If not for Kanye West, hip-hop videos would feature far less of Nikki Barry, better known as Nikki B. The curvy Bronx native, blessed with a 36D-28-40 frame, has been in the video business since 2003, when she made her debut in Chingy’s “Holidae In” vid. Since then, however, the 27-year-old Puerto Rican/Black bombshell has kept her résumé light on rap clips. She’s more focused on her budding acting career, spokesmodelling hustle (she’s currently the face of premier fashion retailer Ashley Stewart) and website (officialnikkib.com). Thanks to Mr. West, though, Ms. B does have a couple of high-profile videos under her garter belt: Drake’s “Best I Ever Had,” which ’Ye directed, and West’s recent short-form “Power” vid/portrait. According to Nikki, though, “Power” might be her last video for a while. Welcome to heartbreak.
We’ve been having trouble finding you in Kanye West’s “Power” portrait. Help us out, please.
How could you miss me? I was pouring water all over my body, and [another model and I] had to tussle around together. I think it was very glamorous. Artistic and very sexy, but done with class.
Speaking of classy, what do you think of West’s new “Rosewood” suit-wearing style?
I think it’s really classy. It mixes the older-man look with young and hip. I’ve always been attracted to older men, so I think it’s really sexy.
Why older men?
I like a man who handles his business. I don’t have time to babysit these little boys. I’m too much to handle myself. [Laughs]
Does a man with an immature sense of style stand a chance?
I always love a man in a suit. There’s something about a suit that’s really, really nice. Something about a tie… Even when the tie comes off, and those few top buttons open up, and a guy looks loose after a long day. That’s my absolute favorite. —Matt Barone
Photography by Fabien Montique