Nicki Minaj is back to gracing magazine covers, her most recent being ELLE's July 2018 feature. Within the glossy, the native New Yorker dished on her past relations with Meek Mill, the power of self-reflection and how that partly influenced her forthcoming album, Queen.
"I went through a moment where I got to know myself again, and then I went through a moment where I got to know myself as the rapper again," she said. "And then I locked [myself] in the studio and I didn't want to leave." Minaj added that she's experienced a growth spurt "in the last six months of my life, of my career, than I have in the last eight years."
If her recent singles - "Chun-Li" and "Barbie Tingz" - are any indication as to what type of sound Minaj's album will host, then fans can expect melodies derived from rap's boom-bap era and not today's outpour of trap creations.
"The truth of the matter is, trap has taken over so much that even our New York rappers are doing nothing but trap songs, because they feel that that's the way to make it," she said. "They're rapping like people from down south." The "4 Door Aventador" artist later clarified her remarks, stating that "the whole industry is doing trap music," not just one regional section of the U.S. Given her burst of melodic inspiration, Minaj said she thinks Queen will "be the best album of the year."
As far as the project's lyrical content, the 35-year-old said she hopes her message of women standing firm in their being will ring true and clear for the listeners. “Maybe I was naïve, but I didn’t realize how many girls were modern-day prostitutes,” she said, trying not to come off insensitive. “Whether you’re a stripper, or whether you’re an Instagram girl—these girls are so beautiful and they have so much to offer. But I started finding out that you give them a couple thousand dollars, and you can have sex with them. I was like, Yikes. It’s just sad that they don’t know their worth. It makes me sad as a woman. And it makes me sad that maybe I’ve contributed to that in some way.”
Queen will be released on Aug. 10.