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Nicki Minaj x Vogue

Nicki Minaj has just under a month before the release of her highly anticipated fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, and all eyes are on the superstar rapper ahead of the drop. The Queens, N.Y. native graced the cover of the December issue of Vogue, and Nick Minaj shares more about her creative process, motherhood, and more.

Nicki Minaj and her body of work transformed the landscape of Hip-Hop not only for women who followed after her but overall. Her impact as an artist and her prowess as a hit-making lyricist have elevated her to legendary status among her adoring fans lovingly known as the “Barbz,” and many of her peers.

Nicki Minaj x Vogue

Source: Norman Jean Roy / Vogue

Few will forget Minaj’s scene-stealing turn on Kanye West’s star-studded posse cut “Monster” and Nicki’s anchoring verse. Since then, she’s remained a high-charting favorite. But now, she’s hoping to get back to the essence of why she began doing music, even though the weight of success has had an effect.

Minaj is featured on the cover of this month’s Vogue magazine and in the dazzling shots within, Minaj looks regal and at peace, most especially during a shot featuring her son, Papa Bear. Still, the main portion of the cover story is centered on Minaj hoping to get back to why she began creating music.

Nicki Minaj x Vogue

Source: Norman Jean Roy / Vogue

From Vogue:

“I think a lot of creators will understand this,” she ventures. “There’s a freeness that you have around you when you’re at your best, when you’re doing your thing at your peak. There’s like this lightness in the air. You’re happy even if you’re writing a sad song. But once you start knowing that you’re being judged, there’s no longer that free spirit. People who excel at something make it look easy, but they also deal with a lot of fear of letting people down and of letting themselves down. Once you make it, it’s like anything you say can be used against you. It’s like when you get arrested—that’s literally what being famous feels like. You go from having this fun, curious nature, laughing and joking, to realizing not everyone gets your sense of humor, not everyone likes you. And they will figure out how to put a negative spin on anything you do. It hurts.”

Throughout the piece, Minaj shows a side of herself that’s not always present in the music. The vulnerability juxtaposed with her unwavering confidence in her abilities is still displayed. She also gets into her marriage to Kenneth Petty, speaking honestly about her desire to dive into raising her child and leaving the game behind.

Thankfully, Nicki Minaj is very much still on course to create. Pink Friday 2 is slated to be released on December 8 and if the reactions on social media to the cover story going wide are an indication, she’ll be making her return to the top of the charts again.

Check out the full cover story from Vogue here.

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Photo: Norman Jean Roy / Vogue