Nicki MinajÂ gets real in pages of Elle
Nicki Minaj has become the Lady Gaga of hip hop, and despite her rise to fame for her eccentric and sometimes over-the-top antics, she does have some talent and a flair for fashion. The artist, who has transitioned from music to judging on the hit show "American Idol," recently let her true colors show in the April edition of Elle magazine.
The woman behind the costumes
Minaj is almost unrecognizable on the cover shot - she is wearing a tight half-zipped leather jacket and black jeans with minimal makeup and her "natural" blonde locks down. The rapper looks almost elegant and chic, rather than overdone and cartoon-like - a nice change indeed.
It's not just her look that is stripped down in the pages, Minaj also speaks candidly about her upbringing and how being bullied as a child has made her who she is today. The rapper discusses moving to America from Trinidad and how music became her outlet in school, since the other kids were so mean to her. From there, she made it a goal to get into the music industry to make her family proud.
"My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, 'Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire,'" Minaj told the publication. "I'm thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination - in terms of providing for my family - is absolutely my goal."
Even though Minaj's life has changed for the better, she did admit she felt a bit scared to pose for the recent shoot without her signature pink lipstick, wild hair styles and extreme women's clothing.
"... I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes," Minaj told Elle.
Despite her desire for "world domination," Minaj might not have what it takes to run an empire just yet. Fox News reports the rapper was more than 15 minutes late for the first live show of this year's "American Idol."
The rapper slinked into her seat after the show had already gone to air, blaming traffic on the mishap. According to the news source, fellow judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson were upset by her tardiness, though host Ryan Seacrest was the most visibly shaken.
Do you think Minaj has what it takes to create an empire like Beyonce? Do you like her more modest Elle cover better than her usual style?