Yuh just can’t stop Nicki Minaj now at all, at all!
The Trinidad-born rapper is covering the Autumn/Winter cover of influential fashion and pop culture magazine Dazed & Confused.
One of her two covers is a continuation of the perception-bending that Nicki has been doing all year as she puts yet another twist on her new ‘toned-down’ look (Anaconda being the obvious exception but even still there was no pink hair there).
This time, she has gone for a demure, retro 60s era look, sporting a pink Chanel tweed jacket and a positively Jackie O-esque bob. The cover is simple yet subversive in many ways – this is Dazed & Confused after all.
For instance, her dark red, stiletto nails are at odds with the ‘ladies who lunch’ look and Nicki’s slight smirk and piercing gaze seems to hint “Yes, I’m doing this to mess with your head – you think you can categorise me but you can’t.”
Which would not be surprising, considering how frequently and how gleefully Nicki has not only played with the public’s perception of her but has skilfully mocked and critiqued it.
A plain, white-bread sandwich is in front of her – whether she’s dissembling it or putting it together is not clear but since Nicki is deliberately, intentionally anything but white-bread, we can see what she’s doing here.
And less we doubt the deliberateness of this, in the interview that accompanies the cover (and an 18-page fashion spread!) the issue of perceptions comes into play again.
“Most people that I know in the industry have maids, housekeepers, ten bodyguards and a masseuse with them at all times. Everyone around me is like, ‘You’re so much more low-key than I thought!’ But I don’t like going out, I don’t like crowds, I don’t like clubs, If I do have downtime, I prefer to be in the house cooking West Indian food and watching my DVR.”
The article itself is one of the best interviews with Minaj that we’ve read, covering a wide array of topics and giving a lot of insight into the star. It touches on her fierce ambition and aspirations to mogul-dom:
“I have to make 500 million dollars first. That figure has been in my brain for a long time. I want to be the female who earned the same amount of money that the Jay-Zs and the Puffys were able to earn. I feel like when I reach my 500-million-dollar goal – then no other woman in rap will ever feel like they can’t do what these men have done.”
She also sharply defends her (very successful) pop forays which had ole hip-hop heads questioning whether she was a ‘real’ MC.
“It was experimentation. I experiment with fashion, with my look, with everything. I’m a multidimensional woman, like all women are. The difference is that I have the balls to take chances.”
The interview wraps up with Minaj’s exhortation to other women to not doubt their ability.
“I just want women to always feel in control. Because, we’re capable – we’re so capable. It’s one of the reasons that I have these women that I look up to – because they did not allow being a woman to make them feel like they should settle for less.”