Anycia doesn’t believe in fear

The 26-year-old rapper from Atlanta talks to The FADER about horror movies, touring with Veeze, and her new album Princess Pop That.

April 26, 2024
Anycia doesn’t believe in fear Anycia. Photo via publicist  

It’s a Thursday in early April and Anycia is calling me in the middle of getting her nails done. The 26-year-old rapper is supposed to be relaxing: she’s back in her hometown of Atlanta on one of her precious days off. She’d just done a show in New York the previous weekend, with an impending show in Seattle and a press run in LA. Then back to Atlanta, Miami for a few days, then DC, then NYC again. Even a brief staycation can’t interrupt the breakneck pace — that’s why she’s talking to me, after all — and Anycia is more than aware of her rocketing trajectory. “Chile, I’m just gonna be gone,” she laughs.

Such are the spoils of victory for a hot young rapper on the cusp of serious stardom. Less than a year ago, a snippet of “So What” by Anycia and Popstar Benny started to make the rounds on social media. Built around a woozy Ciara sample, the song spotlit Anycia’s velvety lower register and no-nonsense shit-talking, quickly earning nods from Drake and Kevin Durant as well as minor grail status thanks to its unavailability on major streaming services. Subsequent singles and an EP in November 2023 continued to build her hype, but fans won’t let her forget about that first hit. “I could literally drop the best song in the world and it’s gonna be somebody in the comments like, ‘Drop “So What” please,’” Anycia tells me. “I just got tired. Nobody even knows, but we actually are about to drop it very soon.”

Fast forward to now: her insouciant debut album Princess Pop That, out today, features Latto, Luh Tyler, and Cash Cobain among others, hopscotching from brassy anthems (“BACK OUTSIDE”) to airier slow grooves (“ATM”) and g-funk variations (“BAD WEATHER”). Anycia is also in the process of building a formidable collection of collaborations: her standout verse on “New Me” off Flo Milli’s Fine Ho, Stay offered a drawling counterpoint to Flo’s brattier bars, and songs with Chow Lee, Waka Flocka Flame, and BlueBucksClan are all on the way. “I’ve never really picked nobody,” Anycia tells me. “All the artists I’ve worked with, damn near, have reached out to me.”

Anycia is “booked and busy,” she says, to the point that when I naively ask how she decompresses when she’s home in Atlanta, she bluntly replies, “I don’t.” Still, she’s candid and affable during our call, cracking jokes and talking at length about being too old for new music, her favorite gory movies, and how she’s never beating “the BBL allegations.”


You were just up in New York at SOB’s doing a show, right? How was that?

It was honestly so surreal. I realized I really got like real fans. It made everything hit, because in all honesty, everything hasn't really hit me. But at that moment that hit. Like me giving the mic to people and them knowing the words better than me, chile — bitch I wrote it. So it was surreal, I loved it.

What were you feeling anxious about? Playing new music that hasn't been released?

No, just simple girl shit like, “I hope I don’t trip and fall,” “I hope I'm not too tipsy right now,” whatever. It really was nothing to be worried about.

Before I started doing all of this, I went to church with my old best friend. And it was a real, real good sermon, chile. He was like, “Fear is not real. Fear is an emotion that we created.” Fear’s literally not real — fear is a feeling that you get from something that doesn't even fucking exist yet. You don't even know.

Is religion a big part of your life?

I'll say that I'm more spiritual than religious. I come from a Catholic family. I just believe in the works of the universe. Of course, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, but I'm more tapped in with the universe and what’s put in front of me.

I feel like what you put out into the world is what you get back. And I believe in karma. Whatever you put in the air is what you get back. I feel like words are very important, power of the tongue.

I started realizing I slick don’t gotta do much but talk. I sound like a ghetto-ass Darth Vader, so why not?

What kind of music were you listening to growing up?

Everything. My mom’s from LA, [so] I was listening to a lot of Tupac and Bone Thugz, and then also I’m from Atlanta, so I was listening to Cherish, Usher, Ciara, Crime Mob, Field Mob. My mom, our bonding thing is concerts, [and] she took me to Beyoncé. That's why — no shade, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but — all the bitches be going crazy about the Beyoncé concerts, but I been did that as a child.

