Growing up in the ghetto wasn’t exactly like living in the tough stereotypical ghetto conditions, according to Azealia Banks. The 20 year-old rapper told the New York Times that even though she was surrounded by a rough atmosphere, she lived a different ghetto lifestyle, fortunate enough to have toys, clothes and pets.

“We lived in Harlem just, like, at the beginning of its gentrification . . . but my mom had our apartment since she was 18, she worked a retail job, but she worked on commission, so she made like, maybe, 75 or $80,000 a year, but our rent was so cheap since it was, like, rent-controlled, so our rent was, like, $300 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, so we always had extra money. I grew up very spoiled . . . like I had everything: I had computers, I had video games, I had dress-up clothes, I had lipstick, I had heels — not like, actual heels, play heels — I had dolls, I had birds, I had hamsters — my mom did a really good job of keeping me stimulated.”

Read the more of the NYT feature after the jump.

Before moving to the U.K, to pursue her rap career, Banks also said that she lived a healthier ghetto lifestyle, being exposed to different habits and cultures outside her neighborhood.

““ ‘I’ve come from the ghetto and it’s really hard’ thing? Well, I came from the ghetto but it wasn’t hard for us, y’know what I mean? Because I lived on the block with kids who were, like, crack babies. I had other aunts and uncles who lived in other parts of Harlem, and I’d go with my cousins and we’d be out on the street, y’know . . . I had a healthy juxtaposition of, like, good and bad.”

You can read the full New York Times feature here.

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