After stirring up the internet with a very raunchy cover, PAPER Magazine release their full cover story and sexy shoot of Nicki Minaj for their “Break the Internet” issue. Interviewed by Liza Dye, the Young Money Queen speaks on her heavy presence on social media and staying active with her fans, offering to pay for her fans’ college tuition, the possibility of an all-female Watch the Throne album and her fans wanting Beyoncé to be a part of it, a collaborative project with Future that got scrapped, plans of doing more movies, and more.
Shot by Ellen von Unwerth, Minaj lets her bad side out during the sexy cover shoot. The Queens MC is seen styled in pieces by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci, Djula, Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani. The new issue hits newsstands nationwide on Nov. 28, and can be purchased here. Check out some excerpts from Minaj’s cover story, plus some photos from the shoot below.
You’re one of the most active artists on social media — you have over 80 million Instagram followers, 21 million followers on Twitter, 42 million on Facebook — and your posts, likes and re-tweets seem to all come from you. How in the world do you have time to do all that?
“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.”
Among artists of your generation, you’re pretty peerless. But would you ever be into doing a female equivalent to Watch the Throne?
“I would be open to doing [that] if the time was right. I haven’t thought too much about that, though. 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.
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 14, 2017