I always like things that make me feel nostalgic. I like to tap into my Teena Marie bag, I get into Luther Vandross, I listen to everything, Temptations, I get down, baby, I don't play. I don't really listen to new music, but I've been listening to a lot of Chow Lee, Cash Cobain, that lil type of thing. [sings “Fisherr” hook in doubletime] gottaattitudebutyoubadahhshitsoiaint — I like that. That lil thing, I played it on repeat. And there's also an artist that I like, his name is Oodaredevil. And Skaiwater, I looove him. But yeah, I be tryna tap into my new age, babe. You know, I’m 26, chile, I think I’m damn near 30, so I listen to old music baby.

I feel like right around when you hit 25 and your brain is like “okay I’m done growing,” you’re just like “What is going on?” musically — it’s hard for me to keep up too.

After everybody started doing the whole vamp, moshpit thing, it lost me after that. I’m not gonna lie because, even at my shows, I am here to help y’all catch a vibe. All that moshpit and throwing shoes and punching and shit — don’t come to my shows, I’ll stop performing. We don’t do that.

I know when you first started rapping, you were rapping on plugg-type beats and then also soul sample, '90s type shit. So I’m curious how that influences how you rap, since I wouldn’t say the music you make now is very similar.

Honestly, I was playing around doing a little melodic shit. Even still to this day, I like melodic things. But over time, as I started getting more serious and exploring different versions of myself, I started realizing I slick don't gotta do much but talk. I sound like a ghetto-ass Darth Vader, so why not? So let me just talk and use my real voice. And one day I just cut the Auto Tone and all the extra shit out and I was just like “fuck it, we just gonna do it raw.”

I don't really like to put myself in a box with anything, if it's not obvious. I can be me on a melodic beat, I can be me on my house beat, I can be me on an alternative beat, I can be me on a hardcore, Chief Keef-type beat, you know what I'm saying? So I just try my best to dibble and dabble in as many bags as possible.


You've worked with a bunch of different producers, but obviously one of the first ones you locked in with is Popstar Benny. How did you guys meet and start working together?

Benny just was my friend, right? Atlanta is small. Atlanta big, but Atlanta is small. Everybody who do music or is on the creative side, everybody knows each other. Everybody who a damn vamp and wanna moshpit and run around the city, they know each other, everybody who a scammer, they know each other, everybody who strip, they know each other. It’s like categories, levels to Atlanta. So me and Benny be knowing each other for a long time, along with [Bear1boss] and all them. He was my friend before I started rapping.

When did you decide “I’m going to start taking music more seriously?”

Honestly, I had just got out a really bad relationship, and I had made this crazy song that’s out, it's called “Kimora Lee.” My friends was in the studio, we was drunk, we was pumped up, we found a dog on the side of the road — we was just doing a lot of shit. And my bitches was like, “This is a good song bitch, we gon be lit, put it out.” And I just put it out on my own.

I was working a regular job. I mean, I wasn’t broke, but it was like, “I'm making ends meet” money. “I'm working two jobs” type money. I could put gas in my car and do what I need to do money, y’know I’m sayin? But I did that [video] with my friend Reggie. We did it with nothing, honestly. It was so innocent, I ain’t gon lie.

After that a lot of shit started coming to me. [Around that time] I ended up getting — the P word. And I had to make a decision, because I realized this is something that I want to do [and] I didn't want to make that decision. But at that moment, it was like, you have to be selfless, because this is somebody else, you know what I'm saying? It's not just you.

I see so much for myself. And I want to put so much on the table for my future family. So I just started taking things serious because it showed me that anything can happen at any given time. And, I don't know, I just had to take more control of my own wheel at that point. And then I dropped “So What” and then everything started going crazy.

Do you write or freestyle most of your stuff?

