Everything We Learned From Nicki Minaj's Revealing Beats 1 Interview

Nicki opened up about Cardi B, Meek Mill, her new album, and much more.

It’s officially #NickiDay. Nicki Minaj released two new singles today, “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz,” and hopped on an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 to promote them. However, as with all things Nicki, the interview was much more than a simple appearance to promote a couple new tracks. The interview was far-reaching and candid, and Nicki revealed a laundry list of new things about her album, as well as her relationship with Drake, Cardi B, and much more. 

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Lil Wayne and Birdman both called in at different times to give Nicki love, and Nicki was obviously excited about releasing new solo music for the first time in years. She also revealed she is making a documentary, and indicated that some of the things she wouldn't talk about in this interview will be addressed in more depth in the doc. She even intimated that she recorded on tape the first time she heard the beat for one of her new songs, "Chun-Li," and promised "fans are gonna go crazy for it."

Here are the six of the most interesting things we learned from today’s Beats 1 interview.

On Her New Album and Upcoming Tour

Nicki Minaj

Nicki confirmed there’s definitely a new album coming, and it’s not just any old album. “This is the best album I've ever in my life ever ever ever created,” she said. In order to get there, though, she needed to “deactivate from the matrix” and log off all of her social media. She even got a new number and only gave it to people on a need-to-know basis.

“I wanted to make sure I was writing something that was meaningful to me and that would inspire and that would captivate my audience,” she said. “But most importantly, I wanted to have fun [in the studio] again.”

“Music has become much more than music now. It’s become just a lot of shenanigans. And I was like man… I can rap. At the end of the day, that's what I do. I don't know about nobody else, but I rap,” Nicki said.

Nicki also shared that she’s been working on this album since December, though it’s “very important” to know that some of the songs on the album were written a year and a half ago. She wouldn’t reveal the name, but she already knows it, and says that people will love it since it “fits everything where [she] is in [her] life right now.”

She refused to share any feature information, but she did share she actually signed a producer on the album, who is named Chevy (but might be changing his name soon?) He produced both of her new tracks, “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” She worked with other producers, but did not share who they were.

Finally, there will definitely be a tour. "I'm gonna announce the tour soon and I can't wait to go around the world. I'm going to everybody's country. Let's go."

On Meek Mill's Probation Violation Case

Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj and her former partner Meek Mill broke up at the top of 2017, and later in the year he was sentenced to two to four years in prison for a probation violation. It is the belief of his lawyers that the case has been unfairly handled and that the judge has a “personal vendetta” against the rapper. Nicki has stayed silent about this entire situation, until today, when she made comments that shocked many of her fans.

“I don’t wanna talk about legal things,” she initially told Lowe, before becoming audibly emotional. “I will say that the judge in question did everything I asked of her. So, I can’t bad-mouth her because I met her personally, and I know what she said to us. And he knows that, and I know that.”

“What made me shed tears the other day was seeing his mother cry,” Nicki said. “She, during the relationship, was always so sweet to me.”

“I wouldn’t wish jail on anybody,” Nicki concluded.

On Her Issue With Cardi B

Cardi B

There have been rumors brewing over whether Nicki Minaj and Cardi B have beef. Things came to a head when the two women, who are both featured on Migos’s “MotorSport,” didn’t show up in the same scenes in the music video for that song. Nicki had already shared that she didn’t initially know Cardi would be on the song; Cardi has been saying for months in interviews that Nicki’s verse on the song was different the first time she heard the song. Nicki finally shared her side of the story today.

“The only thing with Cardi that really, really, really hurt my feelings was the first interview she did after ‘MotorSport’ came out,” Nicki said, saying she felt “ambushed” and made to look like the bad guy when there was no beef to begin with. “Up until this recent interview she did, I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview.”

“I remember when I first came in the game, I would only be singing their praises and saying thank you,” Nicki added. “The first interview she did, it just hurt me because she looked so aggravated and angry. She just kept saying she didn’t hear it... I was like, what?”

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On Drake and Meek Mill's Past Beef

Nicki Minaj and Drake

“Drake is always mad at me,” Nicki said, laughing. “It’s so stupid.” But even when they weren’t talking—and yes, she is talking about the Meek Mill and Drake feud of 2015 to 2016 —“he felt the love that I will always have for him.”

She then dove right into her experience of seeing her boyfriend at the time feuding with one of her best friends. It was “one of the hardest parts of [her] career to date,” she said, adding, “at the time, I did love both of them.”

“I felt so imprisoned in that moment,” Nicki said.

“It was difficult to stay out of it. I was behind the scenes, wishing it wouldn’t happen,” she explained. “I said, ‘Don’t do that.’ I think, as artists, we all look back on things that we shouldn’t have done. But he did it, and it is what it is. What I do know is that Meek and Drake have moved on from that.”

On Lil Wayne and Birdman

Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

Both Lil Wayne and Birdman made separate surprise calls to Beats 1 to congratulate Nicki on her latest music.

Lil Wayne's call was full of jokes. “I can’t believe Wayne was up at this time!” Nicki said at first. Lil Wayne also called them a "power couple" before Nicki told him he might regret that joke after people started recording what he had just said in a written format. “I don’t know what a written format means,” he replied. 

Then things got serious, and Lil Wayne knew exactly what to say about Nicki's career. "She made her own way and there's a gang of people, not only women, following her path," Wayne said.

Nicki also shared the love when she remembered a time when the two were recording in Miami and Wayne told her, “You’re on my same level now!" to which Nicki replied, "Wayne, are you crazy? I will never be on your same level!”

Birdman also had kind words for Nicki. “The numbers she put up, the ethics, how she took rap to another... I don’t think any other people have done that in the music business,” he said. “I’m just grateful to be a part of it, and watch it.”

Of course, Nicki chose to not comment on Wayne and Birdman's ongoing legal issues. "When there's a dispute with family, I don't take sides," she said. "I knew eventually that shit would get worked out between him and Wayne.”

On Uplifting Female Rappers

Nicki Minaj and Foxy Brown

Nicki spoke about the sense of responsibility that she feels to “uplift women,” especially since she feels “women now are more powerful than [they’ve] ever been.”

In keeping with that mood, Nicki used her time to shout-out a bunch of female rappers, including: Maliibu Miitch, Asian Doll, Kash Doll, Lauryn Hill, and even Azaelia Banks, despite their thorny past. "She's said some incredibly nasty things about me in the past, but she's publicly apologized, and I don't hold grudges," she said. "And also, [her] new record is dope."

She also gave a shout-out to Foxy Brown, who will be in Nicki's documentary. "I feel like people try to erase Foxy from the history books by not including her in certain shows and certain things, and I think it's corny," she said. "There's so much about Foxy that's just never been matched."

She even gave a shout-out to Cardi B, despite the sticky situation she outlined earlier in the interview.

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