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Nicki Minaj, “A Star Is Born” (Originally Published May 2010)

Haters come out whenever someone succeeds. They’re gonna hate everything— the way you look or the way you sound—and they can get pretty nasty online. Do you pay attention to any of that?
No, I definitely don’t look at it. I learned that a long time ago, that if you wanna have any sanity, you cannot read anything being said about you on the Internet. That goes for all the up-and-coming artists, as well. You have to get out of wanting to know what people have to say about you. It’s something that I had to realize. The majority of people that leave comments on the Internet and do those things, they’re not living a successful life.

It’s some mean people with a whole bunch of time on their hands…
Right. So I think putting people down makes them feel better about themselves, so I don’t get mad. I don’t [think] people understand this: I love when they talk, whether they’re saying something good or bad. I’m constantly the topic of conversation, and that’s what I need right now. I don’t let it bother me. I’m very happy with where I am in my life, and I look at it like God has blessed me so much in the last 12 months, why would I let a person that hasn’t even seen the world get to me? They’re just confused admirers, that’s all. It’s interesting to me, the people that so-called don’t like me, they’re the ones that can tell you what I was wearing at every event, what I said in every interview. They’re in love with me. They’re not my haters—they love me. They’re just too ashamed and insecure to admit it. But it’s cool; they’ll get over it.

Wayne’s been around for your whole growth up until this point, and now that he’s in jail, you’re gonna have to put your solo album out without him there. Are you nervous about how his absence will affect you?
I’m not nervous, but I am disappointed. I almost feel like it shouldn’t happen like this. This is not the plan. Wayne should be [here], seeing everything come to fruition. I don’t think we’ll know until sometime in the future, but I think there’s just a bigger purpose for him being gone now around the time when me and Drake are kinda really doing the most work that we’ve ever done.

Nothing can replace him being here. He’s just so full of life and wisdom, and we take a lot from him, and we learn from him. I don’t think people see that [or] understand how much we really depend on Wayne for. But maybe in a weird twist of fate this happened for us to kinda step up to the plate and prove ourselves and prove that we deserve this.

Has all of this been exciting to you or tiring? Does it get a little boring?
One thing that my life is never is boring. I don’t even know the definition of that word anymore. Whether it’s a good moment or a bad one, there’s never a dull one. And I’m not used to it. I’m still excited to sign the autographs and take the pictures, and I don’t think those things will ever get old to me. The one thing that you’ll learn when you really start doing [this] is there’s a lot of work involved, and that’s why they call it the music business. It’s not something for the faint at heart—only the strongest survive. And, especially being a female, people try a lot of tactics with you, so you kinda always have to be seen as a strong person and a person that knows what you want. That’s the hardest thing—being able to stand my ground on things that I know is right for me, and just not allowing anybody to change me anymore. I’m loving every minute of it. But I do feel that a lot of things just pass me by before I can really even be in the moment and appreciate how big it is. I guess that comes with the territory. What can I say.

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