As one of the music industry’s most polarizing artists, it’s only right Nicki Minaj have an unorthodox album cover to match a kooky image. Fans and critics were left both impressed and confused after viewing the 25-year-old’s femcee’s album art for Pink Friday last Monday. Taking a minimalist approach, Minaj looked like a Tim Burton special, flaunting spider-like stems, mime expression, and… no arms.
“[Nicki] wanted to rip her arms off to really do the whole Barbie theme, like when little girls trash their dolls,” says photographer GL Wood. “She wanted to look like one of those broken Barbies.”
Mission accomplished. Woods, who took similar shots of Minaj in the October issue of Out magazine says the rapper was inspired by their original shoot and wanted to go in the same direction but crazier.
When Pink Friday drops November 22, Woods says fans can expect album artwork featuring girly aesthetics and more of Minaj’s never-ending legs. One idea Woods says he wished made it inside would’ve thrown her even more left-field. “I had an idea to cut up pieces of her and paste it back together. It still would kind of look like her, but it would be sliced apart and taped a little off centered.”
While traditional female album covers tend to focus on sexy portraits, Woods believes that Minaj’s brow-raising approach puts her in the running for the best album cover of the year. “There’s people who are going to get it and not get it, but that’s the point. There’s few if any female artists now who are pushing the envelope. And that’s far from a bad thing.”—Tracy Garraud