Nicki Minaj slays the cover of Marie Claire.
With a stunning side eye, the queen of rap graces the November 2016 “Power Issue” that also features other women who are “killing it right now,” including Taraji P. Henson, Ashley Graham, Natalie Portman, Jessica Williams, and Gal Gadot. The appropriate tagline? “Nicki Minaj is here to slay.”
The slaying continues inside the magazine. In one black-and-white image, shot by photographer Kai Z Feng, Nicki dons a fur jacket, black bra, and eye-popping platform boots. However, her interview was also eye-popping, with quotes about Jay Z, Beyoncé, feminism, and race.
While the interview covered some serious topics, the photo shoot was much more lighthearted. In a brief clip from the set, Nicki is shown as the do-it-all queen. She models, manages, and even photographs herself.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” she tells herself in a foreign accent. “Yes! Yes! You are the most brilliant supermodel I’ve ever met in my life.”
This could be another sign of a new album from Minaj, who released The Pinkprint in 2014. Recently, she trolled fans into thinking the LP would be titled Pick My Fruit Out, but perhaps a real title isn’t far from being revealed. Besides that, she’s also working on a TV series inspired by her life.
The “Power Issue” hits newsstands Oct. 18. Go behind the scenes of the shoot and read highlights from the Q&A below.
On young women: “Nowadays, I feel like [young women] see marrying into money–I think that’s a big thing now. I don’t want that to be a woman’s goal in life. I want your goal in life to be to become an entrepreneur, a rich woman, a career-driven woman. You have to be able to know that you need no man on this planet at all, period, and he should feel that, because when a man feels that you need him, he acts differently.”
On Jay Z: “I don’t need to read a book about [business]. I can look at someone’s career and just pinpoint the dos and the don’ts, and the one person I’ve done that with for my entire career was Jay Z. He did such a great job being an authentic street guy and a businessman, and I was like, Why aren’t there women doing that, taking the success from rap and channeling it into their empire? I felt like anything he could do, I could do.”
On Beyoncé: “Every time Bey and I do something together, I see how women are inspired, and it has nothing to do with how we look. It has to do with how we are owning who we are and telling other women you should be the boss of your own career and the brains behind your life or your decisions or your art. I just love that feeling.”
On Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne: “When Kim Kardashian’s naked picture came out, [Sharon Osbourne] praised it, and my fans attacked her for being such a hypocrite. So it wasn’t trashy and raunchy when a white woman did it, but it was when a black woman did it? It’s quite pathetic and sad, but that is my reality, and I’ve gotten accustomed to just shutting it down.”
On race and death: “We tend to not remember the black women who are mourning these men and who are thinking, Oh, my God, what am I going to tell my child now about where his father is, and the struggle it is for black women to then move on after they lose their husband or their boyfriend … The strong women in these inner cities often go unnoticed … no one really ever puts a hand out to them.”