It’s 2 a.m. and Nicki Minaj is curled up on a black leather couch in the green room of Hollywood’s Siren Studios, exhausted from last night’s recording session, which ended at 4 a.m., and today’s 11-hour magazine shoot. The 31-year-old rapper and singer is de-glammed in a black turtleneck crop top, matching leggings, and fluffy duck slippers, her makeup wiped off and her natural hair pulled out from beneath the black bob wig she wore for the shoot.
Five years after signing with Lil Wayne on the strength of her street DVD freestyles; four years after becoming an international superstar off the bubblegum pop of “Super Bass”; two years after offending rap purists with “Starships,” Minaj is dropping her third studio album, The Pinkprint, this fall. She’s calling it her “most personal” album yet. Judging by her output over the past year, The Pinkprint will have a little of everything, meaning it’ll be quintessential Nicki.