Nicki Minaj has had a rocky relationship with Lil Kim throughout her rap career, paying homage to her predecessor then later beefing with her.
During her highly-anticipated interview with Joe Budden, which aired on Wednesday (Mar. 9), Nicki spoke on Lil Kim’s influence in the game, giving her props while addressing the fashion industry and the marginalization of female rappers and Black women.
Nicki said that as “the biggest female rapper of all time” in the “most influential genre in the world,” she should have had a Vogue cover by now. She also pointed to how white women are treated differently. “When Billie Eilish comes out and sets a trend with her green hair, she’s immediately put on American Vogue,” she said. The outspoken rapper also gave Lil Kim her props, saying her influence has been similarly ignored.
Nicki Minaj Says They Should Have Been On The Cover Of Vogue Magazine
“The same way I feel I should have already been on the cover of American Vogue, so should have Lil’ Kim. If we being all the way a thousand. If this is what your magazine represents, influence…” She added, “Because when myself or Lil Kim goes on the internet, every day we see our influence. We will see our influence. So, I’m not gonna say it’s about me only and not give that woman [Kim] her dues.”
Elsewhere during the conversation, Nicki Minaj admitted to having “ass shots” early in her career though she denied having surgery. She said surgery wasn’t acceptable in the public eye at that time, she felt like a “guinea pig” in the early days of social media. “I was one of the first people to be sh*tted on on the internet,” she said.
However, she revealed that being around Lil Wayne and the Young Money roster made her feel self-conscious. Wayne would surround himself with voluptuous women with large derrieres at the studio, triggering her insecurities. Nicki felt she could never look like these women who represented her beauty standard for women in rap.
Big Booty Muses
“Actually, what happened was I kept on being around [Lil] Wayne and them,” Nicki Minaj explained. “At that time, you know Wayne, he’s always talking about big booties… Wayne would have a new chick in the studio every session. They were his muses, but I just was around them all the time and I was like the little sister. This is what you’re supposed to look like in the rap culture and I don’t look like that.”
When Joe Budden asked if she felt pressure from anyone else, she added, “I think Wayne, I think they said stuff sometimes.” The host then interjected with, “jokingly.” Nicki continued, “But to a young girl or up-and-coming rapper, when it’s from someone like Lil Wayne, it matters. Even if they’re joking, they don’t know that the person that is there in that room with them is not finding it funny.”
Watch the full interview below.
A Conversation With Nicki Minaj & Joe Budden