Here are the four most important bits from Banks' Playboy feature:
You were signed to two major labels, and after protracted battles with them, you self-released Broke With Expensive Taste in November. How did your music change in the midst of all that?
Even though I’ve always made really cool stuff, I did it with a little bit of a pop sensibility because I was signed to a major label. That’s why you have songs like “ATM Jam” and “Chasing Time” that are more pop. But now I don’t have a label to answer to. All the ideas I’m having are fucking cool and abstract and crazy and dope.
It sounds like you don’t care whether your songs are on the radio or not.
No. There are certain ways you have to behave if you want to get played on the radio. I want to date whoever I want to date. I want to smoke weed. I want to get drunk. I want to go on vacation, you know?
At this point, lots of producers want to work with you, but when you were unknown and posting songs on Myspace, you e-mailed producers and almost begged for beats.
Seriously. You know how people say “I will fuck for Chanel”? Like, no, I won’t fuck for a beat. But almost. I might flash a little. [laughs] No, I’m joking. But I will fucking beg.
Is there someone whose career you’d like to emulate?
Jay Z. That’s the only person I have my eye set on. The race thing always comes up, but I want to get there being very black and proud and boisterous about it. You get what I mean? A lot of times when you’re a black woman and you’re proud, that’s why people don’t like you. In American society, the game is to be a nonthreatening black person. That’s why you have Pharrell or Kendrick Lamar saying, “How can we expect people to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves?” He’s playing that nonthreatening black man shit, and that gets all the white soccer moms going, “We love him.” Even Kanye West plays a little bit of that game—“Please accept me, white world.” Jay Z hasn’t played any of those games, and that’s what I like.
And this has nothing to do with her music, but I just find her stereotypes hilariously immature.
I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma—that’s really America.