Nicki is taking over!! In this NY Times “T Magazine” feature profile, reporter Horacio Silva gets to interview Ms. Barbz herself!!! The interview covers everything– from her new album, Lil Kim, her life growing up, to Roman. Check the interview & a behind the scenes video after the jump!!!
Nicki Minaj- “Asked & Answered” by Horacio Silva
Nicki Minaj, the first female rapper to top the Billboard rap chart since Missy Elliott.
Swim cocktail! Doing laps in the resort collections at Lanvin, Marc Jacobs and Chanel.
Yves Saint Laurent bandeau and skirt in waterâ€™s-edge-friendly toile.
Nicki Minaj is all things to all people â€” well, at least she is to herself. Since she burst on the scene as the mistress of the mix tape two years ago, the 26-year-old Trinidad-born rapper has assumed enough personalities to rival Sybil. Minaj has affected alter egos from Harajuku Barbie to Monica Lewinsky and her latest incarnation, Roman Zolanski. Now with a chart-topping debut album, â€œPink Friday,â€ the Young Money princess is playing a new role: superstar.
This is quite the month for my favorite femcee. You have the new CD, a new MTV documentary and a new lipstick for MAC. If youâ€™re not careful, youâ€™re going to end up turning into Oprah and ruling the world.
Yes! I hope so. I love me some Oprah. Itâ€™s the beginning stage but I never imagined in a million years that this would be happening. Itâ€™s quite surreal.
Are you happy with your first CD?
Of course! Itâ€™s amazing. Honestly, sometimes I get tired of some of the songs because they have been with me for so long but overall I never imagined that it would be something that I would cherish so much and be so proud of. Obviously, Iâ€™ve done mix tapes before but having the album out feels like I am finally a real artist, like I have the stamp of approval as an artist from myself.
Youâ€™re ready to be the superhero and not just the sidekick?
Exactly. Thatâ€™s why in â€œRomanâ€™s Revenge,â€ the song I do with Eminem, I say â€œI am not Jasmine, Iâ€™m Aladdin.â€ Itâ€™s time for the girl to be the main character, you know?
Well, youâ€™ve always been a superhero to me and part of your weaponry has always been your makeup. Itâ€™s fitting that you now have your own lipstick.
Isnâ€™t it cool? Anyone who knows me will tell you that Iâ€™m inspired by color and everyone knows I love pink. Actually, when I was first doing shoots people would always ask me to change my color of lipstick. Normally people wear different lipsticks, but pink is my thing and to change it would be like me changing my name when I walk out of the door.
A lot is made about your costumery, but tell me a bit about your personal style.
When Iâ€™m just at home or in the studio, Iâ€™d rather be chill. I like to dress down on my personal time but when itâ€™s time to go out itâ€™s on. I do like a pop of color.
And I know you have been vocal in saying that itâ€™s not all sex all the time, but you always wear body-con stuff.
Yeah, but to me itâ€™s less about wearing the tightest thing than wearing what makes me feel confident. Sometimes if something is too tight Iâ€™m not confident, Iâ€™m like, Donâ€™t look!
I saw your documentary, â€œMy Time Now,â€ and I have to say that parts of it, like when you cry talking about your grandmotherâ€™s passing, are heartbreaking. How hard is it to open up like that and talk about things like your dad doing crack?
Itâ€™s very hard and to be honest, he kind of caught me off guard when he asked me about my grandmother. I wasnâ€™t prepared to answer that question. But thatâ€™s when you get the raw emotion and if being open about the things that have happened in my life inspires someone then itâ€™s cool with me. Iâ€™ve done my part.
I thought it was also very important to show you in the studio, producing, writing on the fly, showing yourself as a creative person.
Well, itâ€™s hard to be a female rapper but itâ€™s more tough being credited with the work that you put in as a female rapper because people assume that youâ€™re not the brains behind the operation or that youâ€™re not the one doing writing these lyrics. So letting people come into my world and see that I am doing these things is good for all girls.
That brings up an interesting point because I would be pretty remiss not to mention your spat with Lilâ€™ Kim. When she badmouths you and others doesnâ€™t that just make it even harder for female rappers?
It does, it does. But the thing that I want to promote is that if you see someone doing their thing, give them their props. We all have it hard and face the same challenges as female emcees. Show some mutual love and respect for each other so that it doesnâ€™t get nasty. And she can be a nasty character.
Speaking of characters, I wasnâ€™t sure which of your alter egos would show up today. I was hoping for Roman.
[Nicki Minaj laughs and puts on a thick English accent.] Sometimes if itâ€™s really early in the morning, Roman gets cranky and doesnâ€™t want to get out of bed. Roman is lazy, you know, he wants to stay out all night and not wake up so I send Nicki out into the world. Roman has to be conjured up and now youâ€™ve conjured him.
Youâ€™ve said that Roman is a sister. Please tell me he helps out with your hair and makeup.Of course. Roman is leading the way when it comes to makeup and hair. Heâ€™s gay!