Hip-hop’s reigning queen Nicki Minaj has built her empire from the streets of Jamaica, Queens up to the No. 6 spot on Forbes’ 2016 Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. Her evolution from street mixtape rhymer to pop powerhouse with “Anaconda,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, has solidified her rank among her male counterparts. In her November cover shoot for Marie Claire, the Queens native is all about women’s empowerment, and confesses her admiration for Jay Z‘s hustle.
Nicki Minaj has always encouraged women to be be their own boss, and have a sense of independence, instead of looking for cop-outs like “marrying into money”. “I don’t want that to be a woman’s goal in life. I want your goal in life to be to become an entrepreneur, a rich woman, a career-driven woman,” she tells Marie Claire. While she gained prominence with Lil Wayne‘s co-sign and residency on his Young Money imprint, Minaj has flourished in the male-dominated hip-hop industry, often calling out the industry for its unfair treatment towards women and biased beauty standards.
If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year ————————–
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
Minaj has also pocketed a few collaborations with Beyonce, like the “Flawless (Remix)” and “Feeling Myself” off Nicki’s 2014 LP The Pinkprint, and says she feels “inspired” when the two artists work together. “Every time Bey and I do something together, I see how women are inspired, and it has nothing to do with how we look,” the “Super Bass” MC explains. “It has to do with how we are owning who we are, and telling other women you should be the boss of your own career and the brains behind your life or your decisions or your art. I just love that feeling.”
Our November cover star is here to slay. Read highlights from @NICKIMINAJ‘s interview here: https://t.co/K16nQJH52M #NickiforMC pic.twitter.com/WPjQPnmqhT
— Marie Claire (@marieclaire) October 11, 2016
Though she seeks the same opportunities her fellow rappers have, she’s found a way to look past the industry’s faults in order to build her empire, and has modeled her career after one of hip-hop’s true moguls: Jay Z. “He did such a great job being an authentic street guy and a businessman, and I was like, ‘Why aren’t there women doing that, taking the success from rap and channeling it into their empire?'” she confesses about the Brooklyn-bred lyricist. “I felt like anything he could do, I could do.”