Brooke Candy seems ready to start a sexual revolution. Maybe she already has. In the year since she dropped the false veneer of a mainstream pop image and parted ways with her label RCA, the LA-based rapper has been returning to the pop-punk sound that is best exemplified by 2013’s “I Wanna Fuck Right Now.” In that completely family-friendly track about cutting off dicks, licking clits, and using pussy as a weapon, Candy showed her affinity for crafting lyrics that took female sexual aggression and dialed it to 11.
Half a decade later, she’s released what feels like a spiritual successor to that song with “My Sex.” Under the guidance of MNDR, Candy enlisted the help of Mykki Blanco and Pussy Riot — two artists who are no strangers to crafting sexually- and politically-driven music — to create a new, NSFW feminist anthem.
With the declaration that her sex is her weapon and her queerness, “My Sex” feels remarkably on point for a #MeToo era of pop culture. No shock given that Candy’s previous track, “War,” about the state of world politics, began to shake off the mass-market pretense that Candy had suffered through under her previous label. It’s twenty-gayteen and, with a little help from her friends, Candy is taking the throne as a fiery, feminist rapper harnessing her queer sexuality one track at a time.
We caught up with the musician ahead of today’s release of the new single and its accompanying visual — a fever dream of glossy 3D art dreamt up by her friend Pastelae — to talk about the track, her new pop punk direction, and why queerness is always political.
OUT: Your last track “WAR” established a more aggressively political sound for you. How does it feel to head in this position again after being pushed into a more mainstream image over the past few years?
Brooke Candy: It feels amazing! I feel like I’m in control again and am making art from a place of thoughtfulness and strength. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be well-liked enough to exist within the mainstream arena, [but] I want that adoration to come from who I truly am and not some concocted corporate product.
Before moving into music, you worked as a stripper. How did that industry influence your views on sex and sexuality?
Stripping made me aware of my power as a woman and made me fiercely confident and comfortable in my skin. I’ve always been a highly sexual person so it allowed me to explore my own fantasies & fetishes so that I could better understand myself. I think sex is a bigger topic than any of us are programmed to understand but my goal is to have fun with it as long as it’s consensual and safe.
On “My Sex,” you bring a political edge to sex and sexuality. Why is queerness political for you?
Queerness being political has never been a choice for me. The moment I came to terms with my sexuality and was rebuked by my family, I realized this would be a constant fight in my life. I think now more than ever we have to take a stand and rally for who we are. Our current administration has waged a culture war on queers and other minorities since it came to power — it has forced those with a voice to start screaming. The intention of my art now is to purge this world of bigots and their awful policies that have imprisoned us.
Photography: Alis Pelleschi
The visuals are incredible for this. Did you have a particular vision for the video or did you let Pastelae take on free reign on it?
I collaborated with my pal Pastalae. I knew I wanted something animated and I knew I wanted it to be risqué and sexual in its imagery but she really ran with the concept and made it her own.
Do you have a favorite lyric from the track?
There’s a moment in the song where Mykki calls me “rock n roll Anna Nicole.” I thought that was pretty cool! (Laughs)
How did you end up working with Pussy Riot, Mykki Blanco, and MNDR?
MNDR and Peter Wade took me under their wing when I had lost my confidence and my passion to make music. First, we made “WAR” together which lifted my spirits and gave me some motivation, [and] then they played me “My Sex” one day in the studio and it was a no-brainer! I think they originally wrote it with Charli XCX for Pussy Riot so we thought it could be cool to keep Nadya on the track and turn it into a feminist anthem! Adding Mykki Blanco and MNDR was the icing on the cake.
The video and song feel like an anthem for a sexual revolution. What do you want people to take away from this track?
I want people to feel powerful and confident and in control! Sex can be a magic and transformative thing. I’d love for queer culture and all women to feel like they have the ability to experience that magic after listening to the song.