Nicki Minaj will not lose.
As she celebrates a decade of dominance, compiling countless cups and record-breaking feats along the way, Nicki Minaj has her eyes fixated on making this next phase an undisputed benchmark. Where her last album, 2014's The Pinkprint, solidified her position as the queen of rap, expect the follow-up, currently referred to as NM4, to place her in the conversations as one of the greatest to do it.
"This era will be a billion times more epic than anything 'Anaconda' could have delivered," the Queens rap superstar revealed in a new interview with Dazed, which published this week. The cover story, which highlights her 10-year reign, finds Minaj laying out plans for her next chapter of domination. "I think this era will definitely be the most memorable and the most impactful of my career yet."
Exciting to say the least, Nicki's comments come as many anticipate her fourth studio effort, which has lived in the air of 'Most Anticipated' since her epic run in 2014. Now, in a year that finds her perch at its highest yet, outpacing Aretha Franklin to officially become the woman with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits, the rapper who floored an entire rap audience on Kanye West's "Monster" and reminded listeners on Roman Reloaded that she's in the "HOV Lane," is glued on adding a classic to her bag — and she has no plans of rushing it.
"I'm not rushing the album, because it means so much to me. I have to release a classic at this point," she asserted.
As far as the thematics behind this mystery project, Nicki confirmed it will go "deeper than" Pinkprint but with its own unique flair. "I have to take what needs to be discussed and put it with the other organic things that no one can predict," she explained. "Somebody could send a beat and it triggers something in you. Last night I had that experience. I got a few beats and it triggered something in me that I haven't felt since Pink Friday. There was something that felt so magic and genuine about what was happening. Every time I think I know what this album is going to sound like, there's a little magic that happens. It takes me down a different path and shows me something about myself and I just follow it."
Despite being rumored to drop later this year, no date or timeframe has been set for NM4. According to its author, each and everyday of the recording process brings in new inspiration. "I've made it my business with this album to not even put a date or a deadline on it," she said. "I can't say if I'm fifty-per-cent, eighty-per-cent or ten-per-cent done, because I don't know. Tomorrow, I might walk into the studio and decide that I don't like anything I've done in the last six months. Or, tomorrow I might walk in and feel like the whole album is done. There's so much beauty in not knowing."
One thing she is quite sure of is a guest appearance from Young Thug. "I was so blown away by his artistry," she explained of their recent work. "I can't wait for people to hear that collaboration."
For Nicki, the words "can't wait" couldn't have served as better promo for NM4.
Read the entire Dazed cover story here.