New York Times Magazine contributor Vanessa Grigoriadis caught up with Nicki Minaj recently to profile the star for the iconic magazine’s forthcoming issue. Covering everything from rising in a male-dominated industry to her significant other, Meek Mill’s, ongoing beef with Drake, the star chatted openly and honestly with Grigoriadis, even clashing with the writer on occasion.
It was getting dark outside when I asked about Drake, Meek, Wayne and Williams. Minaj hadn’t turned on lights, so she was in shadow. ‘‘They’re men, grown-ass men,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s between them.’’ How does it make you feel, I ask? ‘‘I hate it,’’ she said. ‘‘It doesn’t make me feel good. You don’t ever want to choose sides between people you love. It’s ridiculous. I just want it to be over.’’
‘‘Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness—’’
The room went quiet, but only for an instant.
‘‘That’s disrespectful,’’ Minaj said, drawing herself up in the chair. ‘‘Why would a grown-ass woman thrive off drama?’’
As soon as I said the words, I wished I could dissolve them on my tongue. In pop-culture idiom, ‘‘drama’’ is the province of Real Housewives with nothing better to do than stick their noses where they don’t belong. I was more interested in a different kind of drama — the kind worthy of an HBO series, in which your labelmate is releasing endless dis tracks against your boyfriend and your mentor is suing your label president for a king’s ransom. But the phrase I used was offensive, and even as I tried to apologize, I only made matters worse.
‘‘What do the four men you just named have to do with me thriving off drama?’’ she asked. ‘‘Why would you even say that? That’s so peculiar. Four grown-ass men are having issues between themselves, and you’re asking me do I thrive off drama?’’
She pointed my way, her extended arm all I could see other than the diamonds glinting in her ears. This wasn’t over yet. ‘‘That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you?’’ she asked. ‘‘Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?’’ she continued. ‘‘To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.’’ She called me ‘‘rude’’ and ‘‘a troublemaker,’’ said ‘‘Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way’’ and, at last, declared, ‘‘I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’
Check out the full interview here. The Passion of Nicki Minaj is featured in the new issue of New York Times Magazine, out on October 11.