Two days after announcing her "Pink Friday" album, due Nov. 23, Nicki Minaj visited Billboard's Los Angeles office for a live video Q&A hosted by Billboard.com, during which she answered fans' questions sent via Twitter.
The Harajuku Barbie answered an array of queries, from what her rituals are ("I write early in the morning when no one is up," she said) and what moves her creatively ("I am inspired by the beat") to her fantasy female singing group lineup, which would include none other than the "Harry Potter" character Hermione Granger, Angelina Jolie, "Jersey Shore" star Snooki, Lauryn Hill and Cyndi Lauper. "Because she's fun and crazy and reminds me of myself," she said of the latter.
Unlike her Young Money brethren, Minaj confessed to writing her rhymes in a notebook -- as opposed to a mobile device -- and to not writing anything down at all when she sings. She also explained the difference between her mixtapes and her upcoming album, stating that the "mixtapes were saying I can rap and the album is saying I can make a song - that's a big difference."
Minaj revealed that after the live Q&A, she would be going to the studio to work on her second single, which she plans on having done in the next week. "I think you guys are going to be really happy with it," she said about it. And, although details were limited, Minaj did say she has a song on the album that she plans on tapping on a "special, dope chick" for. There will be a deluxe edition of the album, she confirmed, although she isn't sure yet what additional material will appear on it.
When asked what has been the biggest lesson she's learned since being a mainstream artist, Nicki admitted that things have moved faster than she ever expected. "Things happen really quickly, and you should take a moment and absorb it," she said. "To be honest, the last year of my life, I can't tell you where it began and ended, or what happened in between. I can't remember dates, I just keep going. I didn't realize things would move so quickly."
She credited the speed at which her career has been going on her Young Money affiliation, adding that her Young Money crew gives her "street edge. It keeps me grounded."
Currently, Nicki says she's inspired by Los Angeles and, although she doesn't feel her rap style has changed much since her mixtapes days, she says she welcomes influences from her surroundings. "Life is about growth and I don't want to remain the same my whole life -- I want to be able to change. I respect people that love '07 Nicki, and I'm definitely going to give you some stuff on 'Pink Friday,' I won't forget anybody. But I have to be true to me -- I started seeing different things, going to different places, eating different things. It would be fraudulent to rap the same way and look the same way, because I'm not the same. Period."
Minaj also talked about regrets about getting a tattoo, her affinity for "Judge Judy" ("She's straight forward but doesn't realize in her next life she's a comedian. Plus she's little and she's cute," she says), and why sugar is the secret ingredient to her famous boneless chicken stew.
To catch more of Nicki, come back soon and check out the archived video.