BRANDEE J: We are so excited to have you as our August Cover Luxe Beautie for our music issue! For the readers who do not know who you are, please tell them who is Akbar?
AKBAR V: Akbar V is a mother, strong, and intelligent woman who came from nothing and who made a way for herself. I AM the Queen of Atlanta.
MISS NO: What makes Akbar different from any other female hip hop artists that are out now and why should the world be on Team Akbar?
AKBAR V: Because I am just like you! I know how it feels not to have …I know how it feels to be an underdog. I let the world see me at my worst now they see me at my best. I am a real woman who keeps it real with her fans, the Akbartians. I am putting real back into rap, that makes me different.
BRANDEE J: Please tell our readers, how did Love and Hip Hop came about? Were you looking for this opportunity?
AKBAR V: I was not looking for the opportunity. Love and Hip Hop Producers had been watching me the saw me at an event and they loved me. Then I auditioned and the rest is history.
MISS NO: Love and Hip Hop receives backlash regarding how it makes the black cast members look to society. What do you say to that? Do you feel the show plays a role in how society sees black talent?
AKBAR V: Life has its ups and downs, and real-life has drama. I am thankful for Love and Hip Hop because it gave me a shot for the world to know me.
BRANDEE J: Being that you are plus size and in the spotlight, do you every the pressure from Hollywood to look a certain way? How do you handle that pressure?
AKBAR V: I don’t feel pressure I always wanted to lose weight to be healthy overall …I wanted to be healthier so when I am on stage performing I will have more energy and I actually do have more energy since I lost weight. No matter what size I am I always will do it for me BBW’s. I have been super transparent about my weight loss and have let my fans see the journey every step of the way. Numerous people have told me how much I have inspired them to get serious about their health and loose weight.
MISS NO: As black media, what can we do more to make sure curvy/plus size talent is the norm on the big screen?
AKBAR V: I think we must love ourselves just the way we are…we should portray curvy girls the same way and amount of times as skinny girls. My curvy girls need to represent more and everyone loves a BBW, even if they don’t say it publicly.
BRANDEE J: The Black Lives Matter movement along with COVID has taken over 2020. What are views on both matters, especially the BLM?
AKBAR V: COVID-19 has rocked our world we cannot get out as much especially, as an artist I had to get more creative and look for opportunities to engage my fans and work on my upcoming album. As far as BLM, it’s a movement to me not just a moment I come from a poverty-stricken neighborhood we really didn’t see cops killing people but as I got older I started seeing it happen more frequently … We have to stop killing each other as come together as one….before all lives matter black lives have to matter first. I did a song with Dash Gwoppo called “Hands Up: Don’t Shoot” to pay homage to all of the lives we have lost to senseless murders at the hand of people who are supposed to protect and serve.
MISS NO: During the IG Live with our CEO, Brandee J you had mentioned a lot about your past and dealing with your abuse you endured. In what ways have you moved past what was done to you?
AKBAR V: I am still dealing with childhood trauma like most who have witnessed and been through some of the things I have. My music and creative process are therapeutic because I tell my real-life story in my music. I mean I have even had a close encounter with death after being shot in the head. I want to encourage anyone who’s gone through childhood trauma to keep going and not just go through it but grow through it.
AKBAR V: You are loved and you can do all things through Christ Jesus that strengthens you.
MISS NO: What do you want your legacy to be?
AKBAR V: I want it to be real and authentic, I want them to say we watched her grow, we watched her cry, we watched her fight, we watched her chase, we watched her struggles …her pain and WE WATCHED HER BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS O ALL TIME.
BEHIND THE COVER:
Akbar V: @akbar__v
Photographer: Tariq Johnson @itstariqjohnson
Stylist: Yvonne @styledbyyvonne
Hair: Tish @phoenixtish
Creative Director: Nora B @onlymissno
CEO: Brandee J @brandeekurvyj