Rapper/Singer/Songwriter/Model/Spokeswoman NICKI MINAJ covers the December 2014/January 2015 issue of COMPLEX!!!
Here are some interview highlights:
What’s behind your more natural look and your street singles reminiscent of earlier “Mixtape Nicki”?
I didn’t go back to “Mixtape Nicki.” That’s how [members of the media] feel, but that’s not what I’ve done. I’ve never stopped rapping; I’ve never stopped doing freestyles; I’ve never stopped doing remixes and features; I’ve never stopped raising the bar lyrically. I understand and respect people’s opinions when they hear me do certain things and say she’s “going back,” but I haven’t gone back, I’ve moved forward. I’ve always been evolving.
You’ve said The Pinkprint will be your most personal album yet. What are you addressing about your past and present that you haven’t before?
My family, loss, death, guilt…. I’ve struggled with a lot of guilt.
Guilt over what?
When you’re working and you’re busy and you’re successful, no matter what, something suffers, whether it’s your relationship with your mother, your relationship with your whole family, not being able to go to your brother’s graduation…. Certain things suffer and take the back burner, not because they’re on the back burner in your heart but because the world just moves so quickly. A lot of people, when they’re chasing their dreams, they have to leave people they love. A lot of artists feel that guilt but they don’t express it.
Has your relationship with your family suffered?
Yes, because I feel like I’m the voice of reason in my family and I’ve always taken control and tried to lead and tried to be the one to help my family stay on the right path. When I’m not there, and something doesn’t work out, I always think to myself, “If I was there, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Jay Z’s The Blueprint inspired the title The Pinkprint and the idea of laying the blueprint for female rappers to come. What similarities do you see between you right now and Jay circa The Blueprint?
I can’t. I have no idea what he was doing before The Blueprint dropped. It’s not that literal. People keep asking me about Jay’s The Blueprint and they think I’m doing something like that. I made reference to The Blueprint because Jay is the biggest rapper of our time. The name of the album was inspired by Jay but not the body of work. I do think that it’s going to create new rules, though, in [the way] that [The Blueprint did].
In 2012, when you spoke with Miss Info for your last COMPLEX cover, you said, “In five years, ideally, I’d like to be married and have kids.” This year, you said that the end goal is to make $500 million and do five albums. Would you retire after five albums and just have a family?
Yeah. I won’t use the word “retire” but I would use the word “vacation”—because I don’t believe in vacations, I don’t believe in holidays. I have to put out all six of my albums, contractually. After the fifth, I’ll probably have my baby. I wonder if I’m going to be one of those women who balances my child with a career. I always said, “When I have my baby, it’s going to be all about my baby.” I don’t want the child feeling like they don’t have all of my attention, so I always said, “I’m going to take a little break.” But we’ll see.