Nicki Minaj Scores Cover of New York Times Magazine

Nicki Minaj Scores Cover of New York Times Magazine

The world’s biggest female rap superstar has meticulously crafted her own image—and maintained it with uncompromising control

by Vanessa Grigoriadis, October 7, 2015

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Nicki Minaj Scores Cover of New York Times Magazine

Nobody smiling.

Addressing Miley Cyrus at VMAs: “The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects Black women makes me feel like you have some big balls. You’re in videos with Black men, and you’re bringing out Black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how Black women feel about something that’s so important? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad. If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn’t not want to know that.”

On confidence in her looks during her childhood: “Hell, no!” She paused. “Now, I want to take steps to become more aware of who I am, what I like or dislike about my body—why is that?” she said. She mentioned how insecure she felt on Instagram, “where everyone is freaking drop-dead gorgeous.”

On women and money: “From early on in my life, I looked at a woman not having her money as the biggest curse,” and then added, ‘‘Now that I’m an adult, I realize that women stay whether a man’s rich or poor. It’s just a weakness.”

On men and work: “Since I was 15, I came out of one relationship and went into another relationship. In my relationships, I’ve been told, ‘You don’t have to work that much.’ But I can’t stop working, because it’s bigger than work to me. It’s having a purpose outside any man.”

 
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