After gracing the pages of V Magazine and GQ, Nicki Minaj strikes gold on the latest issue of Billboard. The rap queen dazzles in a metallic outfit and black bangs on the cover, which reads “Nicki vs. the World.”
The 31-year-old businesswoman, who has the most Hot 100 hits of any female hip-hop artist, opens up about expanding her brand, empowering women, and what she learned from her “Flawless (Remix)” collaborator Beyoncé.
She also shares her love for the movie Captain Phillips (“I’m just obsessed with [Barkhad Abdi]”) and comedian Larry David (“I love improv and comedy. I wish I could have done something like [“Curb Your Enthusiasm”]).
When asked about fellow rap diva Iggy Azalea, Nicki gives the writer a “withering, wordless stare.” The article mentions that when an Iggy song came over the studio speaker, a member of Nicki’s team turned it off.
In addition to releasing her third album The Pinkprint on December 15, Nicki plans to produce a TV show in 2015, is eyeing her next acting role, and is launching her as-yet-unnamed record label with singer Parker Ighile and rapper Brinx.
So what does she like to do when she’s not running her empire? “Have sex,” said a candid Nicki.
Read highlights and see more photos below.
On being a boss: “I’m on 15 to 25 conference calls every few days strategizing with my team. I think a lot of artists sit back and have it done for them. Sometimes as women in the industry—if you’re sexy or like doing sexy things—some people subconsciously negate your brain. They think you’re stupid.”
On staying relevant: “It’s corny when rappers feel like they’ve made it and they don’t have to prove themselves anymore. You should always be competing. You should always be trying to show that you’re the best. My album is going to be important to hip-hop.”
On what she learned from her mother: “My mother always had this attitude that she didn’t take no for an answer. So I guess that carried on to me.”
On “American Idol”: “Thank God I did that show. At least I was able to show my true self, speak and have a mind.”
On “Anaconda”: “Everything we see that’s labeled as beautiful is very skinny. In the song I kind of say, ‘F**k them skinny girls.’ But it’s all love. I consider myself a skinny girl. I went overboard with the video to show that I’m not going to hide. And those big-booty dancers I have, they’re not going to hide. Black girls should feel sexy, powerful, and important too.”
On Beyoncé: “There’s something about her work ethic that always made me feel like no matter how hard stuff gets, I’m not allowed to complain. Some women give me the feeling that where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Photo credit: Brian Bowen Smith/Billboard