Nicki Minaj is the cover girl for Elle magazine’s July 2018 issue, in which she discussed being single, Meek Mill’s imprisonment, and new music.
The “Chun-Li” singer told the publication that she has experienced more personal growth in the past six months than she had in the last eight years — something she owes to being single for the first time since she was 15 years old.
“I remember feeling like I could do anything at one time in my life,” she said, “and somewhere along the line, I just started second guessing myself, for whatever reason. As soon as I realized that I could actually live and breathe, and eat and sleep, and walk and talk without having a boyfriend, something clicked in me.”
For Minaj, being single makes her feel strong and powerful. “The fact that I am a young woman who doesn’t need a man for money. I don’t need a man for a job. I’ve never had to f**k for beats. I’ve never had to f**k for a record deal. I don’t have those pressures. I get up when I want, shop when I want.”
The Grammy-nominated rapper also touched upon her ex-boyfriend Meek Mill who, at the time of the interview, was still incarcerated for violating his probation.
“I know that when I went there pleading for his freedom, I know that [Judge Brinkley] spoke to me and was very sweet and maternal,” Minaj said of the judge who oversaw Mill’s case. “And we both cried in her chambers, and she gave him another chance. So I don’t know what’s going on.”
In April, Mill was released on bail after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered his immediate release.
Minaj also talked about her new album, Queen, which is set for release in August. “I really think it’s gonna be the best album of the year,” she said, adding that she purposely requested an ’80s boom-bap sound for the record, rather than the trap sound currently dominating the charts.
“It would’ve been so easy to listen to all the trap music out there right now and say, ‘Let me just copy this,’ but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.”
This story appears in the July 2018 issue of Elle, on newsstands June 26. Read more at Elle.com.