Nicki Minaj unzipped covers April edition of ELLE

CALIFORNIA, United States, Wednesday April 3, 2013 – Trinidad-born Micki Minaj scored one of last year’s biggest hits with her RedOne-produced multiplatinum dance-pop single Starships, while her sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded went gold, spawning a re-release.

The flamboyant 30-year-old star went on to start 2013 in style and consolidated her position as one of the hottest rap/hip-hop talents in the business by winning the Favourite Hip-Hop Artist title at the 2013 People’s Choice Awards.

The star-studded event, which took place in January at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre, saw the only female nominee in the Favorite Hip-Hop Artist category beating out all the boys, including heavy-hitters like Drake, Flo Rida, Jay-Z and Pitbull.

The honour came less than two months after Minaj emerged as the only female multiple winner at the American Music Awards (AMA) in November, taking home awards for Favourite Rap/Hip-Hop Album (for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded) and Favourite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.

Earlier that month, she had mauled her male counterparts at the European Music Awards (EMA) in Frankfurt, pipping them to the post to bag the Best Hip-Hop title.

The blonde/brunette/rainbow-haired bombshell also clinched a multimillion dollar deal last year to appear as one of the new judges on Fox television’s hit show American Idol, which returned to TV screens in January.

Now, the hip-hop queen is front and centre again, this time on the cover of the April issue of ELLE magazine where she wows in an unzipped jumpsuit and a new natural look that dumps the crazy wigs and caked-on cosmetics in favour of minimal makeup that highlights the real Nicki Minaj.

Minaj also gets real in the accompanying magazine article that showcases everything from her vulnerabilities to the driving forces behind her lofty ambitions to dominate the world, extracts from which follow:

On experiencing bullying as a child: “I went through a lot of bullying early on. Girls made my life a living hell. We had come to America from a different country. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough. So I’ve always put up this wall— it was a self-defense mechanism growing up— because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It’s sad.”

On her uncharacteristic “make-under” for the ELLE photo shoot: “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.”

On advising women how to command respect: “My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want— and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, ‘Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman’. That’s what it’s all about.”

On her plans for world domination: “My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I’m thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination— in terms of providing for my family— is absolutely my goal.” Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)