There’s a reason that rapper Azealia Banks is a little rough around the edges. She had a childhood that would have destroyed most others in the same position.
"We grew up in the hood, but we had some money. But I moved out when I was 14 to go live with my older sister, because my mom just had, well… issues," she told Dazed & Confused magazine. Those "issues" stemmed from the loss of Azealia’s father, who died of pancreatic cancer when she was just 2.
Seemingly, his death was too much for Azealia’s mom to handle and she took out her hurt and frustrations on her kids. "After my dad died, my mom became really abusive—physically and verbally. Like she would hit me and my sisters with baseball bats, bang our heads up against walls, and she would always tell me I was ugly," the rapper said.
Azealia claims that her mom was so bent on punishing her kids that she even took food out of their mouths. "I remember once she threw out all the food in the fridge, just so we wouldn’t have anything to eat," Azealia said. "It was like growing up a feral child, being raised by this person who was always yelling and screaming, hitting you and dragging you around and sh-t."
Despite the abuse, there was one thing Azealia could say for her mother. "She never had any drug or drinking problems – her house was clean, her hair was always done, and we had stuff," said the rapper, "but she still f***ed me up real bad.’"
With her father gone and her mother only paying enough attention to hurt her, Azealia was pretty much on her own when it came to puberty. At a time when she really needed someone there to tell her about the opposite sex, the lack of supervision often got her in trouble.
"Growing up I was so curious about boys. I just loved them. I’d always get my recesses taken away for letting boys touch my butt in the lunch line I got in trouble for fooling around in school a lot. I just wanted to be touched, ya know?
She added, "I just wanted to have sex. And my mom was always working so there was never anyone around to tell me no."