All photos by Mark Hunter
By now you’ve probably seen Brooke Candy, the post-apocalyptic Lil’ Kim who spread throughout international fashion magazines and rose from the ocean, pink braids in tact, in Grimes’ “Genesis” music video. With the release of her anthem-like first single “Das Me,” the 23-year-old Los Angeles native is putting a voice to the warrior-princess-stripper aesthetic that has made her an internet icon. Her debutmusic video is a glimpse into her life, rife with a candy-pink tricked out Cadillac limousines and a cameo by fall’s hottest accessory: an Asian toddler on a leash. Brooke flips misogynistic stereotypes over a staggering beat, inviting dudes to “wiggle their dicks” and reassures the ladies that “next time they call you a “slut,” Brooke Candy says, “don’t give a fuck.” We talked to Brooke about what inspired her look and what the future holds for the fire-spitting, self-proclaimed “Freaky Prince$$.”
VICE: Where did your name come from?
Brooke Candy: Brooke Candy is my real birth name. Check the ID.
What has been the hardest stigma to break as a new artist?
The hardest thing has been constantly hearing people compare me to other artists. Just because I’m white doesn’t mean I’m anything like Kreayshawn or Iggy Azalea. Just because I have distinctive visuals doesn’t make me anything like Lady Gaga either. I respect them all but I feel I am my own artist and I am standing for something much different.
You’re known for your style. What are some of your first aesthetic memories that have influenced your outfits today?
Lil’ Kim’s purple mermaid outfit at the VMAS with her tit out plus every look she’s ever done! Christina Aguilera also did a cornrow look with a bunch of facial piercings that was pretty sick, too. The movieBAPS made me want to be as ghetto fab as possible. Every look Gwen Stefani has ever pulled. She mixes the coolest elements from different cultures and was doing it years before anyone else. I’m also inspired by futuristic sci-fi alien/human hybrid shit, too—like The Fifth Element or Mystique from X-Men.
What’s the most important aspect of pulling a good look?
Making sure that every aspect is on point. From nails, to hair, to jewels, to makeup—everything’s got to be bangin’. Dedication baby! It takes eight-to-ten hours to braid my hair.
How hard is for you it to maintain your signature look?
It’s a bit of hassle, but I enjoy the final product so much that gluing on nails for hours or sitting in the chair getting braided for eight hours is all worth it in the end when I look exactly how I feel.
How have your parents reacted to your fame… and outfits?
They don’t really know the extent of what I do, but I don’t do it for them. My art and my aesthetic are for me and the people who understand me.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Wake up, hit a blunt, answer emails, hit a blunt, get to the studio, lay down some vocals, hit a blunt… Then depending on the day, I either head to the strip club and get some quick cash or call up the homies and proceed to hit a blunt.