It depends on the beat, and when it comes to writing, very rarely, sometimes. I may be in my car or my room or something like that and I might play a beat and write like half of a song or something. But for the most part, I just go to the studio and they play beats and then I go in the booth and just catch my lil flow of what I'm trying to do. It’s like, I write as I go. I'll say something like that.

I'll sit in the booth and tell them to keep playing the beat over and over again for a little bit. And then I write, let's say like four bars and then try it, and then just keep going. I also have bad short term memory. So I be trying to write shit down so I keep it. I guess it's freestyling but it's still writing? It's weird for sure.

If you had to pick a song off the new album, what's your favorite and why?

Probably “SQUIGI” because I lowkey helped make the beat. The frickin, the sample on it is “Let’s Get Away” by T.I., and I listen to that song all the damn time. So one day I was in the studio and I was like, “I love this song I need you to sample this for me please,” because I do want to put everyone in a little nostalgic bag sometimes. And I like [“EAT!”] too, with Kenny Beats. It just reminds me of like a Kill Bill scene or something.

“Nene’s Prayer” is pretty crazy. Who is that song about?

[Laughs] I can't really say, chile, but it's about somebody. It's about somebody.

You tweeted recently that you were inspired by CEO Trayle. How so?

Because, you never heard that song where he like, “you ain’t better than a perc?” That song right there is what inspired me, but then everybody was like “Oh you copied Babytron,” but I swear to god I’d never heard that Babytron song. I don’t even listen to shit like that. I was literally just genuinely mad at somebody, and I went to the studio and just said everything I ever — yeah. “Hope you crash and burn,” “hope somebody steal your Hellcat.” You like my nails? [Square tip, pearlescent white with an abstract design of small black swirls]

Yes, and I think my sisters would also love them. You were on tour with Veeze last year; what’s something you learned on tour with him that you’ve brought to your own live shows and touring now?

Honestly, nothing. Because everybody all the time treats me like a fucking princess every time. So I don't really get the whole hardcore tour struggle thing — not saying it won't never happen, but I didn't get that. Veeze is not industry at all, like he don't give a fuck about a lot of this shit honestly, he's just going through the motions. So with me, he's just always instilled in me to just be my fucking self, like “fuck everybody.” If he could tell everybody fuck them, he probably would. He true to himself, he wants everybody to be true to theyself.

I saw in one of your other interviews that you're really into gory horror movies. What are some of your favorites?

I like Terrifier. I like gory, period. One of my favorite movies, it’s not horror but it’s still gory — I like Quentin Tarantino movies, I love Kill Bill. It’s just so raw and uncut. I like shit like Saw, I like game-type horror movies.

My favorite shit is dark psychological thrillers. I like Stephen King movies, shit like that. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I can go to sleep to shit like that peacefully and have a dream about fuckin' lollipops and bunnies.

I remember Terrifier 2 blew my mind with the gore and the intensity of it.

Oh no, Terrifier is insane. Because why are you cutting people in the middle of they coochie and shit, crazy. I just watch Terrifier not even because of the movie, it’s more so like, “What is your problem?” It's like, “what, you don't have no limits?” You ever seen Leprechaun in the Hood?

No, but I know the type of movies you're talking about.

He was just looking for his pot of gold and they took his pot of gold! You had no business at the end of the fucking rainbow. All he wanted was his pot of gold, he kept giving n***as chances. And then they kept trying to kill him and he wouldn't die. So it was like, if he won't die, just give him his pot of gold. He really didn't want to kill nobody. Also, my whole life I've been scared of Jeepers Creepers.

Oh word? I love that movie.

Jeepers Creepers scares the fuck outta me, okay? Because first of all, what is he? I heard he was a demon. But my whole life I just thought it was a random n***a with wings in the sky. But he scares me because it’s just like — what scares me is, who are the people behind the movies? Because what the fuck made you come up with a Jeepers Creepers and who are you?

Is there anything that we didn't get a chance to talk about?

This big fat booty that I got that is crazy, and how I'm never gonna beat these BBL allegations. Make sure you let them know. I can’t do anything about it.


Anycia doesn’t believe in fear