Fresh off of her controversial Grammy Awards performance, Nicki Minaj snags the February/March issue of Vibe magazine.

Gearing up for the release of her second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Nicki Minaj is making the promotional rounds and is opening up about the lessons she’s learned since she’s been in the industry. And despite her meteoritic rise, things haven’t been all good for the Queens rapper.

She dishes to Vibe editor Clover Hope about her takeover of the high fashion world, her new album, and being a woman in the industry.

Check the excerpt:

VIBE: You’ve said before that you didn’t really have fun recording Pink Friday.

Nicki Minaj: I felt like I had something to prove to everyone who said a female rapper could not make an album unless she was talking about her pussy. And so I went above and beyond to prove that I could not talk about sex and not talk about my genitalia and still have a successful album. And I proved that. And now my time for proving things to my critics is over. I don’t really need to prove anything to anyone else anymore.

Is it still hard to get your way as a woman in this industry?

It’s not hard to get your way when it’s your way or the highway. People either follow suit or they’re not around. I don’t really like the sound of that, ‘cause that sounds like a temper tantrum. I’m just very black and white when it comes to my business. There’s really no gray area. I really don’t have a lot of small talk with people I work with. It’s pretty much let’s get the job done. In the beginning, if people didn’t know me they’d probably assume I wasn’t smart or wasn’t business savvy. But once you sit and talk to me, it’s a different story.

You were heavy on the fashion scene last year around Fashion Week with Anna Wintour. Do you feel like you’ve been accepted by the fashion world?

Yeah, I realized more recently that even if it’s for a fashion magazine, I’m not gonna change who I am. When I was doing photo shoots last year, I kept on being told, “This is what we want your hair to look like and this is what we want you to look like,” and it really, really stifled my creativity. So the other day I was talking to a photographer, and he said, “You know what, I like your everyday looks so much better than when you do photo shoots for magazines.” And I was like, “So do I, you’re absolutely right.” I’d been getting more and more frustrated for a while.

But I’ve made up my mind that when you see a Nicki Minaj magazine cover from now on, it’s really going to reflect me and it’s going to be something that I creatively had a hand in, because I don’t have to do it anymore. I don’t have to do things just to please people. It’s okay to do what I love because what I love, my fans love. And they’re really the only ones that should matter. The fashion world will have to come to Nicki Minaj, as opposed to Nicki Minaj trying to go to the fashion world.

Check out the rest of the interview when Vibe hits newsstands next week.

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  • Krystal

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this mag cover….she looks wonderful….really getting sick of her though. She needs to do something different. And that Grammy performance just added to it. Im just done….until she can pull her bars back up and stop putting out garbage….”stupid hoe”? REALLY? whats crazy is she doesn’t think she has anything to prove anymore which is NOT the case AT ALL! An artist’s sophomore album being successful is CRITICAL. With real talent, the first album is going to naturally be amazing because of all the pent up talent and “I gotta make it” mentality. The first album is an artist in GRIND mode and its beautiful, fresh, and new. So that second album actually has alot to live up to. I just really think she can and needs to do better. Just better than this roman reloaded crap and its lousy videos and crappy performances that go with it.

  • LN

    Notorious K.I.N.G? really? i’ve lost my interest in Rap and Hip-hop a long time ago. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s something else…. I don’t know. But artists like Minaj in my opinion are all about hype,gimmick,and B-S. I never understand why artists feel like they need to tell the world they have nothing to prove. I’m always left confused. If you don’t have anything to prove, then crawl back into your hole and stop bombarding us with your “creativity”. Every artist has something to prove, that’s why they do what they do. Minaj is definitely a hustler but I seriously doubt she would be as successful if she wasn’t using her sex appeal;because the “talent” she is displaying(tisk,tisk,tisk)…well you judge for yourself.

  • Val

    I used to be in Nicki’s corner until she released the song, “Stupid Hoe”. It’s one thing when male rappers profit off of attacking Black women in their music, that’s vile but expected, but when a woman rapper does it then it’s unforgivable. I’m done with Nicki.

  • Georgia

    Yeah, if you pursue the kind of mainstream success that she is, you always have to prove something. Her kind of fame isn’t about talent at all.

  • HowApropos

    Meh, she’s mediocre. And that performance at the Grammys was on some other ish.