1. Maybe you already know Awkwafina from her hilarious songs like “NYC Bitche$” and “My Vag.” Maybe you don’t.
2. You should, though, because the Queens rapper is putting out some of the raunchiest, funniest, most absurd rap out. And she’s only getting started.
3. Here’s the premiere of her new video for her song “Queef,” about…well…queefing:
“Queef” is the first official track from Awkwafina’s upcoming Yellow Ranger project, her first full-length album. The song and video, which was directed by Court Dunn and produced by J. Glaze, exemplify the type of uncensored, witty, hilarious stuff that first put the rapper on the map.
For the uninitiated, a “queef” is slang for vaginal flatulence, which occurs when there is an expulsion of air from the vagina, and can occur during sex or exercise, like skiing, as Awkwafina informs me during our interview.
5. The video shows the rapper and her friend showing up to the house of an unsuspecting “queefer,” encouraging her to let go and let herself embrace her talent.
And like her other songs, the track features biting lines that nod to her hometown, like, “I queef out the chorus of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ so I could hit the L while all these white girls singing / Queef on the B train, queef on the E train / Chillin’ at Nassau, waiting for the G train / Ninety minutes still waiting for the G train.”
Awkwafina — real name Nora Lum — first came on the scene last year with “My Vag,” her response to party rapper Mickey Avalon’s song “My Dick,” in which she compared her vagina to everything from an operatic ballad to a Range Rover to Harvard Law School. “Yo my vag Harvard Law School / Yo vag Apex Technical.”
Earlier this year she turned heads with “NYC Bitche$,” in which she hilariously — and rightfully — called out the changes to her hometown: “New York City, bitch / That’s where I come from / Not where I moved to / On mom and dad’s trust fund.” The track garnered her a lot of attention on the internet, beyond just New York. And now, with new songs under her belt, along with her older material, she’s readying to release her first official album, Yellow Ranger.
7. We caught up with Awkwafina about her latest video and how the hell one comes up with the idea for a song about queefing:
How do you even come up with the idea for a song about queefing?
Awkwafina: I like to make songs that are based on concepts. [“Queef”] came to me in a mind fart, that was literally a mind fart. Did you see X-Men? In X-Men there’s a scene where they’re starting to realize the powers they have. And that’s how I thought of the concept for the song, if your power would be that you just queef and you blow people away, literally — they fly away. I imagined that, and from there you just do it. But “NYC Bitche$” is funny, I wrote that song in 15 minutes. It was the fastest song I’ve ever written because it was something that I really, really wanted to get out, and it was so fluid. It’s usually not like that — like, “NYC Bitche$” was literally no edits, just straight 15 minutes writing it. If you have a concept, you can flesh it out and expand on it. But usually they’re very spontaneous thoughts.
Queefing is definitely a more unique thought to randomly come to you.
A: It helps if you’re really drunk at the time. A little tipsy eating Dominos at night. [The song] came to me initially when I thought of the X-Men concept, but I don’t know how it communicates. It’s a pretty ratchet video.
Is queefing something you’ve discovered to be a power in real life?
A: Queefing on demand? It’s something I’ve worked very, very hard on attempting to do, but I’m not blessed with that. Sometimes people, some women, can actually do it on command.
I love how you have Showtime in your video too!
A: Oh my god, I love those guys.
Were you friendly with them before?
A: No, I creepily went up to them after I saw them perform on the Q train. I went up to them like, “Hello.” It’s funny, they have a leader — he’s the grown-looking one. All the little ones trust this leader dude, and he has a really quiet girlfriend. He rolls with his girlfriend and these young kids, and when I gave them the money [after the video], she took the money and handed it out to all of them. They have their own system. But there are so many crews and everyone thinks it’s the same one.
You were working in publishing before — how does it feel to pursue music full-time now?
A: It feels natural, it feels good. It’s definitely a privilege to be able to do what you love to do; it’s not something that everyone gets to do, so I feel really good about that.
Were you scared when you quit your job and made that leap? You seem really confident.
A: At my office I wasn’t that confident about that, but I was at a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. And Awkwafina’s been there for so long, and given the chance [to pursue rap as a career], it was like, it’s now or never.
When did your Awkwafina alter ego manifest itself?
A: Probably when I was 17, pretty young. It was just kind of a joke and it was never real, and then all of a sudden it became real. I thought of the name when I was stoned one day, very ambiance-y.
Was “My Vag” the first song you recorded?
A: I actually recorded “Flu Shot” before “My Vag.” I started with me as Awkwafina reciting Othello monologues and I’d send those to my friends. It started like that and then it went into more music-y stuff.
It’s awesome that you produce all your own stuff too.
A: I started by producing, and the rapping came second to that, because I wanted to fill out the beat. But I was kind of embarrassed of [the beats], so I didn’t ask anybody to rap over it, I just did it myself.
What did you use to produce your music?
A: I used GarageBand and my computer keyboard. I didn’t have a real keyboard or anything, it was a very Bushwick operation — very, very ghetto. But it was a start.