As Nicki Minaj proved Sunday night (Feb. 12), with her stupefying Grammy performance -- a high-flying, religious-themed fantasia that included an exorcism and offended some Catholics -- the rapper is beyond kowtowing to critics. She says as much in the February/March issue of VIBE magazine, the cover of which The BoomBox is pleased to officially premiere Tuesday (Feb. 14).

The 'Roman Holiday' creator appears on the cover -- seen below -- decked out in a glittering crown and flowing orange wig. In the issue, she sounds off on various topics, among them the challenges she faced while recording her debut LP, 'Pink Friday,' which earned her a Best New Artist nomination at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.

"I felt like I had something to prove to everyone who said a female rapper could not make an album unless she was talking about her p----," Minaj reveals. "And so I went above and beyond to prove that I could not talk about sex and not talk about my genitalia and still have a successful album."


When asked whether it's difficult for a female artist to navigate the notoriously male-dominated industry, she responded with confidence. "It's not hard to get your way when it's your way or the highway," she says, clarifying that it's not a bad attitude but a successful business model. "In the beginning, if people didn't know me they'd probably assume I wasn't smart or wasn't business savvy. But once you sit and talk to me, it's a different story."

See Photos of Nicki Minaj's Grammy Performance


The Queens-bred MC is also known for her daring wardrobe choices, garnering a dedicated Lady Gaga-like fan base who love her for her larger-than-life style. After photos of Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Minaj surfaced from Fashion Week 2011, she felt a shift, no longer needing to appease the magazine world with a guise that's not her own. "I've made up my mind that when you see a Nicki Minaj magazine cover from now on, it's really going to reflect me and it's going to be something that I creatively had a hand in," Minaj shares. "The fashion world will have to come to Nicki Minaj, as opposed to Nicki Minaj trying to go to the fashion world."

The Nicki Minaj Vibe cover story is available next week.

Watch Nicki Minaj Perform 'Roman Holiday'

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Watch: Nicki Minaj's 'Mess' of Grammys Performance

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