Nicki Minaj is weeks away from releasing her third studio album, "The Pinkprint," and she is a woman in control.
Minaj covers Issue 92 of V Magazine for a cover story titled "Queen of Rap." In the editorial, shot by Mario Testino and styled by Robbie Spencer, she makes clear her intention to set an example for other females.
I always feel it’s important for me to show females that they can be in charge of their own situation. I came into the game creating my own brand. I was doing things very early on that set me apart from people who just took orders and allowed their brand to be created for them. I love women who take control, who set standards, and who believe in themselves enough to lead the way in terms of their career. I’ve done that. When I win and when I lose, I take ownership of it, because I really am in charge of what I do. There are a lot of strong male rappers, who’ve influenced me a great deal in terms of my skill, my flow, and my business-savvy side. But at the end of the day, I still want to inspire women.
The 31-year-old rapper is set to release "The Pinkprint" Dec. 15, Billboard reported. It follows 2010's "Pink Friday" and 2012's "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," both platinum records. The new album's first single, "Anaconda," dropped in August along with a booty-centric music video. The video stirred controversy, but Minaj is quick to hit back at critics.
"If a man did the same video with sexy women in it, no one would care," she told V. "You’re talking about newspeople who don’t even know anything about hip-hop culture. ... They don’t say anything when they’re watching the Victoria’s Secret show and seeing boobs and thongs all day."
In today's male-dominated rap game, Minaj is certainly queen. Still, it didn't always come easy, and she's faced criticism from the opposite gender along the way.
"I talk about that all the time," she said. "I talk about record executives telling me, 'Oh no no no. Female rappers don’t make it anymore. You’ll never get away with that.' ... People who I loved very much attempted to deter me from experimenting with my craft."
Check out Minaj's full interview in V Magazine, Issue 92, on newsstands Nov. 13.