She towers above a building in red heels and a black bob on the cover and shows off her impressive body of work while posing against various architectural backdrops.
In the interview, Nicki opens up about returning to her roots, her friendship with Drake, and her plans to start a family after her fifth album.
“I have to put out all six of my albums, contractually,” she said. “After the fifth, I’ll probably have my baby. I wonder if I’m going to be one of those women who balances my child with a career. I always said, ‘When I have my baby, it’s going to be all about my baby.’ I don’t want the child feeling like they don’t have all of my attention, so I always said, ‘I’m going to take a little break.’ But we’ll see.”
But before she puts down the mic, she will release her most personal album yet, The Pinkprint, on December 15. “The album is a dope balance of vulnerability and strength, of inspiration and of not being politically correct,” she said. “It’s the best of both worlds. It’s tapping into both sides.”
Read highlights and see more photos below.
On “Mixtape Nicki”: “I didn’t go back to ‘Mixtape Nicki.’ That’s how [members of the media] feel, but that’s not what I’ve done. I’ve never stopped rapping; I’ve never stopped doing freestyles; I’ve never stopped doing remixes and features; I’ve never stopped raising the bar lyrically. I understand and respect people’s opinions when they hear me do certain things and say she’s ‘going back,’ but I haven’t gone back, I’ve moved forward. I’ve always been evolving.”
On comparing The Pinkprint to Jay Z’s The Blueprint: “I made reference to The Blueprint because Jay is the biggest rapper of our time. The name of the album was inspired by Jay but not the body of work. I do think that it’s going to create new rules, though, in [the way] that [The Blueprint did].”
On the “Anaconda” cover art: “The reason why I stopped taking pictures like that was because I needed to prove myself. I needed for people to take me seriously. I needed for people to respect my craft. I’ve proven that I’m an MC. I’m a writer; I’m the real deal, so if I want to take sexy pictures, I can. I’m at the level in my career and in my life now where I can do whatever the hell I want to.”
On Drake’s appearance in the “Anaconda” video: “He’s such a dope actor. After he did that we just busted out laughing and we all were cracking up. He’s such a good sport. I love that he makes fun of himself and doesn’t take himself too seriously. That’s why my friendship with him works so well. That’s why I love him to death.”
On blogs: “I’m not on blogs, so I didn’t know. People see me retweet stuff and they think I’m some Internet person but I’m not. … I don’t want any negativity. I don’t want to hear what’s on the blog. I don’t care.”
On her biggest fear: “If I’m done with my fifth album and I don’t have a child by then, no matter how much money I have, I would be disappointed, as a woman, because I feel like I was put here to be a mother. I have definitely put off the wife thing because I don’t want people in my business. I’d rather not do anything that’s going to be on paper but I definitely will be married before I have my baby. I want to make sure I do it in that order. … By the fifth album, I will have walked down the aisle and I will at least be on baby number one, possibly baby number two. [Laughs] And have $500 million.”
Photo credit: Vijat Mohindra/Complex