Nicki Minaj is riding high with multiple recent Grammy nominations and a highly anticipated new album on deck. The Associated Press caught up with the first lady of Young Money at Billboard's Women in Music event on Friday, where she spoke on being nominated next to Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne in the Best Rap Album category.
"It feels crazy, like, who would have thought that?" Minaj marveled. "I was just chillin’ out in Southside Jamaica, Queens, rapping. New York City. Never. I never would have imagined that, but it’s a blessing and I always say hard work pays off. Don’t be lazy. I’m racist against lazy people. I wish they did not exist in this world."
Minaj is also nominated for Best New Artist, where she is competing against rising talents like Bon Iver and J. Cole. Reflecting on the importance of her nods from the Academy, the Trinidadian rapper and singer said she hopes it sends a positive message to young women.
"I don’t ever expect to win those type of things but it’s good to be recognized and it’s good for girls to see that you could do whatever type of music you want to do and you can be recognized on a big scale," she said.
On Friday [December 2], Minaj released "Roman in Moscow," the first song from her new album, which she described as a "teaser" and "the wackiest song" on the project. Speaking on what has changed between her first and second albums, the Harajuku Barbie said she is trusting her instincts more.
"With recording my sophomore album, things are happening so much easier now because I was over-thinking on the first album," she said. "I was giving people what I thought they needed and what I needed my reputation to be. And now, it’s like I don’t care what you think. I’m going to do what I do for my core fans. If you like it, then you like it. And if you don’t, bye."
Billboard also recently honored Minaj with its "Rising Star of 2011" award. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is in stores Valentine's Day 2012.
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