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Nicki Minaj dubbed ‘The Queen of Rap’ for the latest issue of i_D

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In her first i-D cover, the best-selling female rapper of all time spoke to JT of City Girls about the landscape of hip-hop, fear, and her new album.

Like Mariah Carey and Madonna, whose lyrics are matrices of allusion and callbacks to their earlier music, Nicki has reached a point where her own work is rich enough to be the only mood board she needs. The Video Vanguard award she received at the VMAs was a testament to Nicki’s creativity and endurance in the mainstream of a music industry that rewards sameness over creativity.


To say she swam upstream is to put it lightly. In 2004, she shopped a demo CD to every record label office in New York she could think of and was unceremoniously told that female rap was dead. Signing with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label in 2009, Nicki proved that it was not only in rude health; it was ready for a total system reset.

Minaj treated her bars like four-dimensional chess-an assault of internal rhymes and multiple meanings that could meditate on *****-on-your sideburns and horror movie villains, as well as topics heard even less commonly in hip-hop: Monica Lewinsky, The Hills, the pulpy TV channel Oxygen. In Nicki’s wackadoodle world, raunch was usually laced with something funny, silly, or scary. In a verse on Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad”, she compared herself to Freddy Kruegerwhile wearing a leather corset; at the VMAs this year, she danced on a pole in Crypt Keeper contact lenses.

Full interview here: 


In her first i-D cover, the best-selling female rapper of all time spoke to JT of City Girls about...


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The album: 

JT: What are some things you got planned?

Nicki: The fifth album. I’m not gonna say when it’s gonna come out, but the album will be out soon. And I am working on a nail design company, where people will be able to buy my press-on nail with dope designs. I was already working on that before someone auctioned my press-on nail for $50,000 or whatever they spent on it.

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