Nicki Minaj is fierce and fabulous on the cover of Teen Vogue. The “High School” rapper, who will perform with Lil Wayne at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on May 19, models some “euphoric, girly, and powerful” looks including a pink tutu in the pages of the June/July issue. Inside the magazine, she dishes about the music industry, her childhood, and dealing with online bullies.
On the music biz: “People treat this business like it’s high school. It can absolutely feel like one big popularity contest, and you know what? I can’t be bothered. I can’t allow myself to play ridiculous games with grown adults in the industry. I can’t be nice to someone just because they’re hot right now. I can’t do it.”
On her rough childhood: “Every time my parents fought, my mother would have us move and I would have to go to a new school, which meant I’d have to face the task of making new friends. I dreaded it. I had butterflies in my stomach each time: Are people going to like or hate me? … Sometimes there’d be a fight, sometimes not. I let people know I wasn’t going to be pushed around.”
On social media: “I used to read the bad things people said about me. Then I asked myself, ‘Why am I reading that when I have millions of people saying great things?’ You cannot give negativity power. I tell teens, if you’re having a problem, there’s nothing wrong with deleting your social media. If people keep taunting you and you keep reading it, it’s poison.”