By Ezra Marcus

Nicki Minaj graced this month’s cover of Billboard, appearing in a striking shimmery gold bodice with trimmed bangs. The accompanying interview provided several intriguing glimpses into the life of one of hip-hop’s biggest stars during the lead-up to her Pinkprint album release.

“You should always be competing,” she explained. “You should always be trying to show that you’re the best. My album is going to be important to hip-hop.”

Related: Nicki Minaj Reveals ‘Pinkprint’ Deluxe Album Cover

Minaj also provided some context for the aesthetic choices in her video for “Anaconda”:

“I went overboard with the video to show that I’m not going to hide,” she added. “And those big-booty dancers I have, they’re not going to hide. Black girls should feel sexy, powerful and important, too.”

The interview took a turn for the dramatic when Minaj apparently responded to an “innocent question about Iggy Azalea” with a “withering, wordless stare.”

Although Minaj didn’t comment on her much-rumored rivalry with the Australian rapper, Billboard reports that one of her staffers turned off an Iggy song when it came on in the studio. Beef: it’s what’s for dinner.

Minaj’s “important to hip-hop” album The Pinkprint is due out Dec. 15 after originally being slated for this month. Read the full cover story with Billboard here.





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