Nicki Minaj has come a long way since her first mixtape, Playtime Is Over.
In her cover story for The Fader, the "Anaconda" rapper reflects on her career and how she has grown as an artist and businesswoman.
"I think early on in my career, I was... I was... just a little bit crazy," she told the magazine. "I took everything personally. That's just not good, and it's not healthy." These days, she works hard to keep herself in check. "I think one of my best attributes now, as a businesswoman and an artist and a professional person, is being able to think before I speak," she adds. "I've learned that everything I think doesn't necessarily need to be stated."
During the interview, Minaj briefly discusses her family, an emotional topic for her to talk about. She admitted to feeling guilty leaving them behind to sign with Young Money but she perked up when Lil' Wayne was thrown in the mix.
"Now we can have conversations and enjoy each other," she says. "But I don't think I'll ever feel like he's my peer because of how much he's done for me. I'll always think of him like..." she pauses, grins and breathlessly bats her painted eyelashes like a starstruck teen. "Like the king." Years earlier, he'd noticed her on the budget hip-hop documentary series The Come Up DVD, sought her out and mentored her. "I give Wayne credit because he saw me and pretty much picked me out of a lineup, and he knew enough to run with Drake as well," she continues. "From early on, he was so generous with helping younger artists, and it paid off well for him."
Nicki Minaj goes on to open up about reinventing herself, starring in a movie and an array of other things. Read more of her cover story here and check out the cover below: