Trinidad-born, New York-raised rapper Nicki Minaj, 25, has dropped guest rhymes on tracks by Jay-Z, Kanye West, Usher, Ludacris, and Sean Kingston. Now she’s finally striking out on her own with her debut album, Pink Friday (due November 23rd). Any girl who drives a pink Lamborghini, has a crew of alter-egos, and dresses like a self-described “Harajuku Barbie” is solid gold in our books.
YOUR PERFORMANCES ARE EXTREMELY THEATRICAL, HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TO DRAMA?
Absolutely, I don’t want to do it if it’s not creative. I studied acting for four years, so I definitely bring my acting training into my music and my performance.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
Kooky, colorful, and cocky.
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
Any female rapper that you can think of: I could find something in them that I feel is really, really positive and really connects with me. I definitely looked up to Salt-N-Pepa when I was younger, I love their attitude, I love their facial expressions, I love their wardrobe, I love their voices, I love their records.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY CRAZY FANS?
I’ve run into people with tattoos of me or my name on their body – people I’ve never met before in my life. Sometimes as an artist you think, Am I really getting through to people? And I think seeing that reassures me that I am making a mark and that I am connecting.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION?
Recently I’ve been wearing these big straw hats. I started wearing them because I was going to an amusement park and it was going to be really sunny and I kind of wanted to be incognito, but they just look so cute. They’re perfect for bad hair days.
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A bus driver, I was eight years old.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I like decorating homes. When I moved to L.A. people told me to hire an interior designer and I just refused to. Right now I’m going for an all-white theme so it looks like you just stepped into a scene from The Matrix. I should be walking around in a trench coat and you should be calling me Trinity.
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