Having collaborated with everyone from Trey Songz to Jay-Z, Young Money darling Nicki Minaj has already made a name for herself, even before dropping an album. Minaj recognizes how fortunate her journey to stardom has been, and in the September issue of Paper magazine, she opens up about her success and what her upcoming debut, Pink Friday, will represent.
"This album is my heart and soul," the rapper told the magazine. "This is me explaining every single relationship that I've ever been in and explaining it in a way that every woman in this world can understand it."
The LP, set for a November 23 release, will likely be saturated with Minaj's colorful rap flow, which she explained that she learned during school.
"The line was, 'Tis monstrous' — period. And the second line was, 'Iago, who done it' — question mark. Then we read it without punctuation. 'Tis monstrous Iago who done it," which basically gives the story away," she recalled of an assignment reading Shakespeare's "Othello." "The fact that punctuation can change what you're saying, I guess that's why I love hip-hop — being able to say the same thing but it meaning a different thing." But the Harajuku Barbie admitted that not everyone was always a fan of her signature rap style. "My first manager told me, 'Stop playing around with your words, stop being funny, nobody's going to take you seriously. You shouldn't sound smart.' I don't know. I just started saying things," Minaj said. Her unique style has of course helped fuel her rise, making her hip hop's leading lady. And Minaj's MTV VMA nomination for Best New Artist only highlights that fact. (She'll go head-to-head with artists like Ke$ha and Justin Bieber in the category.)
"Three years ago all my underground hip-hop heads thought I was crazy when I said this would happen but ... it will happen," she predicted. "I'm going to be in Tokyo, Paris — I'm going to go everywhere you can imagine. I'm going to own London, I mean, the sky's the limit, and you watch what I say, I refuse to lose. I don't know how to lose."
Before she conquers Tokyo or Paris, she'll aim to take over Los Angeles. Minaj will perform during the MTV VMA Pre-show, making her solo TV debut on September 12 at 8 p.m. ET. What do you think of Nicki's success so far? Let us know in the comments!