Nicki Minaj has revealed that she has lost her sense of “independence” and self-confidence ever since she first rose to fame.
The 39-year-old rapper made an appearance Late Late Show with James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment on Wednesday night, during which he candidly discussed how the industry’s scrutiny has affected him.
After the chart-topping star, real name Onika Maraj-Petty, went through a medley of some of her biggest hits, Titanic host James Corden asked why she was eating ice in the car, as she said she was a regular. Rupally supplies him with ice at events.
“I think it’s a worry ball,” Minaj explained. “You know how you can judge [use] a stress ball? So like every time I’m cutting ice, it’s like letting go of anxiety.”
“Do you struggle with it, with anxiety?” Corden asked, to which Minaj answered in the affirmative. “Because in so many ways you are so incredibly confident. What is that anxiety, that jumble of nerves, that matched with overconfidence?”
“I don’t know,” replied the Trinidad-born star. “I guess when I was younger, maybe my natural state was to be more confident. But I think when you’re a woman and you’re in the public eye all the time, if you’re not careful you’re less confident.” Because you’re constantly being screened, you know?
“And I don’t think it’s natural. It’s not natural for a human to always feel like everyone is criticizing them.
“Like, when I first got into the industry, I had this amazing sense of freedom, because nobody gave as s*** what I was doing. Like, I could get away with doing anything And they’d be like, ‘Oh, haha, Nicki Minaj.’
“And then it turns out to be the complete opposite, where it’s like if I blink my eye the wrong way they’ll have a story about why I blinked like that.”
When Corden asked how she protects herself from such situations, Minaj said: “Whenever I’m off social media and I take it [expletive] From my phone, I have this great sense of peace. And then you realize what really matters. The things you’re thinking, worrying about, you’re like, ‘Who cares?'”
Minaj, who welcomed a son with her husband Kenneth Petty in September 2020, said motherhood has “played a big part” in her ability to prioritize life’s more important factors.
“Because I don’t care what might happen, what text got on my phone or what I just saw on the Internet, when I see my son, I fall in love,” Minaj said. “You know, he just makes me laugh, makes me smile, makes me happy. He’s so cute and crazy.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Corden asked Minaj why she often bears a British accent, prompting her to joke: “It’s inspiring speaking for the world to see.”
British comedian Corden then told Starr that she sounded like chart-topping singer Adele, before singing a word-by-word rendition of Minaj’s poem on the 2010 smash hit “Monster” during the last Carpool karaoke session. What do you think about?
“I just loved it,” said Minaj of Adele’s Rap. “I mean, she made me so happy. She embodied Nicki Minaj.”
“He naturally has that thing, you know what I mean?” Minaj added. “But it’s different, because she’s singing these sad songs, so you don’t expect that from her, you know what I mean?”
Returning the favor, Minaj and Corden break up in a rendition of Adele’s hit ballad “Someone Like You.”