In order to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Complex unveils a special double cover issue featuring Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. The magazine caught up with the 29-year-old singer and talked about a wide range of topics including the Nicki Minaj franchise, perfection, working on her fragrance and her apparel line, setting new goals, and where she thinks she’ll be in 2022.
When it comes to accomplishments and spectacular growth, Nicki Minaj is definitely a great example in this sense. Solo set at the Grammys, Super Bowl halftime show with Madonna and M.I.A., M.A.C. Cosmetics campaign, OPI’s Nicki Minaj nail polish collection, Mattel’s Nicki Minaj Barbie Doll, and ‘Pink Friday’ certified double-platinum. In this context, what can possibly amaze Nicki Minaj?
“If I wasn’t doing it, I wouldn’t believe it’s possible. I remember when I was working with Jay-Z. It was like, ‘Oh my God. Did I really just do a song with Jay?’ I worked with Mariah and it wasn’t commercially successful. But I had fun and I made a real friendship with her. It was, obviously, a life-changing moment for me,” she says. “It does feel like every moment is getting bigger and bigger. Not only did I get a call to do a song with Madonna, but then I got a call to do a video with Madonna, and then — oh, by the way — you’re going to do the Super Bowl with Madonna. This is not really happening,” the singer adds.
On setting new goals, Nicki told Complex that, “Doing the Super Bowl with Madonna doesn’t really change Nicki Minaj’s personal goals. My goal right now is still to put out Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, sell five million copies eventually, and tour every country in the world. That’s what I’ve been working toward. So while the world is talking about, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe Nicki Minaj was at the Super Bowl!’ I’m mixing and mastering my music. In my scheme of things it’s way bigger.”
Revealing her future projects, the singer confesses that, “I’m working on my fragrance and my apparel line. They took stuff that I’ve worn, focused on what I like, and then they started doing sketches. They’re pretty amazing. I was like ‘Oh my God, the kids are going to love this.’ It’s not gonna get done overnight, but I know that it’s something they’re going to love.”
Nicki admits she’s shy and that she doesn’t love to go out. “I’m the biggest homebody. But I’ve been like this. Nothing about me has changed since I got fame. I never liked to go to clubs. I never liked to go out. I don’t know where that public craziness came from. I was always like a comedian to my friends and family, but in a lot of ways I’m shy. I think people read my shyness as being mean. They misinterpret it. The first and only person who ever called me out for being shy was Wayne,” the star says.
On whether she rehearses those over-the-top face and body animations, Nicki admits that, “I hate cameras. I hate cameras and I hate camera phones. The camera’s my worst enemy and my best friend. It’s the way I convey my emotions to the world without saying a word, so I use it. People always say, ‘You come alive as soon as the camera’s on!’”
Asked if she always feels like the smartest person in the room, Minaj told Complex that, “I meet people that are smart every day. I love collaborating with creative people. I’m not walking around saying I know everything. Hell f****** no. I want to build something. I just don’t allow anyone around me who drops the ball constantly. I’ve never been happier with my current management, because Gee Roberson is such an intelligent man. I learn from him every day, and I’m very, very turned on by people that I learn from. Not sexually — I just love being enlightened.”
As for artists feeling more comfortable being puppets, she believes that, “Right! Because if you’re telling me you just want to be an artist, you’re telling me that you do not want control over a brand you’re creating. You don’t want any say in a brand that you’re creating? I can’t. I can’t rock with that theory.”
What about Nicki’s future plans? Where does she want to be in 2022? “In 2022, I’ll definitely be married and I’ll definitely have my two children,” she says. “I always said There’s no way I could still be doing rap, ‘cause what will I still be talking about? But now that the public has given me this opportunity to do all types of music, I might have more longevity. As long as I can continue to experiment, then I might be doing music in 10 years. I know that I don’t feel like I need to be doing music in 10 years to feel fulfilled. And I don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t know when to call it quits. Let’s just say that,” the singer added.
Read Nicki’s full interview in the April/May 2020 issue of Complex Magazine.
Photos and video courtesy of Complex