Azealia Banks is racking up her press clips. The Harlem-born rapper, who calls herself the “Young Rapunxel,” graces the fashion pages of The New York Times’ T Magazine, pulling her pigtails while posing for famed photographer Terry Richardson in a $1200 Rochas bodysuit and Dolce & Gabbana heels. The “212” singer, whose debut album Broke with Expensive Taste is due in September, spoke about her atypical upbringing and buzz overseas.
“We lived in Harlem just, like, at the beginning of its gentrification…but my mom had our apartment since she was 18, she worked a retail job, but she worked on commission, so she made like, maybe, 75 or $80,000 a year, but our rent was so cheap since it was, like, rent-controlled, so our rent was, like, $300 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, so we always had extra money,” she told the magazine.
“I grew up very spoiled…like I had everything: I had computers, I had video games, I had dress-up clothes, I had lipstick, I had heels—not like, actual heels, play heels—I had dolls, I had birds, I had hamsters—my mom did a really good job of keeping me stimulated.”
The 20-year-old Banks has been living in London while recording her album and has quickly been embraced by fashion’s elite including designer Karl Lagerfeld. “Europe and the U.K. have just been sucking me up,” she said.
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