Nicki Minaj admits to feeling misunderstood by many of the rappers she’s influenced, the Queens MC reveals in a new Q&A.
“I don’t think the new female rappers really understand who I am,” Minaj, 39, shared with Jada Pinkett Smith for Interview as she discussed her hesitancy to lean into overtly sexual material at the request of young rappers looking for a feature.
“A lot of the girls that came before me, they really were those sexual beings, and I was so inspired by them. But I’m not like that, I’m more the goofy girl,” she explained, adding that she approached her smash single “Super Freaky Girl” from a “funny and goofy” perspective, not one of explicit sexuality.
“And so I still felt true to myself on ‘Super Freaky Girl.’ As opposed to, a lot of people were sending me songs, Jada, a lot of female rappers, especially, and I didn’t want to be mean, but every other word was ‘pu**y’ and ‘f**king’ and da da da, and I wasn’t there. I don’t think I can ever fully be there.”
Minaj added that men within the industry have also approached her for features she simply wasn’t comfortable executing.
“Even some of the new male rappers—I turned down a Gunna song because it was just moaning and groaning on the track, but Drake ended up doing it and it worked great for them. And free Gunna by the way, I have to make sure I say that,” she added. “But it’s just like, I told her I’m not there. I said, ‘Look, sweetheart, I’ve put this song on 50 times to try to write to it. I can’t. I’m just not in that moment right now.’ Not saying that I’m not a freak with my husband, you understand? I’m not saying that at all, okay? But I don’t choose to express the sexual side right now in that overt way.”
The wife and mother also vented about young artists immulating their faves a bit too closely, believing that it diminishes their own artistry.
“What I’m seeing now is that so many new artists are trying to become the person they looked up to instead of giving us a new flavor! And it’s irking the crap out of me,” she admitted. “I know I could see so much talent in some of the new artists, females, males, whatever. But they lose me when I’m seeing the person who they are trying to be like or sound like more than I’m seeing who they are.”
The hitmaker went on to name prominent artists of years-past who valued individuality, with Jada agreeing that stars from 2Pac to Left-Eye “had to” be themselves to flourish.
“I don’t know what’s happening, but I want to urge all the new artists to just believe in yourself,” Minaj went on, “trust that you are that superstar that you loved coming up, and get that something special! Please! For god’s sake! [Laughs].”
The interview drops days after Nicki and southern spitter Latto engaged in a heated back-and-forth via Twitter following her public complaints of the Recording Academy moving “Super Freaky Girl” from the rap to pop category for potential Grammy nods, while Latto’s “Fantasy”-sampled track “Big Energy” wasn’t.