#37 TOP FEMALE RAPPER
ACTIVE: 2014 TO PRESENT
Brooke Candy (born July 20, 1989) is an American rapper and singer. She is best known for co-starring in the music video for Grimes’ hit single “Genesis”.
She independently released videos for her songs “Das Me”, “Everybody Does”, and “I Wanna Fuck Right Now” before collaborating with photographer Steven Klein and stylist Nicola Formichetti on her fourth video, “Opulence”. Candy signed with RCA in February 2014.
Candy’s father is the CFO of Hustler magazine and CEO of Hustler Casino, and Candy herself has been employed by Hustler as a mannequin stylist. Her industry ties helped her snag an internship with reality star and stylist Rachel Zoe. Before becoming a pop singer, Candy worked in a strip-club called Seventh Veil for eight months. Although she has been approached by four major record labels, she has not signed a recording contract. Best known for sporting metallic bikinis and pink cornrows, Candy has been compared to Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj. Candy cites transhumanism and superhero-culture as the inspiration for her metallic costumes.
Early life and career
Brooke Candy was born in Oxnard, California. She grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills and is of Italian and Jewish descent. Her parents divorced when she was eight. Her mother was a pediatric nurse while her father was CFO of Hustler magazine.
Candy has talked about the stark difference between her two parents’ lives: “[The Hustler offices were] so gaudy and amazing. I’d eat ice cream and watch TV and just go from that to being with my mom, who had nothing. It was strange… It’s this whole idea of duality that I’m just obsessed with.”
Candy was kicked out her house by her parents after coming out. She also lived out of her car for a period, working as an exotic dancer at the Seventh Veil adult club in Hollywood.
While working as an intern for Rachel Zoe, Candy contacted Larry Flynt, seeking work as a photographer for Hustler.
Flynt eventually employed her as a mannequin stylist for Hustler store fronts. Candy described the job as “dress[ing] the mannequins slutty.”
During 2012 and 2013, Candy independently released her first three videos for her songs; “Das Me”, “Everybody Does”, and “I Wanna **** Right Now” on YouTube.
The videos had more than a million views by early 2013. In August 2012, she co-starred in the music video for Grimes’ single “Genesis”.
Candy’s first major label recording took place when she appeared on the track “Cloud Aura” on Charli XCX’s debut album True Romance. Candy was introduced to Charli by Azealia Banks when Candy hosted Banks’ Mermaid Ball in Los Angeles.
She eventually signed with RCA Records in February, 2014. “Opulence”, co-written with Sia and produced by Diplo, was her first single for the label. For the song’s video, she collaborated with stylist Nicola Formichetti and Steven Klein. The video explores the theme of “freaks,” a concept that was conceived conceived by Candy and Formichetti at a drag bar in Tokyo.
It features transgender woman, drag queens, and gay men who are friends with Candy.“We’re all freaks and outcasts, and this was meant to empower them,” Candy said. Formichetti, Candy and Klein worked on a V Mag shoot that lead to Steven Klein directing “Opulence”.
“Opulence” was the title track of her first EP, which was released in May 2014.
Her debut album is currently being produced by label-mate Sia amongst others. Sia, who is an executive producer and an songwriter on the album, discovered Candy on Instagram in 2008 and reached out to her, believing “that I was the only person who could really support [Candy] in becoming who [she is] on a grander stage or platform.”. So far, Sia has written at least one song –“Living Out Loud”—for Candy.
Candy is known for her extreme fashion style, most notably her long cornrows and metallic bikini costumes. Sia described Candy as a “feminista glam alien.” Vogue profiled Candy in July, 2014, saying “For all her shape-shifting, perhaps it’s helpful to think of Brooke Candy as a tabula rasa whose videos, concerts, and everyday appearances each necessitate a different character.
Together, they make her a fashion plate palimpsest :
noun: a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible
Candy’s fashion has been described as a distinctive stripper-meets-Tumblr aesthetic.
She often collaborates with fashion designer Seth Pratt. Following trends in stan culture, Candy has nicknamed her fanbase #FagMob.
Vice blogger Ali Carman asked Candy, in an interview, if she was offended that her internet persona was considered fake. Candy replied: “My persona is a reality to me, you know. Like I would never rap and act hood if it wasn’t actually my mentality and I wouldn’t perform in a super-sexual way if being a stripper wasn’t the way I made money.” MTV called Candy’s look “super hardcore”, a “breath of fresh, fearless air”, and a prayer answered by the pop goddesses. Calling her the “Freaky Princess”, The Guardian journalist Michael Cragg agreed with the stripper-turned-rapper’s alias, comparing her to Xena, the Warrior Princess. Musically, Candy’s work has been recognized for its twerk-able nature, springybeats, and cyberpunk.
Candy also hosts a blog dedicated to photography.
Candy is openly bisexual, and revealed Lil’ Kim as an inspiration for her rapping technique and irreverent image. She also expresses strong feministic ideals.
Her father is the CFO of Hustler magazine and CEO of Hustler Casino. Candy has the name “Gotti” tattooed on the inside of her forearm in honor of John Gotti, after whom she has also named her puppy.
She is an adamant and vocal proponent of the legalization of sex work and legality of recreational use of marijuana.
Candy’s image is highly sexualized, “They told me not to make something so sexual” she told New York writer Christopher Glazek, recalling a conversation she had with her record executives about the music video for her song “I Wanna Fuck Right Now”, whose refrain is: “I wanna fuck right now / I wanna fuck right now now”.