Azealia Banks was down bad at one point in her music career. The controversial rapper sat down for a candid chat with DAZED this week, where she opened up about her chaotic rise to fame.
“There was a point in time when people didn’t want to book me,” the 31-year-old singer told DAZED magazine for the spring 2023 issue, PEOPLE reported.
“I had n—–s stealing my royalties and all type of s—. Like, there was a point in time when I was so f—–g broke that I was sleeping in a storage space. You know, famous and broke.”
Banks acknowledges the criticism spawned from problematic comments about the LGBTQ community
The “212” hitmaker revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Navigating her condition while trying to scale her music career was difficult. She said she didn’t have much support from her peers in the music industry, mainly due to the contention connected to the homophobic and transphobic statements she made in the past about the LGBTQ community.
“I can be a little messy,” Banks told DAZED. “Everybody makes a bad joke sometimes. Like, who cares? Quentin Tarantino gets paid $500 million to make really bad jokes all the time, you know? Come on. Let me get my s— off.”
In 2015, the Broke with Expensive Taste artist was slammed with criticism after she compared the LGBTQ community to the KKK, stating how she wanted to “spray a gay man in the face with pepper spray.” The incident occurred shortly after she hurled a homophobic slur at a flight attendant.
In 2016, Banks apologized for the offensive kerfuffle and said she would “never say the word f—– ever again,” but she broke her promise in 2020 when she was suspended from Twitter for a transphobic rant.
The Harlem-bred star has become notorious over the years for her highly publicized spats with big celebrities like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and Russell Crowe.
Now, that she is beginning to understand herself, Banks shared that much of her “lashing out at people” came from fear and being told that she was a “bad person” at an early age.
“I think a lot of that early indoctrination, especially during my fundamental years, followed me into the music industry – where you would see me lashing out at people and just, like, being bad. Because that’s who I was told I was,” the rapper continued.
“When I came into fame and I had all these people showering me with love and admiration, [telling me] I was good and they liked the things I was creating, it was really uncomfortable for me. I didn’t know how to accept any of that. Nobody ever told me that I was pretty when I was little.”
“People are always like, oh, it’s the Azealia Banks redemption arc. But who the f— am I redeeming myself for? You should be trying to redeem yourselves for me.”
Azealia Banks opens up about losing her father and her mother’s battle with schizophrenia
Further along in the interview, the Fantasea singer also opened up about the trauma she experienced from losing her dad to pancreatic cancer at the age of 2 and the difficulties of coming to terms with her mother’s diagnosis of schizophrenia when she was 10.
“I was raised by Dominican caretakers,” she told Dazed. “My mom would throw them a couple thousand dollars and just disappear for five weeks. I would just be in my head, like, ‘Does my mother not want me anymore? Is she coming back? Is she alive?'” she added to the outlet.
“She would brag about how she did witchcraft and killed my father.”
Banks went viral on Instagram in 2016 after she admitted to practicing “three years worth of brujería,” the Spanish word for witchcraft.
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