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After revealing her Paper cover in full earlier today — showing three self-styled versions of Nicki Minaj aptly titled “Minaj à Trois” — the corresponding interview with the Queens rapper has surfaced, as it delves into her impact in the entertainment industry since her very first mixtape, Playtime Is Over from 2007.

Encompassing three albums, a few acting roles, several endorsements, business endeavors and essentially increasing her net worth since emerging in the spotlight 10 years ago, here’s a few takeaways that we learned from Nicki’s conversation with Paper.

…on being one of the most active artists on social media (over 80 million Instagram followers, 21 million followers on Twitter, 42 million on Facebook)

NM: “I’ve always been very active with my fans, and so they expect me to speak to them when I put out something new. They expect me to ask their opinions, and they’re usually really excited when something comes out so they wanna have the chance to express themselves, and I like to give them that opportunity. But there are times where I take social media completely off my phone. I think that it’s important to deactivate sometimes and unplug yourself from the matrix, because as great as it’s been for my career, it can be unhealthy to certain people as well. If you don’t know how to control your emotions, if you don’t know how to think before you speak, it can also get you in a lot of trouble.

[But] it remains something positive in my life, because even before my first album — with my three mixtapes — I was on Twitter all the time, talking to my fans about every song on every mixtape. So nothing has changed. I guess when artists become bigger they tend to shift their social media presence, but I’m just one of those artists that hasn’t done that.”

…on dropping a female equivalent album like Watch the Throne.

NM: “The only person that I’ve seen a lot of people speak on, when talking about an album of that caliber, is Beyoncé ’cause we did “***Flawless” [remix] and “Feeling Myself” and we’ve actually performed together. I always see a lot of people saying, “Oh my gosh, a joint album with you guys would be really dope,” but, you know, those are the kinds of things that are just wishful thinking from fans…They’re far-fetched because usually artists are in such different places in their personal lives and career lives that it’s hard to make that work. I mean, I even at one point was about to do a mixtape with Future recently, [but] with me working on my album and with him doing other projects — and he thought we should be in the same place at one point to really vibe — it was hard, ’cause he was on tour and I was in the studio [and the timing didn’t work]. So even when you like an artist and you respect their work, it’s very hard to make those types of ideas come to fruition, but when they do come together like the Jay and Kanye [project], then it’s magic for sure.”

…on any plans to do any more acting work in the near future.

NM: “I would love to do more acting. Acting is my first love. Of course, right now is the music portion of my life, but, you know, I can multitask. I don’t see myself doing something now that’s going to require too much time in terms of being on a set for six months, but I’m always open to at least discuss something in acting. I’ll always have the acting bug — I’ve had it since I was in elementary school. I was always doing plays and then went to a performing arts high school here in Manhattan. So I can’t see my life without it, but it definitely takes second position to my music.”

…on how she keeps her cool when things get out of control.

NM: “Oh, I keep my cool because I’m a rm believer and I always get the last laugh. That’s been the theme of my life. You can usually bet your bottom dollar that anytime you see something on the Internet going on with me, no matter how it looks, I’m usually behind the scenes laughing. Because I have a strong relationship with God. I’ve watched Him work miracle after miracle in my life. I’ve watched Him shut down every person who’s ever come up against me, and so it’s comical at this point ’cause I sometimes feel like, “Wow. Don’t they know how this movie’s gonna play out? Cause I definitely know how this movie’s gonna play out.” My closest friends and team members and family — we put it in God’s hands and leave it there. And we know that Nicki is always gonna have the last laugh. And Nicki is always gonna continue to be successful because I give so much to people who don’t deserve. And when you are consistently doing good for people who do not deserve your goodness, the universe has no choice but to give that back to you, tenfold.

I have a loyal fan base who never leaves. And all they do is motivate me and believe in me and fight for me. So anything that even seems negative has only made me even more of a magical unicorn. I feel this year I have never been stronger, I have all my super powers back. I’ve never felt this powerful, as a woman, as an emcee — I’ve never felt this invincible.”

For the full coverage, head over to Paper now.

In other Nicki Minaj news, she recently responded to rumors of Cardi B beef.

Words by Renz Ofiaza
Staff Writer

Renz Ofiaza is a Staff Writer at Highsnobiety and based in Brooklyn.

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