Nicki Minaj Talks New Single ‘Anaconda,’ Explains Racy Artwork
Nicki Minaj recently dropped a single with Jessie J and Ariana Grande titled, “Bang Bang,” and on Saturday, the self-proclaimed Queen of Rap teamed up with Beyoncé for a surprise remix of “Flawless.” Nicki is clearly on a mission to annihilate the rap game — once again.
To add to her lineup of summer releases, the 31-year-old has unleashed her hotly-anticipated single “Anaconda,” which features the rapper spitting verses over samples of Sir Mix-A-Lot‘s dance floor-filler, “Baby Got Back.”
Incorporating pieces from the ’90s classic to create a new club anthem, as we can imagine, must have been an intimidating process, so On Air with Ryan Seacrest dialed in the hip-hop megastar to get the exclusive on how the Polow Da Don and Da Internz-produced banger was created.
“We were in the studio in L.A. — I was in one room, they were in the other — they said, ‘Okay, let’s see what we can do.’ And I walked back in the studio and I said, ‘Oh my God, this is exactly the feel I was going for’ because it was fun,” says Nicki, who was also ecstatic when Sir Mix-A-Lot “liked the song.” “I wanted to have fun, I wanted to have something for girls to dance to in the club, and to me it worked in every way possible.”
Nicki had been teasing the single with the track’s risqué artwork — described as “serving it” and “giving it on every level” by guest co-host Nicole Richie — in which the “Super Bass” rapper is squatting in Air Jordans, a pink thong, and a matching sports bra.
The cover went viral and spawned fan-generated memes including Photoshopped versions of Marge Simpson, The Lion King, and Spongebob Squarepants, so Ryan asked the body-confident artist for her reaction to the Internet’s response.
“Well first of all, I was shocked. I’m still shocked,” Nicki explains. “I mean, I never saw that one coming. I mean, it’s hilarious. I’m like, ‘Why would people do that?'”
As for the original artwork — taken on the set of the song’s music video — Nicki told Ryan that her manager Gee Roberson thought the photo was too controversial, but she used it anyway to remain true to her brand.
“He was thinking that it may be too over the top, and I said, ‘Well you know, in the beginning of my career, I did pictures like that, I did photo shoots like that,'” she says. “And I didn’t want to lose that sense of who I am. I feel like one of the people I look up to the most was Madonna, and she’s never stopped pushing the envelope. She’s never stopped taking risks, and I don’t ever want to stop doing that either.”
“Anaconda,” which serves as the follow-up single to “Pills N Potion,” is available on iTunes now. Both tracks are off her upcoming third studio album, The Pink Print, which has no official release date just yet.