ďPeople are gonna hear that name and be like Ďoh my God, this bitch is a birdí but check this out; this bitch got in the same room with the President of the United States of America. People donít look at that on the large scale and just see that she was giving him head. I knew it was gonna get attention and people would have to something to say but you gotta understandÖ Iím with the president of Young Money, the hottest rapper in the world right now. Monica was able to get at the biggest person in the world and she had him to herself. She couldíve used that to her advantage but she didnít and thatís a sad story. Nicki Lewinsky is a different story.Ē
Lil Wayne was tapped to participate in a recent edition of The Come Up DVD series that also featured Nicki Minaj and much like President Clinton, didnít hesitate to use his influence to get near this woman who intrigued him. In no time at all, Nicki was an official member of Wayneís Young Money Entertainment and prepping her Sucka Free mixtape which, besides cameos from Jadakiss and Wayne himself, features Nicki flexing her rap muscle to make sure you realize that sheís not just a pretty puppet spitting Wayneís lyrics. Still, while Nicki stresses that sheís her own woman and more than just a sexy album cover, she definitely has a sense of humor about the whole thing.
ďThe metaphor does not carry all the way throughÖ but shout-out to the president though.Ē
Name: Nicki Minaj.
From: Northside Jamaica, Queens.
Influences: Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill.
Getting Into Music: "[Iíve been rapping for] a couple years, maybe three. I wasnít really taking it seriously at first; Iíve maybe been taking seriously for like a year. Fendi kept telling me that he was gonna get it poppiní like, 'Youíre not even gonna be able to walk down Jamaica Avenue anymore,' and I was like, 'Yeah, rightÖ nobodyís gonna care about me rapping,' but all of a sudden things started happening off the Come Up DVD and I was like, 'Well maybe I should be taking this seriously then.'Ē
Before That: "I was singing, I was acting, that sort of thingÖ I really wanted to be an actress, but I stayed working because I wanted to be fly and support myself. When you act, every time you get an audition you gotta drop everything leave, so I had to put that on the back burner. Iím the next Halle Berry, people just donít know it yet."
Getting Down With Lil Wayne: "He was on the Come Up DVD Volume 11 and that was the first time the world was about to see Niki Minaj. I was strategically put right behind Lil Wayne so that he would have to see me. Lo and behold, Wayne did watch the DVD and as heís watching his thing, he saw mine and was like 'Yeah dawg, I waní shawty for my label, dawg; Iím feeling shawty, dogÖĒ [note: Nickiís Lil Wayne impression is priceless]
Being Compared to Lilí Kim and Foxy Brown: "You know itís funny, I donít think I sound like Kim or Foxy. I love them, but I donít know why people keep saying that. I think being from New York, the swag probably has a lot to do with it. They were so strong and when they spoke, people listened; you never felt like they played the back and maybe in a way I draw inspiration from that. I may be a female but I have so much power in my words and my aura. I get that from New York. I donít even think itís just Foxy or Kim, New York girls are just more forward and weíre cocky."
On Using Sex to Sell: "I donít think of that as much as I think about being relevant. People donít like to be fooled, yíknow? The sexy thing can only carry you so far and my thing is being lyrical and being focused on my music more than being sexy and having a picture where Iím squatting and licking a lollipop. I know one day that sexiness is gonna fade. Thatís why you gotta hear the mixtape. Iím not just saying that because itís me; I meanÖ I donít mean to toot my own horn but 'toot toot,' the shit is crazy."
On Potential Beef With Other Female Rappers: "I donít worry about getting in beef because I personally feel that thereís no such thing as beefing on wax anymore. People make their own assessment. Theyíre gonna listen to my CD and any other girlís CD and theyíre gonna battle us whether we have beef or not. The beef thing is really overrated and as black females, we need to do better. Itís about being creative and cocky, yeah, but the beef thing is really unnecessary."
Getting Caught in the Middle of Wayneís Feud With The Re-Up Gang: "I donít feel like I have to be a part of it but I do believe in the motto 'guilty by association,' so if Wayneís got a problem with somebody, youíre not gonna find Nicki Minaj chiliní with them and being all buddy-buddy. As far as me being part of some beef though, nah, Iím still trying to get my feet wet. Iím not far enough in my career to get involved in some beef or carry that on my shoulders. Heís definitely first in command so whatever he says goes, but I donít think Wayne even pays attention to the beef as much as the media anyway."
On Women Who Donít Write Their Lyrics: "My take on writing is that a man doesnít have more smarts than me and writing is about how intelligent you are. I started out writing essays, short stories and R&B songs so itís nothing for me to rap. For a female to not write her own raps sends a bad message because itís not like it takes muscles and physical strength, it takes mental strength. What are you a rapper for if you donít write raps? I donít understand it; I think a lot of these bitches really need their card pulled."
Plans For the Album: "I want to work with Polow and Swizz Ö those two are high on my list right now. I also want to do the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill type thing. I donít think people get that vibe from me but if you hear my mixtape, thereís a few joints on there where I really tap into all the issues. I came from a broken home and my family was crazy dysfunctional, plus I came form the Reagan-era where every corner was crack. If I didnít have a spiritual connection with God, I woulda been in streets going crazy. I talk about those things on my mixtape and I really want to tap into that on the album level."
On Her Message to Young Girls: "Nicki Minaj doesnít promote being sexy and being stupid. Females have so much power in their pussy that if they would understand it and really, really get it, we would be bosses and presidents and moguls and entrepreneurs but we donít get that. Donít go around being stupid and having sex and not get anything out of it. Nicki Minaj is not a nun, Nicki Minaj is not a preacher. Youíve seen the pictures; Iím crazy, but I feel like I can do that and still be a boss because when thereís no more 'lights, camera, action' and itís time to put on the suit and get the briefcase, IĎm good."
Her Advice to Other Young Artists: "Listen to your mother and listen to adults because when youíre young, you think you know everything. I wish I wouldíve realized how dumb I was back then because I wouldíve really pursued my talent at a young age. I urge young artists to write their own raps. Proof-read the contracts over and over and take it to attorneys. Anything you sign right now, thatís your life. Donít just jump at a couple hundred thousand because it sounds like a lot of money. Know what youíre worth."