Nicki Minaj in V Magazine: Lady Gaga-esque bizarreness, or totally unique?

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V Magazine’s February cover girl is Nicki Minaj – the cover story is called “The Rise and Rise of NICKI MINAJ”. Now… I don’t know that much about Minaj, other than: she and Drake have a little something going on and she’s obsession-worthy for her sheer bizarreness. I also tend to think – don’t hate me – that she’s pulling the same shtick as Lady Gaga. Crazy costumes, the concentration on “weirdness” rather than “sexiness”, the promotion of dance music that the gays will embrace… the comparisons are there. That being said, from what little I know of Minaj, I do like her. And I like the strangeness of this photo shoot. It was done by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin – hey, it’s so much more interesting than some vapid, sexed-up booty girl, righ?

“Everything I do has been approved by me personally. My team is mostly made up of guys, but none of them would ever think about telling me what to wear or what to do with my hair. They know that ultimately I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do.” –Nicki Minaj

During a radio interview last summer in support of Kanye West’s new single, “Monster” – a psych-rap posse track featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and indie-folk singer Bon Iver – West declared Minaj to be “the scariest artist in the game right now – she has the most potential to be the number two rapper of all time.” (Number one, in Kanye’s mind, being Eminem.) It was the kind of outré pronouncement we’ve come to expect from West, but nevertheless the sound bite set off serious reverberations in the rap community. Nicki Minaj…the funny face with the Day-Glo wigs, bounteous curves, and multiple personalities? Number two rapper of all time? In-old school hip hop circles the idea could be considered profane.

Now, just in the wake of her debut album, Minaj is deadly serious about not taking it all too seriously.

“I’m an entertainer – I like to make people laugh,” she says. “Some will hate it and some will love it, but all will remember it. And that’s what I want: to be remembered. Even if I’m saying something hard-core or controversial, there’s always a touch of humor, and if you don’t like it, it means I’m stirring things up inside of you.”

At the same time, there’s a lot going on inside the artist’s own head.

“I just always want to do ‘me,’ but ‘me’ changes every day. I would crumble up and die if I had to wake up and be the same person every day. I don’t silence those voices anymore. I just let them speak.”

[From V Magazine]

She even talks like Gaga, you know? There should be a Minaj/Gaga collaboration. Beyonce would hate that, wouldn’t she?

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Photos courtesy of V Magazine.

 

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42 Responses to “Nicki Minaj in V Magazine: Lady Gaga-esque bizarreness, or totally unique?”

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  1. di butler says:

    Drake is a down low brother who used to dance for coin at batchelor parties. Notice I said batchelor and didn’t add an “ette?” She is only moderately talented, but like all the new acts, terrible manufactured. So, I guess the Gaga comparison is pretty good.

  2. Tilla says:

    She’s an accomplished and very talented female rapper, she’s been around for quite awhile. Listen to Monster, a collaboration she had with Kanye West, JayZ etc.

  3. DetRiotgirl says:

    I have a little girl crush on Nicki. I think she’s beautiful, and she is very entertaining. While I find Lady Gaga preachy, obnoxious and contrived, I find Nicki refreshingly weird.

    Ultimately, I think it has to do with Gaga’s music being so very, very generic. It’s not bad. But, it’s not great either. Meanwhile, Nicki has a strange “WTF just happened?” effect on my ears. Her odd little voices crack me up. Nicki is genuinely unique in her genre of music.

    That being said, Nicki can be a little overwhelming when she’s all on her own. She sometimes gets lost in her own ambition on her solo stuff. But, she is a fantastic guest artist. I know if a single features Nicki Minaj, she will be the highlight of the song and totally put all the boys on the track to shame.

  4. KLO says:

    Beautiful, talented girl. Boring and freakish styling.

  5. Hakura says:

    For some reason, I find her very likable too. =) She doesn’t seem to be putting on airs or coming across particularly diva-like.

    I agree that she’s talented & entertaining. If you consider how difficult it is for a female rapper to be successful in the business, I really give her credit for infiltrating a primarily ‘male’ profession. & it would be BAD ASS if she & Gaga collaborated.

    I agree about unique photoshoots. She does have a lot of style choices that are similar to Gaga, but that’s not to say she’s copying her. It’s a great way to get people to notice you (especially valuable for a new artist), & draws them in.

    But that comes with a price, as Gaga has surely realized. You can only do *so* many outrageous things with fashion before it’s no longer surprising or interesting. It comes with a backlash, for sure. The icons who’ve made this work for them longterm (such as Madonna) were able to keep going because they knew how to be controversial & unique, then reinvent themselves.

    I hope no one shoots me over this, but I just have to ask. Kanye West really thinks Eminem is the best rapper in the world? I know I may be wrong in this assumption, but I honestly thought Kanye was pretty racist. I’m surprised that he thinks a white guy is better than anyone else in a music style primarily made up of african americans.

