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?
Photos courtesy of V Magazine.