Don’t be fooled by the booty and wigs, Nicki Minaj is as grounded as ever

by Azeezat Fadekemi Sulaiman


Rapper tells Complex Magazine she desires motherhood and would love to get married before having a baby


When you think about Nicki Minaj, chances are what comes to mind would consist of visions of big booty, ridiculous twerking, thongs and barely there outfits and let’s not forget the bright coloured and ridiculous wigs. It’s very tempting to write Nicki off as a Barbie wannabe airhead, who has nothing but a big booty and big boobs to offer. But millions of albums sold worldwide, not to mention billboard hits ‘Superbass‘ and ‘Starship’ would suggest otherwise.


Minaj covers the December 2014/January 15 issue of Complex Magazine. In an interview with the mag, the Anaconda singer talks candidly about her career and to some extent her personal life- which is a treat because she is fiercely private beneath all the theatrics.

She tells the magazine that she is unbothered by the recent media frenzy over her ‘makeunder’, (i.e Nicki sans coloured wig and ridiculous clothing and hardcore rap lyrics). The 31-year-old insists this is not a slide back into the yester years of ‘Mixtape Nicki’, which is how she started when Lil Wayne found her and signed her up.

I didn’t go back to “Mixtape Nicki.” She said. “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.”

The star reveals that rather than just partaking in an exercise in ass pumping for her video in Anaconda, it was much more a case of showing her versatility as an artist. The highly sexualised song and video is a big contrast to ‘Pills n Potions‘, another song on her album ‘The Pinkprint’ which she says was inspired by guilt, heartbreak, grief and loss.

Minaj reveals candidly, “I’ve struggled with a lot of guilt.” Rapid success comes with its own price and Minaj admits she’s struggling to juggle her career and family life at the same time,

“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.”

If you think that’s shocking, wait till you hear what she had to say about motherhood. The more of this interview I read, the more I learnt a vital lesson about our relationship with the artists ‘persona’ and the real person underneath the ‘persona’- the charade. Looking at Nicki and watching her perform, especially after that ridiculous Anaconda video and artwork, it would be easy to draw certain conclusions about what kind of person she would want to be in five years, but I was wrong. Here’s what she had to say when asked what her biggest fear is.

“That I’ll become so consumed with work that I’ll forget to live my personal life to the fullest. If I’m done with my fifth album and I don’t have a child by then, no matter how much money I have, I would be disappointed, as a woman, because I feel like I was put here to be a mother.”

In regards to how exactly ‘Anaconda’ came about, the rapper’s got a very simple explanation. “I wanted to create a song that embraced curvy women. I wanted to be sexual but be playful with it. And I wanted it to be so melodic that even if you don’t understand English you could still go along with the melody and you would have no idea about all the raunchy shit I’m saying—I get a kick out of that”.

She then added, (and this is the funny bit), “That whole song, I was just being dumb. It was a joke.”

I don’t know why, but that simple statement has elevated Nicki to a new level for me. I’ve got a new found respect for you Nicki and I also promise never to judge a book (ahem…an artist). by it’s cover again.


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