Nicki Minaj aka Barbie aka Nicki Lewinski has been in the industry for 10 years. Okay, let’s take a minute. A whole decade of rapping and making mullah is what Nicki has been up to. Oh, and beefing with people (insert Remy Ma’s face here). So, what makes a good rapper in the eyes..and ears of Nicki Minaj? 

Nicki Minaj was recently interviewed by The New York Times magazine for 2017’s Greats’ cover. Some of the things she listens for are intelligence and flow. Yassss. Intelligence. Like what are some of y’all rapping about nowadays huh? Make some sense. You don’t even have to sound like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton. Just have coherent lines. “Do you sound intelligent? Does your flow switch up? Are you in command of the beat?” She commented in the publication.

Just like any other top star in her field, she has artists she looks up to. She listed three, “JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Foxy Browny—those are the three I keep in my head when I’m writing because they’ve influenced me so much, I feel like I’m a part of all of them.” Are you an upcoming rapper? Who do you listen to? Why? What is your voice?

She also spoke about her new album. We are hoping the album will have songs such as Anaconda so that we can, ahem *clears throat… She had this to say about the upcoming album, “This album is everything in my life coming full circle and me being truly, genuinely happy,” she tells Roxanne Gay, the author who interviewed her for the cover. “It feels almost like a celebration. The last album, The Pink Print, was almost like my diary, closing the chapter on certain things and not knowing if I was happy or sad about beginning new chapters. I was really writing about feeling unsure. Now, I can tell you guys what happened for the last two years of my life. I know who I am. I am getting Nicki Minaj figured out with this album and I’m loving her.”

She’s one of the most successful female rappers which means she has an opinion about female rappers too (duh!),  “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.”

So, a recap of her advice- have intelligent music, let your lines flow and command your beat. Kapish?