Nicki Minaj has returned to the studio to record a new album, which she hopes to release next year. “It’s very different from anything I’ve done, which I’m surprised about,” she said to Power 105′s The Breakfast Club. “I’m not feeling like I did this. This is next level.”
By 2012′s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Minaj was a crossover sensation who had sat next to Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week. She was not the first rapper to do so — that would be Diddy — by any means, but in Roman Reloaded she turned her id loose to unleash both manic snap raps and Europop hooks. Like the paint splattered on the cover art, the dueling pop and rap expectations surrounding Minaj had collided to the point of no return.
A lot of rap crossover sensations (B.o.B., T.I., Eminem) complain of but also comply to those sorts of things, while Minaj made very clear that she created that bold, brash and brilliant mess herself.
How can Minaj top that in her next album? Based on her Power 105.1 interview, she still faces a uniquely frustrating set of expectations. She shushes host Charlamagne Tha God as he mentions her American Idol stint and the word “pop” (“Oh my, that’s the forbidden word”), then nearly screeches as she defends her pop and rap-driven success, emphasis on the rap. “Why [Charlamagne Tha] God always got to be acting like I stopped rapping?” she says. “Like, did I stop and have babies or something? Because I’ve been rapping for the past five years, consecutively.”
While Minaj’s banishment of the word “pop” does not help things (own it!), her mention of babies is pointed and crucial.
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