Hip-Hop icon Nicki Minaj graced the cover of i-D’s The Royalty issue, no. 370, Winter 2022. The article gave a glimpse into Nicki’s career, including the moment she was signed to Lil Wayne’s “Young Money” label in 2009 after hustling to make it as a female rapper since 2004.
Nicki Minaj Gets Candid With JT About Pop Music Success, New Album, Being Outspoken and More
Now, almost 20 years later, with a long list of accolades, trendsetting moments, and an immense fan base, Nicki is sitting down with female rapper JT.
One-half of City Girls duo, JT, not only considers herself a “Barb,” but she is featured on Nicki’s most recent hit, Super Freaky Girl. The two talk about new music, Nicki’s mark on hip-hop and who inspired her to become one of the most iconic female rappers of all time.
“The song is called ‘Super Freaky Girl,’ so why don’t we see how other female voices would speak from a freaky girl perspective? I heard your verse and was blown away,” said Nicki as the two spoke about their recent single.
The interview continued as JT let Nicki into the moment she felt she “Thought she knew her” while feeling like she had a “love/hate relationship in her mind with Nicki Minaj.”
JT shared her experience as a “Hood Girl” growing up listening to Nicki’s “hood” lyrics and how it felt to watch her evolve into making pop music.
“It was a heartbreak moment for a hood girl. It was like, ‘Damn Nicki, you left us,” said JT.
Nicki shared that no one in her career had ever expressed that to her in that way. “You articulated that so well that I was finally able to understand the disconnect and some of the heartbreak that my really hood fans must’ve felt seeing me come from The Come Up DVD and mixtapes and Pink Friday to doing “Starships” and “Pound the alarm.”
The two continued by discussing the importance of representation for black women in the industry and the black women who inspired Nicki’s rap style, including Foxy Brown.
“I still probably at times sound similar to her. I would listen to this woman non-stop. She’s so precise with her delivery, and so clear,” said Nicki. She also included Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Slick Rick as influencers for her rap style.
After recent Twitter feuds between multiple female rap artists, including Nicki, Cardi B, Akbar and JT, it was only right that the topic of Nicki being “outspoken” and “defending herself” became a topic of discussion. When asked, “Why is it so important for you to speak up?” Nicki responded, “I have suppressed years worth of things that I’ve wanted to say. People have lied about me, and I didn’t respond.”
She compared the idea of someone who works a nine-to-five who may be scared to lose their job to an artist who can also lose their job, spot, and money.
“There’s always some reservation there, But I’ve decided that I have to speak up now.”
Fashion, film and new music were also discussed as Nicki shared that she has been speaking to a director about participating in a movie. She explained that she’ll “never abandon acting for too long.”
In regards to her fifth album, she did not share an exact date but assured it would be dropping soon.
Before the interview ended Nicki was sure to give JT her flowers, encouraging her to drop more music and projects, including the freestyle she has coming on the way, which JT shared, “Nicki actually helped me with a few bars.”
“I remember when I first heard ‘Take Yo Man’. I loved how you sounded on that. JT seemed so fun, and it’s interesting because the same things she liked about me in those earlier times is what I saw in her,” said Nicki.