  6. gabs says:

    Go Nicki! I didnt think shed get a cover for a classy fashion mag. I thought shed be stuck with men magazines only. Beautiful and talented but I dont like the shoot. I like the idea of it but it wasn’t executed right. Idk. She should do something with gaga definitely! I like them both.Also, Kanye thinks Eminem is the best rapper of ALL time? Em is great, but of ALL TIME? Maybe I need to go listen to his cds again because…

    *kanye shrug*

  7. Darlene says:

    I saw her on Ellen. I liked her quite a bit! She’s awesome!

  8. Oh fuck there goes my last bastian of no Nicki… Please this girl is anything BUT original, she is a sneeky bitch and that’s a fact.
    She got noticed by covering Lil Kim songs, Jacking Kims early style (colored wigs etc) and then she had the cheek to throw all these subliminal shots at Kim (a legend) through her music. If you think she’s a nice girl listen to her interview with Angie Martinez that she did just before her album dropped where she slags of Lil Kim she sounds like Regina George from Mean Girls lmao and then she dropped a diss track at Kim but when Kim responded with her own diss (which demolished Nicki) she started to play the victim saying Kim is holding young females back.

    There’s a whole lot of shit i could go into about this fraud including the fact that she’s comming up to Kim Kardashians level of surgery, a couple of years ago (before she was signed) she had no ass at all and now look and she looks like she’s a had a boob job and other stuff done.

    All in all she’s a crap rapper that does Hip POP (nor Hip Hop)who stays on top by swagger jacking, bitching and selling out.

  9. the_porscha says:

    KelBear – It’s fake as a Kardashian. There’s a picture timeline somewhere on the interwebz – I believe on Bossip – that’s pretty telling, in that arena.

    Anyhow, I like her fine. I don’t go out of my way to listen to her, but I find her guest appearances on other tracks to be really, really good. She often outshines the main artists. Her solo work is not my favorite, but I have hopes she’ll progress.

    I think she’s different from Gaga in that she seems to be a bit more concerned with being down to earth. As in, Minaj probably wants to take over the hip-hop/rap world, and I get the impression (from everything she says and does) that Gaga wants to take over the whole damn world, period.

  10. 1Londy_ says:

    Love her! Love her music! Team Nicki!!!!!

  11. Sara says:

    I think she looks ridiculous, trying too hard. I don’t really care for her music either. Lady Gaga has better music imo yet I think she usually looks ridiculous too

  12. VV says:

    I always find her more Missy Elliot than Gaga, I mean Missy was all about the weird, the bizarre and pushing boundaries before Minaj or Gaga showed up.

    Rain [Supa dupa fly] anyone? Dancing in a garbage bag etc? No one remembers Missy?

    The difference here is Minaj is playing up the pretty more than Missy ever did.

    That said I still like Minaj, I prefer her to most female rappers. She seems really fun and intelligent.

  13. Nikkers says:

    She was on Fashion Police with Joan Rivers (not sure why I was watching but oh well) and she was adorable. She came off very well.

    As for the shoot, like the concept but it was poorly executed. The facial makeup is terribly done.

  14. Megan says:

    I miss the days when a person was recognized for their TALENT and not some goofy wig/outift/makeup etc. that they wear.

  15. Whatever!! says:

    Who is she? Never heard of her.

  16. RHONYC says:

    anyone whose seen kanye’s ‘love lockdown’ vid would know this is a nod to those chicks in the video.

    i call it very ‘amazon voodoo priestess goddess’ looking and i LOVE it.

    she’s making a statement with the tribal/war paint, like “THIS IS AMAZON QUEEN WARFARE B*TCHES!”

    i love the crazy on her…it tickles me so. nicki is crazy like a fox, all the way to the bank! :lol:

    PINK FRIDAY!
    ALL DAY!
    EVERYDAY!
    *ch-yeah!*

  17. Hakura says:

    @VV (#13)- Rain [Supa dupa fly] anyone? Dancing in a garbage bag etc? No one remembers Missy?

    Oh God, I’d forgotten about that! I love that song. xD & the video was certainly original.

    Another artist who was doing unique things before Gaga was Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez of TLC. Granted some of her styles weren’t quite as outlandish as Minaj’s…but they were still very original & creative.

    @Nikkers (#14)- She was on Fashion Police with Joan Rivers (not sure why I was watching but oh well) and she was adorable. She came off very well.

    Ashamed though I am to admit it, I also saw that episode. Actually, that’s what I based a lot of my opinion on, in regards to her seeming generally nice.

    I know she’s had a ton of plastic surgery…(Her ass could now be used as a flotation device for a family of 6). But luckily she hasn’t destroyed her face with it yet.

    I need to read up on that Lil Kim thing, I only know vague things about it.

  18. Bellatrix says:

    I’m seeing more a clean Ke$sha vibe than Gaga attitude in these pictures…

    It’s getting difficult keeping all these clowns apart. Genuinely.
    What a circus this pop music business is nowadays.

    Where’s Bowie when you need him?

  19. June says:

    1. Not her idea anyway, up to a stylist.

    2. It’s a women’s mag, so I’m not getting the arched back and major bewbage.

  20. anti says:

    maybe she is “fighting the hotness”?

    kesha ruined body paint for everyone.

