THEHIPHOPDIVA.COM spoke with Nicki Minaj and here’s what she had to say…
HHD: How did you get the name Nicki Minaj?
NM: My real last name is Mirage. About two years ago me and my team at the time wanted to make it sound a little bit more fresh. I like having my cake and eating it too. I like the best of both worlds.
HHD: How would you describe your lyrical style and your music overall?
NM: My lyrical style is like a feminine slaughter – creative, swag. It’s just like a show.
HHD: What are your musical influences?
NM: Right now I enjoy everybody. I don’t have a preference as long as it’s good music. Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Jadakiss, Lauryn Hill. I don’t just listen to rap all day. I like all types of music.
HHD: You’re very talented. You’re a writer, you’re a singer, you’re an actress, and you’re a MC. What are your goals for your career?
NM: I’m hoping to put the female rappers back on the map even though I don’t consider myself to be just a female rapper. For girls that want to be a female rapper I think I’m going to open the doors for them to be respected entertainers. You can rap until your head turns blue. If you are not entertaining you will not survive. My long term goal is to be a multi billion dollar company. There are so many female rappers who have been in the game for a long time and they don’t have empires like 50. 50 hasn’t been in the game longer than some of the female rappers we look up to. But he for some reason quadrupled his money in such a short time. My goal is to be a female mogul.
HHD: How do you view the current role of female MCs? What part do you play in filling that void?
NM: I would describe it as extinct. I don’t think there’s a female rapper category anymore. I think that on an underground level I am now stirring this pot. I have the golden key and I’m sitting in front of this huge door. Once I open that door I predict a rise of female MCs and entertainers. I think guys have taken over the business for way too long. I play the saviour of the female rapper. I have the mind of a man and the body of a bad bitch.
HHD: What do you think is needed to put female MCs at the forefront of the game like when Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Chyna White, Mia X, Missy Elliott, Amil, etc., etc. were all out and every where you looked you heard a female spitting?
NM: I think when you combine business savvy with talent you get a different result. I feel like the females that came before me were talented and beautiful. You can’t not be mindful of the business and be talented. My plan has always been to have a grasp of my business. I like to know the ins and outs of the business. My business is always first.
HHD: What is the Young Money experience doing for you? What is it like to be a part of Young Money Entertainment?
NM: It gives me drive. It’s like being homeless and sitting in front of a mansion everyday. It gives me drive because you can see that it’s actaully attainable. It’s like crazy motivation.
HHD: There are females who hate on you. You don’t hate back, you just continue to concentrate on your music. I respect you for that. Do you think that it’s important for female MCs to come together and get along to create a strong presence in hip hop? Why or why not?
NM: Of course. Anybody who builds a career on beef prior to being rich will fail. Quote me on that and I have nothing else to say about that.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
NM: A hip hop diva is poised, is smart, talented, and someone that little girls want to be.
Check out THEHIPHOPDIVA.COM’s views of Nicki Minaj on the Spotlight on Hip Hop Diva Nicki Minaj page.