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With the release of her highly anticipated debut album “Pink Friday” only one week away, Nick Minaj sat down with Billboard Magazine to chronicled her successes, failures, ups and downs, embarrassments and never before heard details behind the road to becoming the baddest chick in hip hop.
When Lil Wayne kicked her to the curb:
Minaj credits mentor Lil Wayne for sparking that fire in her. After she dropped out of the second leg of Wayne’s 2009 I Am Music tour, he kicked her out the crew — a turn of events that wasn’t made public. “I started to record by myself and I lost track of what I was doing and who I wanted to be,” she says. “It wasn’t until I linked back up with Wayne that he gave me this speech. He said, ‘What happened? You were hot,’ and it just hurt me so much. I wanted to prove to him that I was still hot. It hurt my ego so bad that I went back with a vengeance.”
Working for Red Lobster and a million other places:
“The last job I had was as an office manager in a little, tiny room where I literally wanted to strangle this guy because he was so loud and obnoxious,” Minaj recalls. “I would go home with stress pains in my neck and my back. That’s when I went to my mother and said, ‘Look, I’m not going back to work.’ I’d been fired like 15 times because I had a horrible attitude. I worked at Red Lobster before that and I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could stick my middle finger up at her and demand that she give me my pen back. I swear to God I was bad.
About staying true to who she is:
“When I started rapping, people were trying to make me like the typical New York rapper, but I’m not that,” Minaj says. “No disrespect to New York rappers, but I don’t want people to hear me and know exactly where I’m from. I wanted the album to be universal and versatile. It really feels like it speaks for every one of my personalities.”
Nicki makes no apologies for “Roman’s Revenge”:
“‘Roman’s Revenge’ is where I’ve become a different human being,” Minaj says. “I didn’t give a damn who I offended, whose feelings I hurt — this needed to be said, and it cracks me up when I listen to it. I’m a maniac on that track. I knew true hip-hop fans would love this.”
“‘Nicki she just mad ’cause you took the spot,’ word, that bi–h mad cause I took the spot? Well, bi–h, if you ain’t sh-tting then get off the pot/Got some niggas out in Brooklyn that’ll off your top,” Minaj raps on the track.
Being the very best requires working with the best:
“I push people around me but I don’t push anyone more than I push myself,” she says. “I tell people all the time, ‘You want to work for me? You have to give 250,000%,’ because when I’m in the booth, I don’t half-ass it. I demand perfection from everyone around
Lil Wayne, who was recently released from jail, says he’s “not shocked at all” about Minaj’s success. “Both Drake and Nicki Minaj are both born stars,” he says. “I am just blessed to have them on the team.”
Peep Nicki Minaj interview with Billboard below