Nicki Minaj Talks 'Queen,' Meek Mill and How Being Single Makes Her 'Feel Strong and Powerful'

Nicki Minaj has opened up about her highly-anticipated new album Queen, as well as her new outlook on life in a new cover story with Elle published today (June 13).

“I feel like true icons shift music, uplift music, switch music, have the balls to take a chance,” Minaj says, noting that she worked for about 30-36 hours in the studio perfecting Queen. “I’m such a perfectionist that when something is too easy to me, I actually feel guilty. 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.”

She also discusses how her personal life began to consume more spotlight than her artistry. “I went through a moment where I got to know myself again, and then I went through a moment where I got to know myself as a rapper again," Minaj says.

Minaj also addresses what life has been like after her split with rapper Meek Mill. “I remember feeling like I could do anything at one time in my life,” she says, “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.”

“Becoming single,” she continues, “Was one of the things that made me 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 fuck for beats. I’ve never had to fuck for a record deal. I don’t have those pressures. I get up when I want, shop when I want.”

Later, talk turns to Mill's legal troubles. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody," Minaj says of his situation. “But I’m also not gonna bad-mouth a judge who…because anything I say stays on the record.”