Nicki Minaj Covers XXL, Talks Her Impact & Role in Hip-Hop

While fans await a new Nicki Minaj album, the rap superstar reflects on her journey in hip-hop thus far for the 20th anniversary cover of XXL.

In her cover spread, Nicki rocks a dominatrix-inspired outfit consisting of black latex and a plastic-style overcoat, while in the accompanying interview, she talks about her role in hip-hop.

“My role in hip-hop has been super unique because when my first album came out, there had been so much time where there wasn’t a female rap album out that went platinum,” Nicki explains.

“There wasn’t a big female rap presence right before I got in. So, my role was reintroducing the female rapper to pop culture,” she continued. “I aligned myself with a lot of brands and I was able to show that a female rapper can sell products. Whether it was the makeup, the lipsticks, whether it was the nail polish, headphones or anything like that. It just said, ‘You know what? We were overlooking female rappers for a long time.’ I don’t think we got that much credit. I think female rappers have always been dope and influential, but I think I sort of came in at a time where big business was paying attention, so I was able to capitalize off of a lot of deals and business ventures.”