16 Behind the Scenes Stories About Complex's 2012 Magazine Covers

Nicki Minaj: Self-Possessed

Issue: April/May 2012

Photographer: Christian Anwander

Written By: Miss Info (@missinfo)

 

The tongue idea came from the photographer, and the swirly lollipop was a last minute addition. It's always good to have a prop; people pose, but with a prop it's easier to play off of.

 

Brent Rollins: "We first shot Nicki Minaj for a cover in 2011, and I remember when she walked in, I said, 'Hey we shot you last year,' and she was like, 'Really?' It's fine, because I don't expect people to remember me each time, but it was more in the sense that so much had changed since the last shoot as far as her career.

The concept was that we had a logo for the 10-year anniversary, and we thought it would be cool to do something graphic, because she's open to costumes. We wanted to have her be amongst all these stripes and whatnot, so that's why she's dressed the way she is.

The tongue idea came from the photographer, and the swirly lollipop was a last minute addition. It's always good to have a prop; people pose, but with a prop it's easier to play off of. The photographer, Christian Anwander, had thought of her tongue being painted a while ago, but when we actually found the lollipop we wanted, we were able to resurrect the idea. It's surprising to see someone's tongue painted, but it works for her because she's a character that would allow that."

Gina Batlle: "We didn't actually get confirmation that she would be able to do the shoot. The shoot was on a Saturday, and we didn't find out until Thursday that she was going to be there for sure. She was preparing for the Super Bowl performance [with Madonna] at the time."

Read the Cover Story

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