Nicki Minaj Poses Topless for Billboard, Talks Meek Mill Engagement Rumors and …

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nicki Minaj Fronts Billboard No. 1s Year-End Cover in Candid, Outspoken Interview: ‘Fans Know My Struggle. I Was Ruthless’.

Nicki Minaj released her massive album The Pinkprint nearly a year ago to the day — Dec. 12, 2014 — and has spent the past few weeks reflecting on her banner year.The “Starships” rapper shared a photo of a massive diamond ring Wednesday on Instagram, and revealed that her rapper beau Meek Mill had gifted her with the pricey bling.In a year bookended by blockbusters from Taylor Swift and Adele, Nicki Minaj set her own standard for success, ticking off triumphs even as she fearlessly spoke her mind and openly challenged other superstars.

Dubbed one of EW’s entertainers of the year, Minaj has now hinted that she’ll return to her mixtape roots. “I’ll definitely drop a mixtape,” she told Billboard. “I have to.” When asked why, she said, “I have to set an example for female rappers. Fans are buzzing whether Minaj’s new jewelry is simply an early Christmas gift or an indication that Mill popped the question, especially since this isn’t the first time they have sparked rumors about their romance. And in August, the “Anaconda” rapper had fans speculating she was pregnant when she called Mill her “baby father” during her concert for her Pinkprint Tour.

Minaj herself proclaimed that she and Mill were not engaged in Billboard’s year-end cover story published online Thursday — but she did hint that a proposal could be in her future. “My birthday’s coming up (Minaj turned 33 on Monday), and he better get the new one, because he got (the first one) for my last birthday. For Minaj, 33, it’s a job that entails more than the routine duties of 21st century multimedia fame — spreading your stardust across dozens of platforms, from recording studio to concert stage to red carpet to Instagram feed. Minaj’s brand of megastardom means inhabiting the eye of a storm that sweeps up contentious issues of race and gender and sexuality, while tending to more quotidian controversies like rap beefs and diva rivalries. It’s important that you are bigger than your music.” Minaj also shared her thoughts about her upcoming sitcom and burgeoning acting career, Hillary Clinton’s campaign (“She has been brave and weathered the storm. And Meek Mill is also facing his own legal troubles: TMZ reports that the rapper could have his probation revoked for taking a trip outside Philadelphia without permission.

Mill is on probation for a drug and gun conviction from 2009, and a judge ordered that Mill appear in court Thursday morning for a probation violation. The gossip site reports that Mill could face jail time if he is found to have erred, and speculated that the unauthorized trip was his visit to Los Angeles last month to attend the 2015 American Music Awards with Minaj. She stayed above the fray when a feud broke out between her new boyfriend, Meek Mill, and her longtime comrade and labelmate Drake; and she navigated the political thickets of the dispute that continues to roil that record label, Cash Money.

Oh, yeah — she also spent the year holding down her day job, barnstorming arenas in the United States and Europe in support of her third album, the vibrantly genre-defying The Pinkprint. In 2015, that album spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Albums chart and was just edged from the top spot on the Billboard 200 by Swift’s titanic 1989. In short, it was a banner year in a career for which there is no precedent: that of a glamorous, politically engaged black female star who churns out extravagantly glitzy top 40 pop while maintaining as good a claim to the mantle of Greatest Rapper Alive as anyone, of any gender. Her reputation for bluntness — a tetchy truth-teller who brooks no nonsense and lets no slight go unanswered — was confirmed by the publication, in October, of a New York Times Magazine profile that ended with Minaj tossing the story’s author, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis, out of her hotel room, punishment for a line of questioning that the star deemed sexist and belittling.

No one is ejected from the room during Billboard’s audience with Minaj (although just after our interview, she clashed with Billboard’s photo team over a series of issues, some of which could not be resolved to her satisfaction). At one point, an employee of Minaj’s asks her how she came up with one of the rhymes in “Only,” a zinger that spins a naughty punchline out of a reference to the L.A.

I identify with the fact that when she’s in that room and there are nothing but men there — there’s sometimes something in her that must feel intimidated. That’s something that every woman should feel inspired by, no matter if you’re voting for her or not. (Laughs.) There are points he has made that may not have been so horrible if his approach wasn’t so childish.

That’s the ultimate reality show. [The interview was conducted prior to Trump’s Dec. 7 comments about halting immigration by Muslims into the United States.] The country is going through a period of heightened protest and conversation about racial justice. You recently appeared at “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” and recited the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise.” What made you choose it? I love that she said that, because she doesn’t even realize the poem is discussing sexiness, owning your sex appeal. “Does my sexiness upset you?/Does it come as a surprise/That I dance like I’ve got diamonds/At the meeting of my thighs?” And this woman, she was discussing her PhDs, all this education she had — but she couldn’t put two and two together about the theme of the poem.

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