his virginity at 8 years old to a 15-year-old girl. Brown attempted to tell the story with a sense of bravado, however thinking minds determined the young entertainer was abused and it is a serious issue.
This week, Harlem rapper Azealia Banks gave an interview revealing an abusive upbringing, working in a strip club at 17, sleeping with older men for money and fame, sleeping with nearly 30 men with no regrets, and losing endorsement deals because of her temper.
The interview provided insights for the public who have questioned the rapper’s incessant need to engage in meaningless Twitter beefs and raunchy lyrics, but is it a veiled cry for help?
Check out excerpts of the interview conducted by the U.K. publication, The Sunday Times:
On her abusive childhood:
Banks grew up in Harlem with her mother and two sisters. Her father died of pancreatic cancer when she was 2, “from red meat, coffee, cocaine and Courvoisier.” He was a cokehead, she says with a note of pride, “till 63.” Her mother “lost her mind” a few years after he died. Banks claims her mother became physically and verbally abusive. She had fistfights with her daughters, sometimes attacking them with baseball bats, Banks says.
As a child, she would dream of escape, “that I would become famous and be on Nickelodeon and have all these handlers and then I’d never have to deal with my mother. She would beat me and abuse me, but then buy me stuff.” Her room was filled with “parakeets and hamsters” and games consoles, “but I was such an unhappy kid”.
Even when she became famous, her mother couldn’t be happy for her. She is jealous, says Banks, “but she can’t act weird with me now, because she’s going to ask for stuff. You want a new TV, you want a new washing machine?” She cries hard for two or three minutes. “It suuuucks,” she sobs.
On the oldest man she’s ever slept with:
The oldest man she has dated was 56. He used to come in and flirt with her when she was working in Starbucks, “and he was really rich, of course. When I was little, I had a radar for that.” He would take her to dinner in Chelsea, “and we’d be in some fancy restaurant and I’d be there with my sweat suit on.” He thought it was “the funniest thing ever. He really got off on it.” What was it like, being 17 and sleeping with a 56-year-old? “It’s like f****** an old man,” she says.
On white men and sex:
She loves white men. She has written songs about how much she likes “marshmallows.” She is also frank about her “daddy issues.” She was constantly pestered for sex by older men when she started out, responding, she says, by having sex with “some of them.” And did she enjoy it? “Of course I enjoyed it. Girl! That is the best thing, you already know.” Sometimes she cries if she hasn’t had enough sex. She has slept with “like, 25 or 30” people in total. “I’m not even ashamed of it,” she says. She thinks about sex “all the time. Like, oh, please.”
On breaking into the industry:
[Azealia] would sleep with people she thought might help her to escape home and get to the top. She eventually persuaded one of her boyfriends to give a tape to the producer Diplo and, to her astonishment, he got in touch. “Of course, I thought, I’m going to take over the world,” she says. “I’m the new Lil’ Kim.”
What do you make of Banks’ candid interview?