It's been announced that rap's "Young Rapunzel," a.k.a. Azealia Banks, lets her hair down — and takes her clothes off — for the upcoming music issue of legendary men's magazine Playboy.
In a sneak peek from the Ellen von Unwerth-shot spread, Banks can be seen crouching along an animal print couch, cat ears affixed to her mermaid-length purple tresses. She's perched to attack, like a feral feline.
The set-up is perfectly aligned with her public persona as of late: the fast-tongue, impassioned artist has been quick to incite politicized Twitter feuds with everyone from nemesis Iggy Azalea (over the Australian-born rapper's ton- deaf cultural appropriation of American hip hop), to rapper T.I. (who Banks feels aids and abets Iggy's dubious career). Banks' emotional Hot 97 radio interview last fall regarding Eric Garner, racism within the music industry, and yes, Iggy Azalea, spurred a necessary and contentious debate within hip hop regarding race and authenticity that had everyone from Talib Kweli to Q-Tip to entering the fray.
This all coming on the tail of Banks' debut album, "Broke with Expensive Taste," that quickly charted at the number 1 position along the iTunes Hip Hop chart last fall.
It then only seems befitting the no holds-barred rapper take on the notoriously provocative glossy in a nude spread and equally revealing interview with Robert Tannabaum: the outspoken rapper seems primed to peel back so many shocking layers of the music industry.
The April issue of Playboy drops March 20.
Photo via Playboy.
Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.