Go hard or go home, that’s how female rapper Brooke Candy is doing things, in a way that hasn’t been seen in years. But is it all just for show? That’s what Ben Taylor wanted to find out.
Brooke Candy is spitting rhymes laced with aggressive positivity, liberating women’s sexuality and pushing her own brand of feminism into the masses. Last year, she made major waves with her single 'Das Me', announcing her arrival on the scene and, since then, has been photographed by the likes of Terry Richardson and caught the eye of the world's top designers. Her aesthetics are full on and have been described as 'hard as fuck', highlighting Brooke Candy as a force to be reckoned with in 2013, a year that this self proclaimed Freaky Prince$$ is set to conquer; something that Brooke did when she was in Milan for Women's fashion week.
I caught up with Brooke Candy before she took to the stage at Milan's party 'Punks Wear Prada' to talk feminism, x-rated attitudes and pussy power.
It's safe to say that I love her.
Freaky princess, stripper, hustler, cyborg-babe, retro-futuristic pinup, post-apocalyptic Lil’ Kim and female boss are some of the terms that have been associated with you… what would you hate Brooke Candy to be associated with?
Every term that you named, I am comfortable with, although I do feel that I transcend some of them. Stripping was a job but I feel like it currently overshadows my music career and so I am trying to become less associated with that, even if it is an essential part of who I am.
Things that I wouldn’t want to be associated with are non-feminists. I understand that Taylor Swift and Katy Perry ‘denounced’ feminism saying that they are non-feminists, which blew my mind. Overall, I don’t want to be associated with anything negative. Also, many people say I am a stripper meets Tumblr, which just feels so easy to put me in that category, when in fact I don’t pull from Tumblr… I believe Tumblr pulls from me (laughs).
I want to be someone who does something revolutionary. Someone who did something that wasn’t done at the time. You know, like GG Allin, Hank Williams. They are both men that are fucking crazy and were both revolutionary in their own ways. That’s something that I would love to be called. A revolutionary.
You’ve come photographer, come rapper, come muse… what else are we missing out on?
I’m a photographer, yes, and if people have said I am a muse that is very kind. I’m a performer, not just a rapper. I am also a dancer, something that I feel sets me apart visibly from other female MCs as you don’t always see a female rapper with a similar relationship with their body that I do.
But most of all an artist because what is going on has a bigger agenda. Feel free to interpret what I do how you want, I’m fine with that.
There is more to it than what’s being seen.
You’ve spoken about the stigmas attached to breaking as a new artist. What else do you want to take on in 2013?
Well, as with any new artist, I’m being compared to a lot of other artists who have emerged from similar scenes. But, as much as I respect these women, what we are doing is different on so many levels. We have polar opposite ideals, interests and what we are putting out there visually, sonically is different.
Secondly, I want to transcend the internet realm in a sense. A few people out there are constantly saying that I’m just an internet artist and that’s all.
What are the main issues confronting young women these days?
I feel like women, I say it in my songs, are still sexually enslaved in our minds. Still now, I get called a slut, a whore but they are doing and thinking the exact same things as me, if not fucking four times the amount of people. There should be no double standards and I feel like men and women are equal and should be treated as that.
Some women don’t feel comfortable saying that they are feminists because there is that weird line where if you are you must automatically think that women are greater than men. I don’t believe that but I do want them to be equal but they are not, even to this day.
Your aesthetics, raps and presentation are all about going hard as fuck. What would you say to parents who are afraid that you are a negative influence? What’s the message?
That’s how it has always been for anyone who was doing something different. When ever there is a different uprising happening or a weird revolution or new genre of music that seems vulgar and disgusting, people who are in the generation of where it is happening don’t seem to understand it. But, I would assure parents that the message that I am sending is positive.
Have you always been X-Rated?
No. I was thinking about this earlier. I haven’t always been x-rated.
I was tormented a lot when I was growing up. I was a really sad person. Chemically, I think there is a imbalance and I was always very sad and I was never comfortable with myself, ever. I was tormented a bullied.
It got to a point where I was so down and out that I had to strip, which is why I contradict myself when I say stripping was just a job because it allowed me to feel comfortable with my body in a way that I never did before because I had to undress to do the job. So, because I was forced to show my body to all these random people that fear went away and it built my confidence up. Please please please, I am not suggesting this to girls as a way to build your confidence, no. I am not trying to preach. But for me, since then, I felt comfortable being x-rated, being nude and doing things are more vulgar.
