tour diary

“Pray, Smoke, Take a Shot”: Anycia Takes Us Backstage at Her NYC Show


Anycia photographed by Diamond Visuals.

Anycia is coasting on an adrenaline rush. When the ATL-bred rapper pulled up to her sold-out show at SOBs last weekend, it was all blunts, bouquets, and tears of joy. “It kind of grew on me,” she says of New York City. “It’s genuine love.” Her blasé, raspy flow and effortless swag stands out within a recent wave of mellow underground female rappers that are all bars and no hype, many of whom emerged from Anycia’s hip-hop hotbed hometown. As she gears up to drop her debut studio project later this month, she’s been releasing a string of singles, like the cocky hit “Back Outside” with Latto and the just-released “Bad Weather.” But the forecast at her concerts call for a different type of rain: dollar bills. When Anycia called us up from the salon, she spilled all the details on her packed-out NYC stop, from her backstage tequila of choice to her newest souvenir idea.


MEKALA RAJAGOPAL: Where are you at now?

ANYCIA: I’m in Atlanta getting my hair braided.

BRAIDER: Can I see the picture?

ANYCIA: Her hair looks really, really good. Sorry, I’m listening.

RAJAGOPAL: What are you getting in your hair?

ANYCIA: I’m getting some braids, girl. So you know those braids with the hair that’s coming out a little bit?

RAJAGOPAL: Like goddess braids?

ANYCIA: Yeah. I think this one’s called boho braids. You know it’s getting hot. But did you see that wig I just had on at my show with the beads in it?

RAJAGOPAL: Yeah, with the streaks?

ANYCIA: Yeah. Girl, the hair dye broke me out. I had an allergic reaction to the hair dye and the wig, but luckily it was after the show. So yeah, I had to go back to old reliable and get me some braids, let my scalp breathe.

RAJAGOPAL: Got to. You were just here this past weekend, right?


RAJAGOPAL: Sold out dates, how does it feel?

ANYCIA: Honestly, I cried and everything. It was kind of surreal. It was really surprising to me. I mean, I know I got a lot of fans and stuff, but it didn’t hit me until the day of. The whole week up until the show, I didn’t feel no type of way. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t anxious. And then the day of, it was just tears.

RAJAGOPAL: Tears of joy. Do you love New York?

ANYCIA: Yes. At first, I used to be like, “It’s too much going on,” because it’s one of them places where you can’t really watch your surroundings. But over time, every time I go, I get so much love. It kind of grew on me. I still wouldn’t live there, but it grew on me.

RAJAGOPAL: And I think people show a lot of love to musicians here.

ANYCIA: Yeah, they do. It’s really crazy. And it’s genuine love, ain’t nobody bougie. They be up in there really getting to it. It’s really, really fun vibes. I love New York.

RAJAGOPAL: People actually dance.


Photo by Diamond Visuals.

ANYCIA: Yep, they be dancing. They talk to you like you’ve been knowing them for years. I love it.

RAJAGOPAL: Did you go to any cute restaurants while you were here?

ANYCIA: Every time I go out there, I go to a restaurant called Sei Less, but I think I need to find another restaurant because I think I wore Sei Less out.

RAJAGOPAL: What’s your go-to order there?

ANYCIA: They have these lobster spoons and they have, I think, a yellowtail. I love the yellowtail. They got some good rice. I be getting a little bit of everything.

RAJAGOPAL: Ooh. All seafood?

ANYCIA: Yeah, I love seafood.

RAJAGOPAL: I saw you went shopping. Where’d you go?

ANYCIA: I didn’t really go shopping. I wasn’t supposed to go shopping. I just went to Zara to get me some little shirts or whatever, but I ain’t do too much.

RAJAGOPAL: Do you ever hit the studio when you’re on tour?

ANYCIA: Not really, honestly. If I’m just going somewhere for a few days, no, because I need to be focused on right now. Whenever I go to the studio, I got to be in a certain element.

RAJAGOPAL: Definitely. How do you stay in that element, mentally and physically, when you’re getting ready to perform?


Photo by Diamond Visuals.

ANYCIA: Honestly, I be a little nervous before, but then something just happens when I go up there, and all of it goes out the window.

RAJAGOPAL: The adrenaline rush—

ANYCIA: It also could just be the tequila too, girl. It could be that.

RAJAGOPAL: What kind?

