Photography by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Courtesy of V Magazine


Nicki Minaj is a young lady who speaks her mind. The tough-talking hip-hop princess makes it very clear to her entourage of male employees that it is her way or the highway.

"Everything I do has been approved by me personally. My team is mostly made up of guys, but none of them would ever think about telling me what to wear or what to do with my hair. They know that ultimately I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do," Minaj reveals in the upcoming issue of V magazine, for which Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin photographed her for a dual cover.

It features Minaj in makeup more simple that what we typically see her in for one panel and in a second panel, painted over in what can only be described as panda-chic, where stylist George Cortina has transformed Minaj into a wild animal using black-and-white makeup (paired prettily with a green Versace dress).

This could all be part of Minaj trying not to take life and fame all too seriously, or it could be the next big thing for the season.

"I'm an entertainer -- I like to make people laugh," she says. "Some will hate it and some will love it, but all will remember it. And that's what I want: to be remembered. Even if I'm saying something hard-core or controversial, there's always a touch of humor, and if you don't like it, it means I'm stirring things up inside of you," Minaj says.

Sometimes we look at her day-glo wigs and crazy cartoon-style makeup and we do wonder, What the heck was she thinking?

Now we know that sometimes the artist is as lost as we are about her own motivations.

"I just always want to do 'me,' but 'me' changes every day. I would crumble up and die if I had to wake up and be the same person every day. I don't silence those voices anymore. I just let them speak," Minaj says.