Nicki Minaj Says Magazines Wouldn’t Let Her Have Pink Hair for Covers

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  • Nicki Minaj discussed feeling excluded from fashion magazines in a Joe Budden Podcast interview.
  • She said she’s asked to remove pink hair for covers while celebs like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga aren’t.
  • Minaj also pointed to Billie Eilish, who was put on the cover of American Vogue with green hair.

On a podcast episode released Wednesday, Nicki Minaj sat down with rapper and media personality Joe Budden for a follow-up to their explosive pair of 2019 conversations. During their new conversation for The Joe Budden Podcast, she spoke about her experiences feeling excluded in the fashion industry as a Black female rapper.

“Everybody knew me for wearing pink wigs,” she told Budden during the discussion, which starts around the 54-minute mark.

“You would think the biggest female rapper of all time who has set so many trends would have been on the cover of American Vogue, but she hasn’t,” she said, referring to herself.

Minaj specifically called out fashion magazines for celebrating white artists, like Billie Eilish, for setting fashion trends like colored hair, which Minaj has been known for doing for years. She noted that Eilish was “immediately put on American Vogue” with her green hair.

Minaj also revealed she was asked not to wear her signature pink hair on magazine covers and was instead displayed as a “stripped down” version of her colorful persona.

“They would always ask me not to wear pink hair. But I would see Katy Perry on the cover with pink hair, and I would see Lady Gaga on the cover with pink hair. I came in the game wearing pink hair,” she said .

Minaj doesn’t fault Eilish or Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour for the difference in how she says she’s treated by fashion magazines

Nicki Minaj and Anna Wintour side-by-side at a fashion show in 2011.

Nicki Minaj and Anna Wintour attend the Carolina Herrera Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images

She did not fault Eilish during the conversation for receiving her “shine,” and revealed herself to be a fan of the “Bad Guy” singer.

“They’re gonna say, yeah she put that on the map whether she put that on the map or not,” Minaj said of Eilish. “She’s successful, she’s beautiful, she’s got everybody wearing a certain hairstyle — I know I love her, and when she does do these covers, they’re beautiful.”

She explained why she thought it was important to comment on the disparity. “The reason why you gotta mention it y’all, is because when we don’t mention it, we are erased, they act like it didn’t happen,” she said. She and Budden then drew comparisons to Black musicians who “died poor,” when others were credited for styles they innovated.

“People have to pay attention to what they’re doing and how they’re representing Black artists and Black people,” she continued.

During the conversation, Minaj advocated for another trendsetting rapper as well. “The same way I feel like I already should have been on the cover of American Vogue, so should Lil’ Kim if we keeping it all the way 1000,” she said.

She said her issue was not with American Vogue’s long-standing editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, who has drawn criticism for the publication’s lack of diversity. “Anytime I’ve ever met Anna Wintour, she has been so gracious to me,” Minaj said.

She clarified that her critique was directed at “who is at that table with” Wintour when she is making creative choices.

“It’s your responsibility to wave the flag. You don’t just put it on another face and another person,” Minaj added.

Listen to Minaj’s full conversation with Budden below.

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