Ke$ha is back, and there's still nothing pedestrian about this party princess.

This feature originally appeared in Complex's December 2010/January 2011 issue.

Ask your girlfriend what she thinks about Ke$ha. Go on, do it. She'll probably give you one of those responses usually reserved for that chick she couldn't stand in high school. Maybe it's: "I don't get why she's popular!" Or it could be: "What do people see in her, anyway?" It's easy to resent what you don't understand, and we have to admit that the 23-year-old pop star who scored 1500 on her SATs isn't the easiest person to dissect. Before the hits, Ke$ha came up hard—like struggling-rapper hard. She cycled through welfare stamps, stole toys when she was young, and at one point had to sleep in her car when she was 17. That's a far cry from the glitter-sprinkled life she lives now. The budding pop star, who signed to Dr. Luke's label at age 18, has already seen her debut album, Animal, go certified platinum, and her frat-house party starter "Tik Tok" chart at #1 in 11 different countries. She's blown chunks in Paris Hilton's closet, snuck into Prince's house, is a huge Beastie Boys fan, and rolls with an entourage that consists of seven drop-dead gorgeous girls—all bullet points that make her resumé just a bit realer than other chart-topping pop stars (who may or may not wear steaks over their vaginas). Taking a break from cooking up more songs the whole world will sing—her new EP Cannibal was just released, featuring eight new tracks that are destined to burrow their way into your brain—we spoke to Ke$ha about bizarre turn-ons, pop-star comparisons, and her thoughts on being with a woman. Yup, your girlfriend's still gonna be mad…

 

My hot friends would come over and we'd drink wine and play music until the sun came up. One morning I woke up surrounded by all these beautiful young girls.

 

You've said that you're not aggressive but you're a pervert. What exactly did you mean by that?
It's totally true. Except I guess I'm a total perv in every way. Like everyone else, I have bizarre things that turn me on.

What turns you on that people would find bizarre?
Um, quarters.

Really?
Yeah, like a bag full of quarters.

So a guy holding a bag full of quarters could potentially turn you on?
Like a big bearded guy with a bag of quarters. I think it's some weird pirate fantasy that was unfulfilled in a past lifetime.

Is there a specific type of beard that you're into?
I like the rugged, mountain-man beard, personally. I won't discriminate, but my favorite kind of beard is one that could potentially be a homeless beard. Like, you actually have to discover if they're un-groomed for a reason. I like a really unkempt beard.

So you're saying to have a shot with you, I would need a homeless beard and something to do with a bag of quarters?
You would also have to have a big dick, and I don't really know anything about that. Then you're probably good to go.

Well, I'll work on the beard and quarters. Rihanna recently said that she "didn't want the generic pop record that Ke$ha or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry could do."
I haven't even read that. I'm so used to the media flipping my words around that I'm sure she meant absolutely no offense to me or Katy or Gaga—Rihanna and me are totally cool, we were just on tour together, and I know that she and Katy are good friends. I don't take any offense because I'm sure it's bullshit anyway.

They're all known, at least in part, for their left-of-center outfits. You just wore garbage bags to an award show—is there a subconscious crazy-outfit competition going on among you guys?
I was trying to look super-hot. I like to poke fun at when people make fun of me, because I don't take myself that seriously. People say I'm "garbage chic," so I thought I'd take it to the next level and make a garbage bag super fucking chic—and I succeeded!

 

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