New Universal Artist Azealia Banks Talks Nails, Weaves, Shopping, And Boris The Boot Man

Azealia Banks.
Photo: Matt Barnes

As some of you may know, hyper-cute, 20-year-old, uptown MC Azealia Banks landed a major record deal today, signing with Universal Music Group.

This is awesome, considering we’ve been quietly stalking her and sending a grip of positive vibes her way since she came into our offices to gossip about style. As I’ve rhapsodized in previous posts, I think your girl is the mazin’. Truly hilarious and basically the bee’s knees and fearless in that way where you cannot believe how wicked-auspicious THIS PARTICULAR collection of traits is in one tiny, mortal person. While you can read all about the deal anywhere on the information superhighway except for…ummmm…Wikipedia today, the thing I wanted to bend your ear about, or rather bogart your eyeballs on, is this fistful of awesome videos.

FIRST OF ALL, A LITTLE BACKSTORY: I dragged Azealia in here while she was recording and because she was headed out of the country for a slew of European engagements, we were pressed for time. Basically, I made her film without hair and makeup. YUP, AND SHE WAS COOL ABOUT IT.

The only reason I’m throwing out the preamble is that you can tell by this The Hundreds cover (shot by Brooke Nipar and featured after the jump) and the leading photo by Matt Barnes, your girl can run the gamut between girl-next-door easy-breezy and

Azealia Banks for The Hundreds.
Photo: Courtesy of The Hundreds

See. AMIRITE? Anyway, without further ado, here are the aforementioned videos in no particular order with some choice quotes beneath. Azealia Banks can talk.


A lot of my favorite labels are things that I can’t afford [laughs]. I have two Alexander Wang bags and I loooooove, love those bags. They just make me feel so…’bout it. I’m into bows and frills and ugly shoes. I wear a lot of socks in general. Just like knee highs, thigh highs, stockings, little frilly socks, socks with the ball on the back…they’re so tacky, but I love them.


Oh my God, do you remember, like, summer 2009? When Nicki Minaj was blowing up? I was like, Oh my god, this is my girl. Like, she went to LaGuardia, hell yea. You know? I was with it, with it. So I started getting the bang, the “China bang” with the long weave or whatever, and at first I would just get it all black. Then I started trying colors. One time I had a streak of purple, and it looked really good, but then, the next time I got blue.

So I bought two packs of regular hair and a pack of blue. She puts ALL this blue in my hair. I was just like, ’I look like such a bird right now. What is going on? This is hoooooorrible.'”


[Ed note: This is kinda my favorite, you can’t make this ish up. #onlyinNewYork] “Do you know The Boot Man? Wait. I’m about to put you on. I buy so many boots from The Boot Man. It’s this man named Boris. He’s like this Russian man. He sells these shoes out of a closet, and it’s mad dirty, mad dingy, mad busted. And it’s just like piles and piles and piles of shoes in there. He wears this beanie thing with dreads in it, so he’s this Eastern European guy with dreads, right? And he has this little like…Hobbit servant guy who works behind this counter in this little black hole and he’s covered in soot…I’ve been going to this man since I was 14 and it’s the same two men that sell shoes.

…I don’t know where he gets his shoes from. He never wants to tell. I’m like, ’Boris, how’d you get these shoes?’ I’m always just thinking…’Are these dead people’s shoes?’ But you can get really cool boots, like GOOD boots, vintage leather boots for like $15/$20. And he’ll do stuff where he’ll get a bunch of Louis Vuitton and he’ll cut out pieces and put them on Timberlands. Like, you can get platforms on your Timbs. A friend of mine had these platform Timbs. They look mad tacky, but they’re, still, like, they’re really banji.


I keep my clothes FOREVER. I have stuff from Children’s Place when I was 12. And don’t get it twisted. I will pop up in the H&M little boys’ section and get that shirt. There’s this chain of really cheap stores for kids where you can buy strollers and cheap crib sets and school uniforms and stuff called Cookies, and I’ll buy the little school skirts and the French Toast shirts. They come in a pack.”


I just need my nails done. I just need the acrylic fresh and the paint done. And I need to not get fungus. I think the French manicure screams, ’basic bitch.’ You know what I mean? It screams, “Hey, I have no acrylic creativity and no imagination, so like, here are my French nails.’ When you get the little gel tips or a little glitter, that’s fly. But you know, the white, SQUARE, French manicure is uuuuuuuugh.

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