10 Things We Learned From Nicki Minaj’s New MTV Documentary

“Brokenness leads to such beautiful art sometimes.”

Photographer João Canziani
January 19, 2015

Last night, MTV aired their second Nicki Minaj documentary Nicki Minaj: My Time Again (the sequel to 2010's Nicki Minaj: My Time Now, which birthed this incredible speech about double standards in hip-hop). The Nicki on film in 2015 is just as full of searing truths, but she's also a whole new person: one who's learned some hard lessons about love, and who's not afraid to go deep and address them head on. Watch the whole documentary above to see her kick it with old school friends in Queens, rehearse for her VMAs performance and shed tears in the studio listening back to"The Crying Game"; scroll on to read our pick of the 10 realest sound bites from the show.

1) Nicki is all about performance

"Every performance should be better than my last. That's how I look at it. Which is why I'm implementing things [in the VMAs performance of "Anaconda"] that I haven't done before, with this amount of dance."

2) And she's not impressed with most people's attempts at rap

"Most people don't rap no more. Most people ain't even trying to spit. They don't try to spit. They're getting by. Everybody is getting by being...fraudulent. Everybody is getting by being half-assed. Everybody's getting by like, not pushing their pen. Do you know how many times I think to myself, 'why did I just re-write this verse? When everything on the radio is a bunch of wack verses?' [...] You don't even have to be an MC any more. That's what's crazy. [...] I am not a 'female rapper.' I'm not. And now they diluted the term 'female rapper,' I don't want to be called that."

3) Beyoncé had Nicki's back over her VMAs wardrobe malfunction

"I don't like to be unprofessional. I don't like to not get my job done."

Beyoncé was supportive, though: "She was like, 'Respect. As an entertainer, I gained so much more respect for you from the way you handled that.'"

4) But Nicki's more bothered about her young fans in Queens

"There are kids there that I've never seen, but they feel like they know me. [...] I've walked the same street, they know where I live. They feel like, 'She made it out of here, I can make it out of here too.' [...] I had a lot of hard times in that neighbourhood. But I came through. It turned me into someone that can face anything."

5) She still thinks about the abortion she had as a teenager

"We just made a terrible mistake. We had to pay for that. I understand that some women have children early, or they feel like that's their destiny, but I always felt like my destiny was to be accomplished in my career first, and then have children. And I feel like I would be a great mom. I always wanted to be a mother, so I know that that will happen one day."

6) And one day hopes to have a child

"I feel like four years [from now] is the time to have a child. But I would have to be married first. [...] There's a housewife somewhere inside of here. [...] In terms of music I would like to have at least five albums done [before having a child]. So on my sixth album, I could come back and speak from a mother's perspective."

7) But right now she's all about making music that empowers women

"I wanted to make a sexy record that was fun. I wanted it to be super sing-along. [...] It was very geared towards being proud of your body. It empowers women. There are lots of thick girls who told me, 'thank you.' [...] I loved the world's reaction to the photo. All the memes had me cracking up laughing all day."

8) Because The Pinkprint came from a difficult place

"I don't think I set out to make a more emotional album. It's just that I write my life. [...] Brokenness leads to such beautiful art sometimes. And I think I was really really broken, writing this. The brokenness is okay as long as it can inspire people."

9) That said, Nicki is finally ready to put love before work

"If it was up to me I would just go to the studio and record...[But I can't] because it's a business. If a soda company wants to make soda they can, but they have to shoot commercials, they have to put up billboards. I provide for my family, but I don't spend the time that I would want to spend with them because I have to work."

"I was in this long, long, long 11 year relationship, and was proposed to. I always told him, 'You know what, let's hold off. Let's hold off.' No one could prepare for this business. And until you are in it, you really can't wrap your brain around it. [...] This business changed people who I really loved, and it's scary. [...] When they start worshipping material things, and forgetting about love and trust and good old-fashioned things like that."

"I'm willing to figure it out now. I'm willing to fit the people I love into my world by any means necessary. I'm no longer putting career over who I love, because it's not worth it, it's just not. You need that, for your soul."

10) Although her first love will always be donuts

"This is the only thing that can make me happy. Heaven sent."

Posted: January 19, 2015
10 Things We Learned From Nicki Minaj’s New MTV Documentary