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JT Interviews Nicki Minaj for i-D Magazine

JT Interviews Nicki Minaj for i-D Magazine
PHOTOGRAPHER LUIS ALBERTO RODRIGUEZ / I-D Magazine

As she begins the final touches on NM5, Nicki Minaj sat down with City Girls’ JT for a candid interview on the latest issue of i-D Magazine.

During the sit down, Nicki Minaj opens up about her upcoming endeavors, where she is with her anticipated album, her influences and more. JT even opens up to to the Queen native on what it felt like as a fan with Nicki went pop.

“I was a delusional little girl who had this love/hate relationship in my mind with Nicki Minaj,” JT tells a moderator from i-D when asked if she remembers when she first heard Nicki’s music. “It was because I knew how to rap always, and Nicki knew too. I was so deep in the gutter when Nicki first started. She was the round-the-way girl. She did the ‘Jump Off’ remix, and I was like, ‘She’s so pretty, she’s so hood.’ A couple of years later, you went into your more pop era.”

“It was a heartbreak moment for a hood girl. It was like, ‘Damn Nicki, you left us.’ Then you came back with your straight hair and your sexy look, and I was like, ‘Okay, so she still f**k with us.’ If you were to ever look down my tweets, there would always be good tweets and bad tweets. That was the disconnection.”

“‘Super Bass’ wasn’t even supposed to be a single, but it became huge. Rather than going back to point A, I thought, ‘I now need something to be a continuation of ‘Super Bass.” And so I put out ‘Starships.’ That’s when people in the hip-hop community really felt, ‘Oh my God, we lost her,’” Minaj admitted to JT.

“No one in my life or career has ever explained what you just explained to me that way. You articulated that so well that I was finally able to understand the disconnect and some of the heartbreak that my really hood fans must’ve felt seeing me come from The Come Up DVD and mixtapes and Pink Friday to doing “Starships” and “Pound the Alarm.”

On her new album:

The fifth album. I’m not gonna say when it’s gonna come out, but the album will be out soon. And I am working on a nail design company, where people will be able to buy my press-on nail with dope designs. I was already working on that before someone auctioned my press-on nail for $50,000 or whatever they spent on it.

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On being outspoken:

Just because a person fights back, doesn’t mean they’re not afraid. I have suppressed years’ worth of things that I’ve wanted to say. People have lied about me, and I didn’t respond.

Once I realized that there’s that double standard, I decided I don’t give a shit anymore. The last part of it is that if I never rap again, I will still leave this earth as an icon. I guess there is a little less fear now at this point in my career because I realize that my fans aren’t going anywhere. I’ve paid my dues.

Well, there’s a huge misconception with people who come across as outspoken. The misconception is that we’re so strong. Just because a person fights back, doesn’t mean they’re not afraid. I have suppressed years’ worth of things that I’ve wanted to say. People have lied about me, and I didn’t respond. There’s always been a level of fear there because this is a business. This is not walking down the block and jumping double dutch. This is a job. And the same way people at a nine-to-five can lose their job, and won’t be able to pay their bills, an artist can lose their job. They can lose their spot; they can lose their money. So, there’s always some reservation there. But I’ve decided that I have to speak up now. You know, I see the hip-hop community praise so many other people for speaking up for themselves, but for some reason they seem to have an issue when I do it.

On her influences:

Foxy Brown. I still probably at times sound similar to her. I would listen to this woman non-stop. Finding out she was from Trinidad was so freaking amazing to me, because I never imagined that a rapper could be from my country. She’s so precise with her delivery, and so clear. And I really love clarity in raps. The other ones that shaped my overall style a lot are Lil Wayne, especially in the beginning, I used to do a lot of things that were similar to him and Jay-Z. One of my first faves actually was Slick Rick. I’ve always loved the British accent, I still do.

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