Young Money’s Nicki Minaj discusses her will to win and why it is vital to succeed in order to continue paving a lane for women in the new issue of Elle magazine.
Based on an excerpt from her feature, Elle also distinguishes the differences between Minaj and rap veteran Lil Kim.
Early on, Minaj rapped about wearing Ed Hardy (“I lived and shopped in Jamaica, Queens,” she says). These days she attends the Grammys in hair-to-toe custom Givenchy cheetah print. “I tend to like booties…[pause]”–she takes a beat to clarify: no sexual meaning implied–“and really flashy shoes: totally studded out, in five colors with an insane platform.” This knack for fashion exhibitionism often earns her comparisons to Lil’ Kim, but Minaj is more like Busta Rhymes in Gaga packaging: Unlike Kim, her style choices, and even her more sexual lyrics, seem based on her own desires, and her eccentric image masks a steely seriousness. She says she’s “fighting for the girls who never thought they could win.” But it seems victory may already be hers. (Elle Magazine)
Last year, Minaj discussed her ability to be more creative as a female rapper.
“I have a lot of freedom to be crazy. I can rap in a London accent, make weird faces, wear spandex, wigs, and black lipstick,” Minaj explained in an interview. “I can be more creative than the average male rapper. And I can show my boobs. Guys can’t do that…I think the world is getting more gay-friendly, so hip-hop is too. But it’s harder to imagine an openly gay male rapper being embraced. People view gay men as having no street credibility. But I think we’ll see one in my lifetime.” (Details)
She previously talked about having a multi-layered rap image.
“I think very often people miss that I’m from New York, and I don’t really know why that is, but I remember I said on Twitterone time, ‘Shout out to Queens,’ and all of the gay boys thought I was talking to them, and I realized that people haven’t gotten that I’m Southside Jamaica, Queens, New York City. I feel like I say it a lot, but I guess I’m not saying it that much, or it’s that I’m so diverse and I don’t always rap with the New York accent–I switch it up, you know. People don’t see me as just repping one city or one state. I actually really like that. That was always my goal: to be able to bridge that gap, you know, whether it’s to London.” (XXL Magazine)
In summer 2010, Cash Money co-founder Baby delved about Minaj’s greatness as a female rap star.
“Nicki’s special,” Baby said in an interview. “Nicki’s music is Nicki, you heard me? She do her thing, is very creative and it’s her. She’s representing the women, YM/CB [Young Money/Cash Money]. I think she is [one of the greatest], just watching when you see her name lined with the elite, the elite generals that [the fans] consider as the best and she’s still young in the game. So she’s got a lot of years. So definitely. To be a woman, that’s big though. We’ve never had a woman to be looked upon like that. I think that’s hot. And she’s talented like that. I think she surprises the world with her talent and with the creations that she do.” (Rap-Up TV)
Check out some recent Nicki Minaj footage down below: