Nicki Minaj Covers COMPLEX Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Issue X Arrives In TOKYO
Nicki ain’t a rapper, she’s a brander… Her sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is set to drop April 3, she signed a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Pepsi, and has announced a 16-date European tour. So what’s next for Nicki Minaj? For now, a double cover for Complex Magazine’s April/May 2012 10th Anniversary issue and a candid interview with HOT 97’s Miss Info. Check out her full spread and interview highlights below:
When you’re constantly exceeding your own expectations, how do you set new goals?
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.
Because those surprises can’t replace the things you want to achieve by yourself?
Because my goal the whole time has been for people to see me as a stand-alone artist. I came out with Young Money, the biggest hip-hop label in the world at that time. And then it was, “How do I branch away from Lil Wayne?” One of my biggest records was with Drake, “Moment 4 Life.” Even with the Super Bowl, it’s Madonna’s moment. I’m just sharing in that moment. It’s not Nicki Minaj’s moment. Nicki Minaj at the Grammys—that’s my moment. I’ve just been constantly on this quest to stand alone.
When I look at the Nicki Minaj franchise—the fashion, the success of songs like “Superbass,” the media thirst—I don’t see you in any kind of supporting role.
When you’re told something for a long time, even when it changes, your mind frame doesn’t change and you’re subconsciously trying to prove everyone wrong. Even though I know what I’m capable of, I still haven’t had a performance where I would say, “I want this to go down in the Nicki Minaj history book.” I am my own worst critic. For instance, the American Music Awards was set to be an amazing performance, but then I had a horrible malfunction with the clothes and the hair ten minutes before I opened. So I was backstage having a fucking nervous breakdown.
My hair was supposed to light up, my choker was too small. So while I was in the box, waiting for the show to open, I had to rip the shit off, throw it to the side, and act like nothing happened. When I got off stage I freaked out because it was just so emotional. I really, really, really wanted that to be a dope show.
You’re on track to hit all your marks in 2012. Grammy solo set? Check. New album and tour? Check, check. Five million in sales? Possibly. What else?
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.
Did you always know what you wanted your brand to be?
I didn’t know who I was as an artist. I knew who I was as a person. My morals and everything, they’re still the same. And then I took it upon myself to create this artist, Nicki Minaj. I wanted to do what a label cannot do. Now, labels are going to think they can re-create this. [Laughs.] But they can’t.
You can read Nicki’s full interview over at COMPLEX. The issue hits newsstands on April 3.
And in Japan on Tuesday, Nicki and her rumored boyfriend Safaree “Scaff Beezy” Samuels arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport to a throng of excited fans.
It’s Nicki’s first time in the country and she’s there on a promotional tour for her upcoming Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album.