Nicki on what she would have done differently looking back In hindsight:
I should have just did the show. I’ve never allowed anyone to make me let my fans down. Even if it wasn’t a Nicki Minaj fan, just a fan in general, in hindsight, I should have come out because it’s my hometown especially and they shouldn’t have been brought into whatever we were going through. I apologize for not coming out and not doing the show because they had nothing to do with that. When I thought about it, a whole bunch of people were punished for something they knew nothing about. Something they couldn’t control and it was really no way for me to make it up so I felt really bad about the whole situation.
Nicki on why she was offended by Peter Rosenberg’s jab during last year’s Summer Jam:
I get it, that’s what you do, to me…I just don’t know your resume. I never found you funny, I never found you entertaining, I never found you smart, I just found you annoying. I grew up on Hot 97. I know Angie and [Funkmaster] Flex and Mr. Cee and all of these people, and whether they like me, I just know their resume. That’s why I called Flex. With you, it’s like, who are you? To me, you don’t have enough of a resume to make those comments but you did, and it is what it is.
Being white also struck a chord with me. I was like, ‘He is on a black station with black people.’ I just didn’t like the feel of it. I was thinking those pop stations, they don’t really get on there and blast the pop artists like that.
On Hip Hop heads being disappointed that she did Starships:
I don’t give a rat’s ass if people don’t like Starships. Starships sold 7 million records worldwide, that means 7 million mutha—– liked Starships. That’s fine, I would feel like that too. You also have to remember I am not your typical rapper. I am not your typical person. I just did the biggest TV show in America for God’s sake. I appreciate that you do see me as an emcee, because that’s what I do and that’s who I am. People try not to give me my credit but I really do this so when I step out and do a pop song, a lot of people are disappointed by that. I totally get it, I don’t judge you, I’m not mad at people if they don’t like it. But I wanted to experiment.
My whole career has been a playing field for me to try new things. I never put a limit on myself. I don’t like when we, especially black women, put a limit on what we can do. If I really wanted to right now, I can go back in and make another pop record like that to sell [millions of records] but I’m choosing not to do it. I’m choosing to get back to my essence and just feed the core Hip Hop fan. I feel like I need [Hip Hop] because it’s just a more powerful platform for me.
Peter Rosenberg on why it’s such a big deal that Nicki Minaj did pop records:
In the history of this game, if you look at it in terms of sales, reach and actually touching people, there is Nicki Minaj and Lauryn Hill. In terms of actual global reach, and let’s be real, Lauryn Hill made a Fugees album that made a difference and one solo album that made a difference, you’ve already surpassed that so you are an iconic female rap artist. It’s not surprising that you create major conversations when you switch directions in any way.
Nicki Minaj On experimenting with different types of music and getting back to the essence of Hip Hop:
Not only did I do it, I won doing it. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if Starships didn’t sell that much but because it became so big, it erased everything else I was doing. It overshadowed everything else [I did in Hip Hop.] I feel like I did it, but I don’t need to do it again. I’ve been doing a lot of rap features and just getting back to that place before I dropped my first album, which is ‘kill, kill, kill, kill, kill everything.’
Peter: The ‘Hello, Good Morning’ feature made me say, “Hello”. The Trey feature was amazing, […] With ‘Monster’ I said, this woman just stole the song with three of the biggest rappers in the game. The pop songs are cool but you do so well as a rapper, as a rap fan, we do love when we see you rap.
Nicki: Rapping helps me stay on my grind. I’m very competitive when it comes to wordplay, my writing, my flow. It’s very hard for me to give people props, especially females. I feel like a lot of girls come in the game and say, ‘I’m going to put some words together and make them rhyme.’ I studied for so many years how to make my flow sound to the point where it feels like you are watching art. That’s why I started doing all of those crazy voices, that I don’t do anymore, I wanted to play with my craft. And that’s why ‘Monster’ became such a big deal, it’s like ‘Whoa! Different personalities!’ Who has the balls to do that? Nobody! Because everybody is afraid. Everybody was afraid to be fun, to be playful, to be a character. I studied acting, this is what I do.
I don’t limit what I like, but I agree that Nicki Minaj should focus on rap [right now]. I wouldn’t have done it differently. That got me to American Idol, and American Idol got me [‘The Other Woman’ movie], so everything plays a part. I would do everything the same exact way.
On if she has any regrets:
There is one regret. When I was working on my second album, I took on so much. I rehearsed with Madonna for the Superbowl, I did the NBA All Star thing and I did the Grammys. It was too much for me to focus on writing my album. With my first album, I knocked everything off of my calender, I didn’t care who you were, I was in a zone. For my second album, I spread myself too thin. For this album, once this movie is done, I am going back home and I am going to be in my dungeon writing.
On if she thinks she’s been guilty of being a diva:
Is Lil Wayne tough? I handle my business and also I speak up for myself but if I was not like this, so many people would have taken advantage of me. People don’t understand, when I was [coming up], I took a lot from men who didn’t want me to know my worth. I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff from guys, and plus my father was so crazy with his alcohol and drug abuse and stuff like that. I’ve always felt like, I’m never going to let anyone pull me down and make me feel small. I’m never going to let a man do that and sometimes that transfers over into your career as a woman. There’s a chip on your shoulder because you’ve experienced headstrong men, and I’ve experienced my mom not really speaking up as much as I wanted her to when I was young. I’m a business woman. I run companies. I don’t think people understand that and so sometimes there is a diva moment but my heart is always in the right place.