There are sexual things that I do that aren't for a man. I feel empowered sometimes by being sexy and being comfortable enough to be sexy on camera "" a lot of woman [sic] struggle with that. But, there are some days that I don't want anyone to see me. I'm just a regular girl. Some days, I'm super-strong; some days, I'm super-insecure. But, I don't really identify with any particular label. I just speak my truth, and if people like it, they like it, and if they bash it, they bash it.
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I'm a rapper... Gaga's a fantastic artist, you know, she paved her way. She's opened her own lane. But I think that I have my own lane. And we never cross. Ever. So, you know, I really don't get the comparison anymore. Our music doesn't sound the same. Our stage presence is not the same. I just can't see the similarities.
People don't know how heavily involved I am in my own career. I'm on 15 to 25 conference calls every few days strategizing with my team. I think a lot of artists sit back and have it done for them. Sometimes as women in the industry - if you're sexy or like doing sexy things - some people subconsciously negate your brain. They think you're stupid.
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I understand that artists and critics make a big deal over the Grammys. But when I go to my shows and I'm selling out arenas in London, and when I'm in Australia and Japan, there aren't any Grammys there. There are human beings who I've touched. There are human beings who are inspired by me, who I love dearly. And that's what my career is based on.
When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a... like, I'm so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it's hard. I feel that it's become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol' crazy lashes"" you know, nothing"" I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.
A lot of rappers want somebody to always sing on their records. If you can hold a note, they're gonna' ask you to come and be apart of their creativity. At that time, they were eager and on the streets selling drugs or in the studio making music. That was a big part of our lives were I grew up.
Regular people don't even realize how much artists mean to them. Artists represent a lot to the average person. People listen to music all day on their iPods, so as artists, we become a real fixture in people's lives. As an artist, you can't take it personal. It's like your big brother teasing you.
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I just kinda do what I feel. I never knew what lane I would fill, [or that] I would fill a lane at all. I didn't even really contemplate that far down the road. I just started having fun, and a lot of that came from me seeing Wayne dare to be different, and I started feeling like I can be a multifaceted rapper. I don't have to be a one-dimensional female rapper. Once I put that in perspective, it was like everything just got easier for me, because I no longer wanted to fit in anybody's box... I just wanted to be Nicki.
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When I grew up I saw females doing certain things, and I thought I had to do that exactly. The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot . . . and I thought that to have the success they got, I would have to represent the same thing. When in fact I didn't have to represent the same thing.
When people see my makeup, they think all types of crazy things that I'm doing to my skin, but it's makeup. It's the weirdest thing. They'll see contouring and think you had surgery on your nose. No. No. No. Look at 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and you'll see... you can make your nose look... what ever shape you want it.