Nicki MInaj Covers T Magazine’s “The Greats” Issue
While Cardi B has pretty much eclipsed every artist on the charts, both male and female, Nicki Minaj remains a central figure in pop culture — at least as far as The New York Times’ T Magazine is concerned. After all Nicki did land one of the seven covers designated for their “The Greats'” issue.
While much of the article retreads familiar territory to any seasoned fan (her background as a waitress, her quirky character voices, her status as a fashionista, etc… ) but the good news is that Nicki is talking new music and a new attitude in the article revealing what this next project will sound like:
“sonically, I know what the album’s about to sound like. I know what this album is gonna mean to my fans. This album is everything in my life coming full circle and me being truly, genuinely happy. It feels almost like a celebration. The last album, ‘The Pink Print,’ was almost like my diary, closing the chapter on certain things and not knowing if I was happy or sad about beginning new chapters. I was really writing about feeling unsure. Now, I can tell you guys what happened for the last two years of my life. I know who I am. I am getting Nicki Minaj figured out with this album and I’m loving her.”
Nicki avoids taking shots at the competition for the story, but she does quite a bit of name dropping that we foresee plenty of folks reading into. Take for example, her checklist on what makes a great rapper:
“Do you sound intelligent? Does your flow switch up? Are you in command of the beat? I listen for things like that.” Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown — “Those are the three I keep in my head when I’m writing because they’ve influenced me so much,” she says. “I feel like I’m a part of all of them.”
She tells me that around two years ago, Kanye West said to her, “ ‘Every girl I hear rap, I can hear Nicki in her rap.’ I didn’t ask him who, but that was such a great compliment. Because sometimes you think you’re the only one that can hear those types of things.”
Do you agree with Kanye’s assessement? And do you think that Nas and Lil Kim should feel some type of way about not being named as influences?
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Nicki also plays into the gender conversation to some extent saying,:
“I believe in my gift wholeheartedly,” she says. But this self-assurance was not easy to come by. “Sometimes I wake up and say, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore,’ you know? I’ve had those times. I’ve had those years where I’m just like, ‘Am I good enough?’ ” But she believes in her “ability to withstand what would break the normal girl,” she says.
At this point in her career, Minaj is able to reconcile, somewhat, her struggles. “I kind of love that I’ve had to go through so many hurdles to get where I am because I feel like I deserve it.” She is frank about what she has been up against. “I had so much going against me in the beginning: being black, being a woman, being a female rapper. No matter how many times I get on a track with everyone’s favorite M.C. and hold my own, the culture never seems to want to give me my props as an M.C., as a lyricist, as a writer. I got to prove myself a hundred times, whereas the guys that came in around the same time as I did, they were given the titles so much quicker without anybody second-guessing.”
Do you think that being female was more of an advantage or disadvantage for Nicki? Are you excited to hear her album? Nicki hasn’t announced the name of her new project but she’s said the title is “super, super iconic.” What do you think it could be?
Speaking of iconic, check out the other six covers below: