Nicki Minaj dropped her latest single ‘Last Time I Saw You‘ last night which has been received pretty well so far.
This morning, the rapper-singer called into Zane Lowe on Apple Music Radio on New Music Daily to discuss the song, her inspiration behind making it, taking risks on the upcoming album Pink Friday 2, owing everything to the fans, having a feature on Drake’s upcoming album For All The Dogs, making relatable music, and more.
Below you will find the transcript of the full interview.
Nicki Minaj on new song “Last Time I Saw You” not being her typical single
I knew for the album, of course, I would have to discuss certain things or whatever. I just didn’t intend on it being a single. A lot of times people forget that I do a lot of features, and so these are not my actual songs. These are not songs from my album. And so sometimes people forget the kind of music that I’m able to create because it’s been a long time since they heard an album, and most of the times they get those kind of cuts on the album.
This time when I heard the beat, the first thing I did was I wrote the hook. And when I wrote the hook, to me, it felt it was… The vibe of it was really talking about a loss, a real loss you know. But to not make the song feel only directed at one kind of loss. When I wrote the singing verse, I tried to expand it and think even about relationships. And then by the time I got to the rap, it was like I had included all relationships that I had lost before, because I mentioned even best friends and stuff like that.
I just wanted the next song that I put out, Zane, to represent my growth, but not just as an artist, but as a human being. I’ve experienced so many things that I hadn’t experienced five years ago, and that’s just the truth.
Nicki Minaj on having a song on Drake’s upcoming album
Zane, I meant to tell you, you mentioned Drake. You know I have a song on Drake’s album as well coming out soon too. So it was funny that you mentioned him. I love the song so much. I’ll just say I really love the song. I know my fans are going to love the song. I know the world’s going to love the song. And that’s all I will say about that.
But, no, Zane, Barbz, make sure y’all let Drizzy Drake know that Pink Friday 2 is coming out November 17th as well. And we are waiting on his contribution.
Nicki Minaj on loss and life
I haven’t spoken to anybody about this particular part outside of super really close friends, I guess. But I had just had my first child. The last thing I thought I was going to have to do when I just gave birth to my first child was to start preparing for my father’s funeral. If there were a billion quadrillion things that I could have thought would’ve been happening in my life, if somebody gave me a billion options to choose, that would not have been the option that I thought I would’ve been experiencing. And I’ll get into certain things even more, but I won’t do that right, right now. But yes, you are the first person that mentioned that, and it’s very true.
In fact, a lot of people that I knew, even when I lived in Queens, a lot of people would, right around the time that they either got pregnant or had their first baby or either baby, second, third, they had lost someone super close to them. And I don’t understand why though
Nicki Minaj on her son Papa Bear
What kind of keeps me grounded with that is because when I look at my son, I can’t be angry at the universe. I can’t be angry at God because I realize he’s given me all these blessings, so I have to take the good with the bad, you know?
Nicki Minaj on how she felt when she first listened back to “Last Time I Saw You”
The end of the song, I remember I didn’t have an outro like that. It was a outro, but it wasn’t that. And I remember Wendy came and Josh came to hear the song and they were like, “Gosh, we kind of want to hear the hook again.” And I was like, “No, I don’t want to hear the hook again. It’s fine how it ends,” and dah, dah, dah. But then I said, “You know what, Juice? Let me go in real quick.” And I said, “You know what? Let me just freestyle and see what comes.” I said, “Because I can’t just put a generic, the same exact hook and just go, ‘Bye-bye.’” No.
And I went in the booth, Wendy and Josh were sitting right there. Juice was here as well. And I just said it, but I wanted to say it in kind of a different way, and then out came in the third to last line, “I knew the moment that I’d always adore you”, which is a line that I’m not saying on the hook-
… but it felt so right coming at the end. Just knowing everybody in the world will be able to relate to this is what makes me happy. Because again, if you’re not a major Nicki Minaj fan, you wouldn’t know Nicki Minaj does this kind of music. You would just think I’m only doing the boobs and butt and penises and, you know.
Nicki Minaj on wanting to make a song people can relate to
People don’t realize how scary it can be for an artist to try something new no matter how big of an artist it is. Meaning, even though I’ve always been writing songs like this, I don’t tend to make them singles.
Where the climate of music is right now, I felt it was needed right now. I felt that if I don’t take the risk, that I’m just as bad as everyone else who I think should make a change. And not only artists, but people behind the scenes. Because the truth of the matter is people are experiencing real life every day. Believe it or not, people are going through real shit every day. So just because they don’t have that music out to express it, it doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing it.
Nicki Minaj on her new perspective
I feel like I’ve definitely cracked the code to something that gives a person peace no matter what’s going on around them. There’s peace within them. I feel like I’ve cracked the code. I am not perfect. I didn’t get the master’s degree in it yet, but I think becoming a mom… Well, becoming a mom definitely gives you more patience with people Because you realize that people are owed that grace. You owe it to other people because you always want people to bestow grace upon you whenever you fuck up. And I know because I fuck up a lot. But anyway, so you learn patience and you learn that the things that money couldn’t buy when you look back.
Yes, I know everybody’s going to say, “Oh, people with money always say…” Trust me, anybody watching this, when you get money, because you will experience getting money, you will understand, you’ll understand why people say the things that money can’t buy are the things that make us happy. You know what I’m saying?
Nicki Minaj on her next album ‘Pink Friday 2’
…anybody who’s on that journey, you are welcome to take it with me. I would love for you to experience this journey together with me and the Barbz and on Pink Friday. Pink Friday 2. Of course, it’s never going to be any album where it’s only going to be one kind of song.
Nicki Minaj on being appreciative of her fans and wanting to push the culture forward
I feel really good because being in a happier place for me mentally means that I’m also able to, I feel, write and create faster and better. So I’m not mad at it. I’m blessed that people still even care about what I’m doing. That’s the other thing. I want to make sure I don’t take that for granted. Me even having people anticipate an album… My first album came out in 2010. My first mixtape came out in 2007. So the fact that people even care is a blessing. And I want to tell everybody that’s watching this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you guys have done. And that’s why I’m putting quality.
I could have been put this album out. I could have been… Some of the songs I wrote four years ago when I thought I was going to put an album out. But no. No. I refuse to do it. I feel like as a leader in anything, you have to be willing to take those kind of risks that you know that you’re not guaranteed to win at, but it’s going to shift the motherfucking culture because if you ain’t going to do it, who will?