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Nicki Minaj Graces The FADER’s Cover Au Natural, Vaguely Talks Health Scare

By 08.05.14

The FADER has included a feature story on Nicki Minaj in its upcoming Fall Fashion issue, for which Nicki goes au natural in her photo spread. While the Carrie Battan-penned piece reeks of P.R.-sanitized “introspection,” it’s worth reading for several reasons.

1. Nicki doesn’t outright address her relationship status after Battan inquires, but there is a noted awkwardness that arises when it’s asked. So that Safaree Samuels guy–who makes a couple of appearances in Battan’s piece–maybe-might be Nicki’s longtime boyfriend or fiancé. Sorry, bros.

2. Drake is Drake, even to Nicki Minaj:

[Nicki’s third album, ‘The Pink Print’ is] set to feature hit-makers like Dr. Luke, Ester Dean, Boi-1da and Detail, and she’d like to get Rihanna in the mix. Drake will contribute, too, though “he’s unpredictable,” she says.

Yeah he is.

3. So how does she really feel about Lil Wayne?

One of Nicki’s favorite topics is Lil Wayne…. “But I don’t think I’ll ever feel like he’s my peer because of how much he’s done for me. I’ll always think of him like…” she pauses, grins and breathlessly bats her painted eyelashes like a starstruck teen. “Like the king.”

4. Don’t expect her to spit only hear “Chiraq”-like verses at concerts anytime soon:

Nicki has floated the idea of doing a massive tour to perform strictly old mixtape tracks “for my diehard fans from five or six years ago,” she says. “But it’s hard. No matter what, you kind of need the people who know you from the mainstream to fill those venues.”

5. She also addresses the Iggy Azalea “beef” and makes a good point about the position many female emcees often find themselves in:

By the time of our interview, Nicki has clearly spent some time thinking about the speech, and she’s got her spiel prepared. “My point of saying what I said was that women need to have a perspective,” she starts off. “If we’re out here saying that we’re so confident, and we’re so this and so that, but we don’t even trust ourselves to write down our own thoughts and spit it on a beat?” She’s getting ignited, her volume picking up. “It just doesn’t add up.”

6. Of course, the other pink elephant in the room was her bizarre reference to a health scare during the BET speech.

“Unfortunately, the Iggy Azalea business overshadowed a far more curious part of her BET acceptance speech, a disturbing aside about fame: “The other day, I really thought I was about to die… And I didn’t call the ambulance, because I thought, ‘Well, if I call the ambulance, it’s going to be on TMZ,’” she said. “And it made me realize: I don’t care what anybody gotta say. I’ma do me. I’ma do me.” When I ask about the health scare that prompted her revelation, she dodges the question by responding in vague, broad strokes: “I was making a point to say that the business kills so many people and we don’t even realize it,” she says. “I can only imagine how many people in this business have died because they may not have wanted to… to be embarrassed publicly. We care so much about what the world thinks that we don’t live, really.” But what had happened to her? Had she fainted or had a panic attack? “I don’t even want to talk about it,” she says, avoiding eye contact.”

It’s not the revealing profile that many would have wanted from the press-shy Minaj, but it’s something. And hey, at least she’s copping to the fact that she’s a mainstream artist and not a rap darling anymore.


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