  21. Gabriela says:

    This is all very interesting, but why didn’t you cover her feud with LIL KIM???

  22. Genevieve says:

    Jay-Z is a known Illuminati member…she’s got the all knowing eye painted on her thigh. Dumb girl…

  23. Blaster says:

    She’s had more surgery than KatFace Kardashian (Copyright: Kaiser)

    Her Face, ass, boobs, nose, cheeks, everything.

  24. Quest says:

    Nicki has Caribbean roots and has been in the music industry for quite sometime. She has done a number of collaboration with various artist all over. Her real name is Onika Maraj and always had a big ass. Yes she had some work done… but do your research before going off on someone. I think her music is different and that is what we like. I don’t think she is coping Gaga, she is just trying to standout (good strategy) especially in this industry.

  25. Iris says:

    yeah she did have a lot of plastic surgery. google her and you’ll be surprised by her transformation!

    I don’t like her personally bc she was so disrespectful to her predecessor who opened doors for her (Lil Kim)

  26. meg says:

    Sorry, with the makeup all I see is Tommy Davidson painted up in Ace Ventura.

  27. wendy says:

    Love Minaj!

    Crazy hair, makeup and clothing are a form of entertainment and self expression so it is no surprise that many artists are choosing to experiment(with the help of a styling team of course)to add another layer to their work.

    And why shouldn’t they? They are having fun. Nothing wrong with having fun.

  28. Johanna says:

    “Manning Eli, Ma-ma-ma-Manning Eli” I love her! Lady Gaga fails because she acts as if her shtick is original plus she acts so pretentious & I don’t believe Niki’s persona is anything new either but at least she gives credit where it’s due. She has openly said that she was influenced by Lil Kim that’s why I can’t understand the heavy animosity that Lil Kim has towards her… oh wait, Niki is in the spotlight & Lil Kim is a has been. Now, I understand clearly.

  29. Bronson says:

    i’m not trying to be a hater because i really respect that she doesn’t take herself too too seriously and calls herself an “entertainer” rather than trying to become the “number 2″ rapper of all time, but there is no way that those tits and ass are real:

    http://yeahshesaidit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Nicki-Minaj-Booty-300×244.jpg

  30. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I gotta admit I like her … I saw her on Fashion Police and she was hilarious. Makes me want to try out her music …

  31. crtb says:

    Love Love Love the way she looks!
    She is soooooooooooooo cute!

  32. gg says:

    I still can’t get over the pretentious pidgen-French phony last name.

  33. Heaven bound says:

    @ Genevieve, I noticed that too. Anyone that is associated with Jay-Z is of that same school of Masonry. And that they push the “multiple personalities schtick” … She is nothing but original it has ALL been Done before folks.

  34. hannah says:

    i hate her voice. i have to turn off any song she is in…it is grating

    that said, she has a nice (though plastic) body

  35. Hakura says:

    @Bronson (#30)- Here’s a larger version of that picture you included, as well as a shot of her face:

    Nicki Minaj Before & After [Butt].
    Nicki Minaj Before & After [Face].

    To me, it’s pretty obvious that she’s at least had her nose tweaked a bit. Not that it’s a sin or anything. But her face does look very different than the pictures from a few years ago.

    @Quest (#25)- “Yes she had some work done… but do your research before going off on someone.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but there’s nothing wrong with speculating based on pictures, or rumors. Just talking about it doesn’t make it ‘going off‘ on someone. & Unless she’s outright admitted it publicly, research only does so much good.

  36. Nikki says:

    Some of the pics are bizarre, but she’s beautiful, she looks like an Egyptian queen!

  37. Quest says:

    @Hakura#36: “going off”

    Did not mean anything lewd by the statement, just commented on the comparison made between Gaga and Minaj -I don’t get the deal??? I think the both have their unique look and characteristics as some kinda brand. I like her and find her somewhat likable and she seems really down to earth. Boob job, nose job, whatever it is quite a norm in the industry

  38. Hakura says:

    @Quest (#38)- I apologize, I misinterpreted your meaning behind ‘going off’ (to be more like our talking about it in general was somehow an insult.)

    You’re right. I recently ended up on a few ‘plastic surgery before & after’ sites. So many celebrities that I’d had *no* idea had surgeries… Nose jobs seem to be even more common than breast augmentations.

    Like Halle Berry, that really surprised me, I’d always believed it was natural. & Beyonce, Rihanna, Megan Fox, Britney…the list goes on & on. Pretty much every singer/popular actress out there has had their nose worked on. It’s even more common than I’m sure a lot of people realize.

  39. slymm27 says:

    i want her body….wish i had her body! That body is the sh*t!

  40. sue says:

    Wow… Nicki is holding her head tight on her shoulder, look at her art in fashion, very impressive. Ha ha!!!!!

  41. Angeljohnson says:

    Yea I think she trying so hard to be like gaga I mean I been knowin her since 2007 when she always dress up all pretty and in pink all the time would never wear anything like that now she think she lady
    she lost me as a fan go back to the hood pretty nicki