Nicki Minaj has had to prove herself “a hundred times” more to achieve the same recognition as male rappers.
The Pound the Alarm singer rose to fame in 2010 with her debut studio album Pink Friday and earlier this year (17), she become the most prolific female artist on Billboard Hot 100 countdown with more than 77 entries.
During an interview for The New York Times style magazine T’s Greats issue, on which she graces the cover, the rapper admitted that during the early years of her career, she had to work significantly harder than her male counterparts to get credit for her talent.
“I kind of love that I’ve had to go through so many hurdles to get where I am because I feel like I deserve it,” she said. “I had so much going against me in the beginning: being black, being a woman, being a female rapper.
“No matter how many times I get on a track with everyone’s favorite M.C. and hold my own, the culture never seems to want to give me my props as an M.C., as a lyricist, as a writer. I got to prove myself a hundred times, whereas the guys that came in around the same time as I did, they were given the titles so much quicker without anybody second-guessing.”
Despite her success and “wholeheartedly” believing in her talent, Nicki also admitted she sometimes has moments when she isn’t confident in her abilities.
“Sometimes I wake up and say, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore,’ you know?” she said. “I’ve had those times. I’ve had those years where I’m just like, ‘Am I good enough?'”
Now, however, the 34-year-old feels like she is about to have another big moment in her career as she is confident with the progress she’s making with her fourth album.
“This is definitely the most inspired and free and excited I’ve been since I started releasing albums through a label,” she smiled.