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Nicki Minaj is featured on the cover the latest Elle magazine, but the photos aren’t exactly glamorous. The YMCMB rapper went for a “makeunder” type look for the photo shoot.

“When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a… like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard,” Minaj told Elle. “I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes— you know, nothing— I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”

Recently, Minaj allegedly fired her glam squad so she could have a more sophisticated look moving forward, not the clownish, rainbow colored regalia she has become known for rocking. It’s supposedly a calculated move to be taken more seriously as an artist. You can probably count this Elle pictorial and interview as part of that plan, too.

In the story the “Starships” rapper/crooner discusses being bullied as a child, commanding respect as a woman and building an empire.

The April issue of Elle is on newsstands March 18. Check out photos from Minaj’s shoot in the gallery. Elle also featured Minaj a couple of years ago and the mag always keeps her looking classy. We included those pics, too.

Let us know how your think Nicki Minaj looks sans all the make up in the comments.

Photos: Elle

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