ANYCIA: Don Julio, act a foolio. I like a wine too. I’m definitely a wine girl.

RAJAGOPAL: Wine is cute. Do you have any other pre-show rituals?

ANYCIA: Pray, chile. That’s it. Pray, smoke, take a shot.

RAJAGOPAL: Well, New York’s a legal state, so you could just cop wherever.

ANYCIA: I know it. And I be nice and up there, ready to rock and roll.

RAJAGOPAL: What do you smoke?

ANYCIA: It really just depends on what I’m feeling at that moment, because there’s times where I just want to go to sleep. I dibble and I dabble.

RAJAGOPAL: Love it. What’s on your rider backstage?

ANYCIA: Tacos, some hot wings, some mango Snapples, water, maybe some fruit, something sweet. Starbursts or something like that. I got to have my za, but I’m going to have that anyway. And then a bottle of Don Julio or a bottle of wine.


Photo by Diamond Visuals.

RAJAGOPAL: Who’s on your playlist when you’re on the road?

ANYCIA: Normally, I have this playlist of early 2000s music, but lately I think I got the New York-itis. I’ve been listening to Cash Cobain a lot lately. [Sings “Fisherrr”]

RAJAGOPAL: Did you see what happened at his show?


RAJAGOPAL: I think people were brawling outside, going crazy.

ANYCIA: What? Uh-uh.

RAJAGOPAL: Who’d you bring with you on tour?

ANYCIA: My homegirl, Cookie, and my homegirl, Kaya. My DJ, Bosco, and just all my friends. 

Photo by Diamond Visuals.

RAJAGOPAL: Tell me about the looks you wore at SOBs.

ANYCIA: Well, Who Decides War has been showing me some love. They actually gifted me that fit. It was real cute. My set was pink, so I felt like me wearing black would kind of make me pop out. And it was more edgy while my swag is more girly, so I felt like it showed both sides of me.

RAJAGOPAL: It was cute, and that jacket was crazy with your poster on it.

ANYCIA: Oh, yes. Ashley, with my talent agency, she made me that. I love her so much. That’s what made me cry.

RAJAGOPAL: Did you bring anyone out on stage?

ANYCIA: Cash Cobain and then Bay Swag. And the people that opened up for me were Wolfacejoeyy and Baby Osama, and then I just had my homegirl come out and bring me a blunt while I was performing.

anycia cash cobain

Photo by Diamond Visuals.

RAJAGOPAL: What was the crowd’s favorite song?

ANYCIA: I have no clue. I’m gonna come clean, they was just yelling, and I loved it. They knew everything. Of course not the new ones, but damn near every song from EXTRA. I was giving them the mic and they just knew every word, like, “Bitch, you know it better than me.”

RAJAGOPAL: I love that. What’s your favorite to perform?

ANYCIA: “Big Body.” And new stuff. They don’t be knowing what the fuck it is, but they still be liking it.

RAJAGOPAL: What did you preview?

ANYCIA: I previewed, I think, three songs. Not too much.

RAJAGOPAL: You got all these flowers.

ANYCIA: Yeah. I was so happy about that. I cried about the flowers too. Girl, I was just crying.

RAJAGOPAL: That’s so sweet. Who gave you all of those?

ANYCIA: One of them came from a real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real close friend. And the rest of them came from fans.

RAJAGOPAL: Did you sign anything fun?

ANYCIA: I signed a bunch of stuff. I signed dollar bills because I threw money out into the crowd, and they were giving me their dollars back to sign. That was real cute. I think that’s going to be my new thing, throwing dollars and then signing them.

RAJAGOPAL: That’s so fun. Do you have a dream person to perform with or to open for?

ANYCIA: Really, no. I hope that doesn’t sound bad. I just want to live my own dream of me packing out of stadiums and having a good five motherfuckers open up for me.

RAJAGOPAL: What city are you most excited to hit?

ANYCIA: I’m excited to go out of the country. I already know how easy shit spreads out here, but I want to see what’s going on out there. I know I’m supposed to be going to Europe soon. I think to Austria, so I’m excited about that. I’ve been hearing about the love in Europe.

RAJAGOPAL: That’s going to be fun. What else do you have planned today?

ANYCIA: Girl, I feel like my braids are gonna take up the majority of my day. I’ll be going to a fitting later on, though. 

RAJAGOPAL: I’ll leave you to it. Have fun on the rest of your shows.

ANYCIA: Bye friend.