Who said Americans do everything better? Estelle can slit your ethnocentricity with just a hook and a verse. But hitting all the right notes isn't just all the 30-year-old Brit is about. VIBE sat with the cocoa lass—who's readying her sophomore release, All of Me for a fall drop—to talk anything but her album.
Interview by: Tracy Garraud
VIBE: Does the rapper in you have an alter ego?
Estelle: Nah, just Estelle. I started as a straight rapper. I didn’t want to change my name as a singer, so I said let’s keep it for both, fuck it. I had another alter ego for the singing side, though. I called her Audrey Pepa. Audrey for Audrey Hepburn and Pepa from Salt-N-Pepa. I made her up when I had my half-long, half-short hairstyle. She’s the ignorant, say-whatever-I-like stage girl.
Your first single off this album is “Freak.” Are you a real freak?
If “Don’t like his baggy jeans/But I’ma like what’s underneath them” [from “American Boy”] wasn’t an indicator that I like sex, shit, I don’t know what was. I can be a freak at times, but on the album you’re going to see all different personalities.
How freaky is too freaky? Is there a limit?
Certain things are too freaky for me, but I don’t like to put boundaries on people. I like sex, but I’m a strong advocate against anal. And I don’t like guys to put their tongues in my ear. That should never be happening. To me, the word [“freak” also] means a quirk, something that isn’t generally accepted. People say, “She dresses crazy, she’s dark skinned, her lips are big, she’s got short hair—let’s go in on every single one of those things.” I’m fine with it.
How did the UK react to Badu’s “Window Seat” vid?
People were like “Yeah! Go naked wherever!” They understood the art. I was so surprised they were freaking out [in the U.S.]. Like “Are you serious?” Land of freaking Howard Stern is worried about little Erykah walking down the street naked?!
What’s the best thing about being British?