Nicki Minaj Talks About Her Past, Her Rise to Fame and Gaga in BlackBook
In a recent interview in the March issue of BlackBook magazine, Nicki Minaj opened up about her rough childhood, her launch to superstar status and the frequent comparisons of her to Lady Gaga. Although the Harajuku Barbie is one of the biggest names in the game right now, her path to fame was indeed a rocky one.
Her family moved from Trinidad and Tobego to New York City when Minaj was young, and the family struggled upon first arriving, especially because of her now estranged father, who became addicted to drugs and was often abusive towards Minaj and the rest of her family members.
In the interview, Minaj explains how her difficult upbringing has affected her. She says, "I’m not a trusting person. I’m always second-guessing everyone, trying to figure out, Who is this person, and what do they want from me?"
Despite this, Minaj's mother always supported her daughter and kept her grounded. "My mother can’t grasp the magnitude of my success," says Minaj. "She couldn’t tell Beyonce from Alicia Keys, and when I try to explain the far-fetched things I’m doing, she’d rather talk about having to call the plumber."
Minaj always had hopes of becoming a famous rapper, and she worked hard to achieve her dreams by working part-time jobs and performing at night. "That whole time was so horrible," Minaj says. "It was like f---ing torture. At the end of the day, after working at whatever job I hated, I would get all dressed up and go out with the hope of getting a record deal. At night, I was an artist, but during the day I was a slave."
"When I think back on that time, on the people who made my life a living hell," Minaj continues. "I want to say, Are you all seeing me now? This is me having the last laugh after all those years when you made it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning."
Minaj, who has now established herself as one of the leading ladies in rap and pop, is often compared to fellow superstar, Lady Gaga. "We both do the awkward, non-pretty thing," Minaj says of Gaga. "What we’re saying -- what I’m saying, anyway -- is that it’s okay to be weird. And maybe your weird is my normal. Who’s to say? I think it’s an attitude we both share."
When it comes to her current status in pop culture, Minaj says that she wouldn't trade it for anything, even though it can be distressing at times. "I’ve already given my fans so much, but the expectation is to go higher and higher. And when I’ve done that, I’m expected to go a little bit higher," Minaj says. "I’ve always wanted fame. But when I achieved fame, I started realizing that it wasn’t as important as being great at what you do, or being critically acclaimed. Still, I never wish I wasn't famous."