Nicki Minaj touches on a range of subjects that include twerkin’ in the pool, Drake’s relationship with YMCMB and more.
On being fascinated with her hair when she was nine:
“I was doing every- and anything to it—putting in wads of gel and brushing it to the next century, and just thinking I was so cute. I always thought I had an eye for that stuff.”
On her philosophy that hair allowed you to reinvent yourself:
“I had done something I thought was really, really, really cute, and I showed my neighbor. She was like, ‘Why’d you do that to your hair?’ And I never forget what I said: ‘I’m someone new in this hair.’”
On her chat with Jay-Z about world domination:
“I never thought about music as just being the end-all, be-all. I always looked at it like a business, something that I could create an empire out of. So that’s why I’m only about to put out my second album and I’m already thinking about this. I had a little conversation with Jay-Z at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. He said, ‘Congratulations on all your success.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m coming for you. I’m coming for your spot, Mr. Mogul.’”
She currently lives in a condo in L.A., where she moved for the weather but also to escape “some bad memories.” Though she declines to divulge much about her personal life, she readily admits to snuggling up in hotel beds, unwinding after a performance by watching Forensic Files and Judge Judy. Minaj insists she’s terrible at small talk and never goes out much, except for the occasional foray to a favorite restaurant. “I went to Negril the other night, and I brought, like, ten of the fans who were waiting outside with me, and bought them all food!”
Now Minaj is expected to be a glamour girl every day. Her ensembles—“They’re costumes, not outfits”—are often custom-made or imported from Japan, where little-known designers like Shojono Tomo supply items like the nutty plastic apron Minaj wore during New York Fashion Week last September. (If she has yet to market her distinctive naughty–baby doll look, Minaj has already entered the world of cosmetics, launching a nail-polish collaboration with OPI and becoming a 2012 M.A.C. Viva Glam spokesperson.) In her downtime, she is far from label-obsessed. “If I can combine designer things with other things, I’m a happy camper.” Not so with accessories. At one time she was spending $50,000 a month on “Giuseppe, Versace, YSL, and Fendi shoes. And I bought tons of Vuitton bags. When you’re a young girl from Queens, you’re going to stock up on those bags.”
Still, Minaj is adamant that her legacy will not be one of a free-spending, know-nothing celebrity. She’s planning “an enormous foundation to nurture girls. The Nicki Minaj girl is a fun, artsy girl who can become a fierce force to be reckoned with on Wall Street! They hang on my every word, so I tell them, go to school, be ambitious. The worst position is to be financially dependent on the man.” And what of that alternate Nicki, serving her lord and master a martini by the pool? The fuchsia waves shake furiously. “I could never be that girl!”
Check out excerpts from Nicki Minaj’s interview for Paper magazines Spring Issue.
SD: I saw you sitting front row next to Anna Wintour at Fashion Week. Genius! Such a fabulous couple. What was going through your thoughts?
NM: Yes! I was screaming out loud inside my head. Me sitting next to the Queen of Vogue! It was such a strange experience. I felt like I was dreaming. And I thought she would be snobby or something. But she was so incredibly sweet to me.
SD: Who are your biggest style icons?
NM: Grace Jones definitely. So amazing. And Cyndi Lauper, I loved her right from when I was a little girl. And Janet Jackson of course. And Boy George. I always loved the way he dressed, and his music too.
SD: Do you have time to watch trash TV?
NM: Of course! I love Mob Wives.
SD: Me too!
NM: I love Big Ang! And I love the way those girls talk to each other: “Don’t YOU be coming at ME!!!” I love every freakin’ moment. And I watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills. Taylor and Adrienne and the girls.