Nicki Minaj has a feature in the latest issue of T Magazine. Inside the pages of the mag, the Young Money rapper talks about her gay alter-ego Roman, her personal style when she’s not rocking one of those crazy outfits, and, of course, her ongoing feud with her old and bitter rap nemesis Lil Kim, who she says can be a “nasty character.”

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T Magazine: This is quite the month for my favorite femcee. You have the new CD, a new MTV documentary and a new lipstick for MAC. If you’re not careful, you’re going to end up turning into Oprah and ruling the world.
Nicki Minaj: Yes! I hope so. I love me some Oprah. It’s the beginning stage but I never imagined in a million years that this would be happening. It’s quite surreal.

T Magazine: Are you happy with your first CD?
Nicki Minaj: Of course! It’s amazing. Honestly, sometimes I get tired of some of the songs because they have been with me for so long but overall I never imagined that it would be something that I would cherish so much and be so proud of. Obviously, I’ve done mix tapes before but having the album out feels like I am finally a real artist, like I have the stamp of approval as an artist from myself.

T Magazine: You’re ready to be the superhero and not just the sidekick?
Nicki Minaj:Exactly. That’s why in “Roman’s Revenge,” the song I do with Eminem, I say “I am not Jasmine, I’m Aladdin.” It’s time for the girl to be the main character, you know?

T Magazine: Well, you’ve always been a superhero to me and part of your weaponry has always been your makeup. It’s fitting that you now have your own lipstick.
Nicki Minaj: Isn’t it cool? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m inspired by color and everyone knows I love pink. Actually, when I was first doing shoots people would always ask me to change my color of lipstick. Normally people wear different lipsticks, but pink is my thing and to change it would be like me changing my name when I walk out of the door.

T Magazine: A lot is made about your costumery, but tell me a bit about your personal style.
Nicki Minaj: When I’m just at home or in the studio, I’d rather be chill. I like to dress down on my personal time but when it’s time to go out it’s on. I do like a pop of color.

T Magazine: And I know you have been vocal in saying that it’s not all sex all the time, but you always wear body-con stuff.
Nicki Minaj: Yeah, but to me it’s less about wearing the tightest thing than wearing what makes me feel confident. Sometimes if something is too tight I’m not confident, I’m like, Don’t look!

T Magazine: I saw your documentary, “My Time Now,” and I have to say that parts of it, like when you cry talking about your grandmother’s passing, are heartbreaking. How hard is it to open up like that and talk about things like your dad doing crack?
It’s very hard and to be honest, he kind of caught me off guard when he asked me about my grandmother. I wasn’t prepared to answer that question. But that’s when you get the raw emotion and if being open about the things that have happened in my life inspires someone then it’s cool with me. I’ve done my part.

T Magazine: I thought it was also very important to show you in the studio, producing, writing on the fly, showing yourself as a creative person.
Nicki Minaj: Well, it’s hard to be a female rapper but it’s more tough being credited with the work that you put in as a female rapper because people assume that you’re not the brains behind the operation or that you’re not the one doing writing these lyrics. So letting people come into my world and see that I am doing these things is good for all girls.

T Magazine: That brings up an interesting point because I would be pretty remiss not to mention your spat with Lil’ Kim. When she badmouths you and others doesn’t that just make it even harder for female rappers?
Nicki Minaj: It does, it does. But the thing that I want to promote is that if you see someone doing their thing, give them their props. We all have it hard and face the same challenges as female emcees. Show some mutual love and respect for each other so that it doesn’t get nasty. And she can be a nasty character.

Speaking of characters, I wasn’t sure which of your alter egos would show up today. I was hoping for Roman.
Nicki Minaj: [Nicki Minaj laughs and puts on a thick English accent.] Sometimes if it’s really early in the morning, Roman gets cranky and doesn’t want to get out of bed. Roman is lazy, you know, he wants to stay out all night and not wake up so I send Nicki out into the world. Roman has to be conjured up and now you’ve conjured him.

You’ve said that Roman is a sister. Please tell me he helps out with your hair and makeup.
Nicki Minaj: Of course. Roman is leading the way when it comes to makeup and hair. He’s gay!



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