Nicki Minaj breaks her silence. Following a lengthy hiatus, the Young Money queen unleashed two new singles—“Barbie Tingz” and “Chun-Li”—from the forthcoming follow-up to 2014’s The Pinkprint during an explosive Beats 1 interview.
During the Q&A with host Zane Lowe, Nicki opened up about a series of topics, including her social media break. “I needed to focus,” she explained. “I wanted to make sure I was writing something that was meaningful to me and that would inspire and captivate my audience. Most importantly, I wanted to have fun again without giving a shit.”
Now, she is finalizing her album, which has a top-secret title. “[Fans] are gonna love the title of the album,” she explained. “It fits everything that I am right now, where I am in my life.” Although it’s taken years to release a new LP, she says it’s only months in the making. “I’ve been working on this album since December,” she said, though some tracks are older. “This is very important for people to know. Some songs were written a year-and-a-half ago. That’s important to know.”
Nicki, who is planning a documentary and world tour for 2018, also spoke candidly about Drake and Meek Mill’s feud and why she felt “hurt” by Cardi B. Plus, find out why she got upset with Quavo over “MotorSport.”
ON DRAKE: “He’s always mad at me over something. He always finds a reason to not be my friend anymore. We’re like an old married couple…On the real, Drake also has given me some of the best advice of my career. He’s given me great advice. He’s very smart. Also, even when I couldn’t speak to him, I think he felt the love I will always have for him.”
ON MEEK MILL’S DRAKE BEEF: “It was one of the hardest parts of my career to date ever. At the time, I did love both of them. I couldn’t erase the love I had for my team but I also couldn’t speak out, couldn’t say much. I felt so imprisoned in that moment. When we later spoke about it, Drake said, ‘I wasn’t worried about anything in that entire situation other than what if Nicki takes a shot at me? Then what? What if Nicki spits bars at me?’ He said that was the only thing he was worried about because that would have been so hurtful, painful for both of us. It was difficult to stay out of it. I was behind the scenes, of course, wishing it never happened…I tried to stop it from happening. I said, ‘Don’t do that.’ But as artists, we all look back on things we shouldn’t have done. That’s one of those things he shouldn’t have done. I told him before he did it but he did it. I know both Meek and Drake have both moved on from that, from the anger, and all of that stuff. We all have moved on.”
ON MEEK MILL’S LEGAL CASE: “I don’t want to talk about legal things, but I will say that every now and then, I think about…Anyway, I won’t go there. I’ll save some of those things for my album and I’m also shooting a documentary. What I will say now is that…[sighs] I will say that the judge in question did everything I asked of her so I can’t badmouth her because I met her personally. I know what she said to us. He knows that I know that. Of course, I wouldn’t wish jail on anybody but…I’ll get into detail on that in the documentary and possibly on the album. What made me shed tears the other day was seeing his mother cry. That was the first time I was like, ‘I can’t take it.’ During the relationship, she was so good to me.”
ON FEMALE RAPPERS: “Shoutout to Cardi and all the new female rappers who have been doing their thing. There’s certain girls that show me genuine love that I wanted to shout out. Shoutout to Ms Banks. I told her when I bring the tour to London, I want her to come out. She shows me genuine love. Kash Doll always shows me genuine love. Asian Doll always shows me genuine love. There’s a new girl who showed me genuine love the other day, Maliibu Miitch, I think is her name. It just warms my heart when the girls do that.”
ON CARDI B: “She’s done exactly what she should have done. She’s gone full steam ahead. Congratulations to her. The only thing with Cardi that really, really, really hurt my feelings was the first interview she did after ‘MotorSport’ came out. I remember when I first came in the game, if a female of that stature had done a feature with me on it, I would only be singing their praises and saying thank you. The first interview she did after ‘MotorSport’ came out, it just really hurt me. She looked so aggravated and angry. The only thing she kept saying was, ‘I didn’t hear that verse. She changed her verse.’ I was like, ‘What?’ I remember when I first did a song with Trina for the first time, that’s why ’til this day, I love Trina. She’s the first female rapper that acknowledged me behind the scenes…You’ve never heard me speak ill of Trina because of that. That’s very important. Her most recent interview, Cardi, that’s when I came back on Instagram, I saw it, and I finally felt like she said something genuinely nice about me. But ‘MotorSport, I kinda felt ambushed.”
ON QUAVO: “Quavo is my baby. I love Quavo. At the time, I went on Twitter and explained how ‘MotorSport’ came about. People were saying I was lying. I texted Quavo and said, ‘Can you back me up on this? I didn’t want people thinking I was lying. What do I have to lie about?’ He didn’t back me up. He texted me and was like, ‘I would go on Twitter and back you up if you were my girl. LOL.’ That hurt. I love him. There are certain rappers who I call my baby, Quavo, Uzi, Swae Lee. Quavo told me, ‘I’m not gonna go on Twitter and address that shit. If I do an interview, then I’ll address it.’ I was like, ‘Yikes.’ It hurt my feelings to know that people would watch me be slaughtered and not one people will step in and say the truth. They will run with that lie because it’s…entertaining to make Nicki seem like the bad guy. It’s sad.”
ON THE ‘MOTORSPORT’ VIDEO: “Even with the scheduling conflict, she’s using my hairdresser now so even he can attest to the fact, Tokyo [Stylez]…He knows there really was a scheduling conflict and it was because of him. He’s the one that couldn’t show up. I texted him, ‘You know, if I don’t show up the day she’s shooting, they’re gonna act like I’m doing it to be mean with the current Nicki hate train.’ He wasn’t able to come, and that’s fine. I had to shoot another day. They all knew that…You still did interviews and you all still jumped around that just to paint Nicki as the bad person so you could play the victim. That really hurt me. I fully supported her and up until this recent interview, I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview. I can just imagine how many girls wish they could have been on a song with Nicki Minaj. I’m not saying it in a cocky way but yikes.”
Following the candid interview with Beats 1, Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to address Cardi’s claim that she changed her lyrics to Migos’ Culture II hit. “How can you say someone changed their verse & forget to say Quavo TOLD me to remove my singing part (which I loved) & Atlantic told me to remove your name from my verse per your request?” she asked. “So how were those changes gonna happen if I didn’t ‘change’ my verse?”
How can you say someone changed their verse & forget to say Quavo TOLD me to remove my singing part (which I loved) & Atlantic told me to remove your name from my verse per your request? So how were those changes gonna happen if I didn’t “change” my verse? 😩🤣 #NickiDay #ChunLi
— BEAM ME UP SCOTTY OUT NOW (@NICKIMINAJ) April 12, 2018
The original verse, as published by DJ Akademiks, features a reference to Cardi B. “If Cardi the QB, I’m Nick Lombardi,” she raps. The line is a reference to Vince Lombardi, one of the most celebrated football coaches of all time. Later, Cardi B changed it to say: “If Quavo the QB, I’m Nick Lombardi,” a reference to Quavo’s high school quarterback days.