My father works in porn and so I was around these types of things from a very young age and I remember going to his office where there would be stacks of dildos taller than me, stacks of porn that would mount up in his office. So I have always been around it but it wasn’t until I started stripping that I began to feel comfortable with my body and I said to myself, ‘Okay, I’m pushing my boundaries and I’m objectifying myself and not being objectified’. I was objectifying myself for a reason to show other women it’s fine, be comfortable with your fucking body. Who cares. I don’t have a perfect body. But I want to show it’s fine and that it can be fun and now I am. I wasn’t always x-rated. It was always in me but it wasn’t unleashed until I stripped…
I’m pushing a weird moral here, aren’t I…? don’t do it.
I’m just saying it worked for me. Something has to liberate you and showing my body is my way of saying let go of your inhibitions.
‘I Wanna Fuck Right Now’ - ‘Pussy is a weapon, I be shootin’ dudes at random’ ‘You coming for victory boy, nothing but dick to me boy’. Apart from wanting to fuck… talk me through the song. And what can we expect from your future records?
‘Das Me’ was a sort of mission statement. ‘Everybody Does’ was saying, ‘fuck standards’. And ‘I Wanna Fuck Right Now’, is truly how I feel because I am very sexual and that’s something that I push most. The lyrics ‘you coming for victory boy, nothing but dick to me boy’, I would say being a gay female, the men that I do have sex with… cause I’m a lesbian that identifies as a gay man, a concept which is completely separate… but there are times when I don’t care and I have sex with whoever I want.
There are no boundaries to my sexuality and, so for me, because I don’t mentally connect with men, it’s like they are a sex object for me, like many women are to men and have been for centuries. Why can’t they be sex objects for women?
‘Pussy is a weapon’, I do believe pussy holds the power. Women are so fucking powerful, pussy is where life comes from. Women give life and nurture life. Pussy is everything. Pussy is a fucking weapon. If we withheld this (indicates her own pussy) imagine what would happen to the world. If we withheld sex, women would have all the power and that is it is a weapon.
The symbolism of the vagina is a recurring theme in your work. Why is that?
It’s everything. It’s like the centre of the damn solar system. It’s something that’s so normal for men, particularly male MCs to talk about their dick size blah blah and it shouldn’t be any different for me. I should be able to talk about my genitalia just like them.
Mine is just as powerful.
Talking aesthetics – what or who are your inspirations and who do you want to work with in the future.
I work with one of my best friends Seth Pratt. He’s a relatively unknown designer but he’s such a genius and so talented and, right now, I am at a point where I want to collaborate with someone who I can look in the eyes and we can understand our ideals. I need to have a say in what I am wearing, I like to have a hand in everything that I am doing.
Visually, I want to continue directing my own videos. I respect the likes of Hype Williams. I’m also into horrorcore (genre of dark and violent rap music) and having a music video directed by Quentin Tarantino would be pretty cool. That would be sick because he knows how to take strong powerful women and work them into violent action roles.
John Water’s the director of ‘A Dirty Shame’ would be incredible. He’s really weird with his visuals like Selma Blair having huge tits and 3 homosexual bears living in a house together. It’s just mind blowing.
Just putting it out there into the universe.
Who do you cite as iconic women?
I always say the same damn thing. Lil’ Kim, she was the first feminist rapper, she got banned when she was on the cover of the New York Times.
Right now, I am obsessed with Marilyn Mason. A man, yes. He’s a fucking genius. He was on a lot of different talk shows as a teenager with long hair etc and then he transformed himself into this transsexual/pushing envelope/performer/artist, with everything that he was doing being so original.
Courtney Love is someone who I respect. Similar to her, I was sexually assaulted onstage, for being who she is and preaching what she preaches. I preach sexuality but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok for me to be raped on stage.
And Amy Winehouse. She is the most iconic woman for me. She was the most unique artist of our time and was so genuine, truthful and tragic. Her voice was so soulful and heartbroken. I can relate to her intense sadness. She’s someone that I literally love… I never feel ‘fan girl’ like but Amy Winehouse was something else.
When is censorship required?
I don’t think it’s ever required. I have no filter but I don’t spout negativity. For people who spout off negative shit, that’s when censorship is required… but having said that, you never know what the reaction would be and maybe we’d miss something revolutionary.
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