It’s been a year since Nicki Minaj released “No Frauds” and “Regret in Your Tears,” and she spent the majority of 2017 dishing out features for her rap counterparts, keeping anticipation for new material at a fever pitch.
After a five-month-long hiatus from the public eye, Minaj seemingly used her time off to plot her next move and returned this week to tease a pair of new singles — “Barbie Tingz” and “Chun-Li,” which both dropped Thursday (April 12). In addition to unleashing the singles, Nicki checked in with Zane Lowe at Beats 1 for what she teased would be her most “candid” interview ever, and the “No Frauds” rapper certainly opened up about everything that’s happened in the past year, from her social-media hiatus and her thoughts on Cardi B to her upcoming album and plenty more.
Here are six things we learned from Nicki Minaj’s Beats 1 interview:
She purged all social-media platforms from her phone to focus her attention on making a “meaningful” album.
Nicki hasn’t released a studio album since her 2014 offering The Pinkprint and has teased the follow-up for quite awhile. In a September 2017 interview with DAZED, Minaj revealed that her upcoming album would take her “deeper than I went on The Pinkprint, because I have a lot to talk about.” Speaking with Zane Lowe, the rapper echoed the same sentiments and said her new album is “the best” one she’s ever created in her life.
“I needed to focus,” she told Lowe. “I wanted to make sure I was writing something that was meaningful to me and that would inspire and that would captivate my audience. But most importantly, I just wanted to have fun again, I wanted to go into the studio and have fun without giving a shit about… I didn’t want to see anything. I wasn’t only not posting, I took all forms of social media off my phone, and it actually was the most genius decision I ever made.”
Nicki tried to stop the Drake/Meek beef.
Nicki found herself in the middle of the explosive rap beef between her Young Money labelmate Drake and then-fiancé Meek Mill in 2015. Meek tweeted that Drake doesn’t “write his own raps! That’s why he ain’t tweet my album because we found out,” and kicked off the ongoing feud between the two rappers. Looking back at the situation, Nicki told Zane Lowe it was “one of the hardest parts of my career to date because, at the time, I did love both of them and couldn’t erase the love I had for my team.”
After speaking with Drake once the beef died down, she said Drake admitted that his only concerned was whether she would join Meek and attack him given their friendship and loyalty to one another. “I was behind the scenes wishing it never happened, even prior to it happening I tried to stop it from happening,” she said. “I said, ‘Don’t do that.’ But I think as artists we all look back at things we shouldn’t have done, and that was one of those things he shouldn’t have done.”
She’s shooting a documentary about the making of her new album.
Throughout the interview, Nicki mentioned that she has an upcoming documentary in the works, that will presumably chronicle the creative process behind her new album. When Lowe asked her to share her thoughts on Meek’s current legal situation, she began to talk but then paused and said she’ll “save some of those things for my album and I’m also shooting a documentary.”
Nicki started making her new album in December.
Nicki’s last album The Pinkprint came out in 2014, and while she said she’s always in album mode, the “Regret in Your Tears” rapper said she began piecing together her new album in December, around the time she took a break from social media. With Cardi B’s rise in hip-hop and the media’s constant comparisons of the two rappers, it’s easy for the public to find lyrics that may seem like subliminal messages, like a snippet of an unreleased single that recently surfaced where Nicki raps “I ain’t never play the ho position, I ain’t never had to strip to get the pole position, hos dissing, OK these hos is wishing,” leading many to believe she was taking a shot at former stripper-turned-rap star Cardi B. Nicki insisted that despite any “existing rumors,” the song was made over a year ago and was actually supposed to land on a Drake project.
The Shade! — pic.twitter.com/10L7Bd30hn
— That’s So Nicki (@ThatsTSN) April 11, 2018
She’s a fan of a bunch of the newer female artists.
Cardi B isn’t the only one on Nicki’s radar. In the interview, Nicki shouted out a number of femcees who have shown her “genuine love,” like Kash Doll, Ms. Banks, Asian Doll and Maliibu Miitch.
Nicki was “hurt” by comments Cardi B made after “Motorsport.”
Migos’ “Motorsport” was a huge moment, not only for the rap trio (it peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100), but for Cardi and Nicki as well, as both ladies were rumored to be in a feud. The female rappers dominated the track with their respective flows, but the comparisons and “beef” rumors only heightened. Cardi added fuel to the fire when she told an interviewer that Nicki’s verse isn’t the one we hear on the final version.
Speaking to Lowe, Nicki said Cardi’s comment and behavior when asked about Nicki and the “Motorsport” verse “hurt” her feelings. She recalled the moment she took to Twitter to address rumors about the Cardi feud and said that initially, Quavo was the only one featured on “Motorsport.” She texted Quavo and asked if he could “back me up on this because I don’t want people to think I’m lying,” but Quavo refused and said he would only help Nicki if she was his “girl.”
“Y’all all still jumped around that just to paint Nicki as the bad person so that you could play the victim. That really, really hurt me,” she added. She sniffled, apparently fighting back tears and continued: “I really, fully supported her and up until this recent interview I did, I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview and I can imagine how many girls wish they could’ve been on a song with Nicki Minaj.”