Nicki Minaj wears a strap-trim leather jacket from Tom Ford and jersey leggings from American Apparel. She’s run the charts and made the big boys of rap bow down to her—and now, as an American Idol judge, Nicki Minaj owns prime time. The Queen of Hip-Hop redefines success.
On her dramatic make-under for her ELLE photo shoot: “When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a… like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes— you know, nothing— I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”
Her advice for women on how to command respect: “My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want— and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.”
On her plans for world domination: “My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I’m thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination— in terms of providing for my family— is absolutely my goal.”
Makeup by Joyce Bonelli – Photographed by Thomas Whiteside – See more at: Elle US