In a new interview with Details magazine, Nicki Minaj talks about being gay in hip-hop, her father’s fiery past, being a role model to young women, the gift she plans to give Lil Wayne in jail, her love for adult-contemporary singer Enya, and how much she gets paid to do a feature. This ain’t your average Barbie.
Q: As an openly bisexual rapper, do you think hip-hop is getting more gay-friendly?
A: 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.
Q: Have you seen the YouTube video where Michelle Trachtenberg raps one of your verses?
A: She’s the cutest thing. I just wanted to reach into the computer and kiss her. I might have to get her on a track.
Q: Your father set fire to your home when you were a kid in Queens, New York. What happened?
A: He drank a lot and did drugs, and he would get violent when he did. When he set fire to the house, he was attempting to kill my mother. She got out before it burned all the way down. I’ve always had this female-empowerment thing in the back of my mind—because I wanted my mother to be stronger, and she couldn’t be. I thought, “If I’m successful, I can change her life.”
Q: As younger and younger fans come to your shows, do you feel pressure to tone down the racier elements of your persona?
A: I do. I’m a role model now. I didn’t know I was gonna have 13-year-old fans, so I’ve tried to change a few things here and there. But I also know that the girls don’t want me to be Miley Cyrus, either.
Q: Are you going to send your mentor Lil Wayne a gift while he’s in prison?
We were at a Jay-Z concert right before he went away, and he said, “Yo, Nick, how come you never bring any bad bitches around with you?” I said, “My fault. I’ve got you next time!” So I’ll send him a poster of a bad bitch to put up in his cell.
Q: Is it true that you’re a big Enya fan?
A: Who doesn’t love Enya? Whenever I’m in a trying time, she is the calm in the middle of the storm. If I put her on, I’ll be in this crazy peaceful state. I love her style. And her harmonies are freaking genius.
Q: You’ve rapped on songs for Usher, Mariah Carey, and Robin Thicke. How much do you charge for a cameo?
I get a handsome amount. I could definitely buy a car off one of my guest appearances. And I’m not talking about a Hyundai.
Read the full interview here.