Nicki Minaj, whose first magazine cover was The FADER in 2010, has returned to cover the publication’s Fall Fashion Issue, clad in Gaultier. The FADER 93 hits newsstands Aug. 26, and is available online now. Written by contributing writer Carrie Battan, Minaj lets her guard down in this interview and opens up about the hardships of being a public figure, being a role model to young black women, and leaving her little brother to join her label when he was just a child.
On being a role model to young black women
“…Every time I do a business venture or something that isn’t the norm for a female rapper, I pat myself on the back. It’s important that corporate America can see a young black woman being able to sell things outside of music … A female rapper! With HSN!”
On referencing her health scare in her BET acceptance speech
“I was making a point to say that the business kills so many people and we don’t even realize it. 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.”
On leaving her family:
Her younger brother was just a child when she signed with Young Money and left her mom’s home. “One day he asked my mother, ’Do you ever think there’ll come a time we all live in the same house again, and Onika will be back and she’ll have her room, and I’ll have my room?’ And it just broke my heart.” Before a tear can muck up any of her makeup, Samuels wordlessly pops up from the couch to nab her a tissue. As soon as the curtain of Nicki’s private life slides open, revealing the sacrifices she’s made for her career, it’s pulled back again. “I dont want to get emotional,” Nicki says, “I just miss them. Every time I talk about them, I get emotional.”
Cover photo credit João Canziani