Nicki Minaj Fronts Allure, Talks Jay-Z and Big Hair

Photo: Michael Thompson/ courtesy of Allure
Nicki Minaj on the magazine's April cover.

"Nicki ain't a rapper, Nicki is a brand-a," Nicki Minaj once declared of herself in song. Between a MAC campaign, an OPI collection, and a rumored fashion line—not to mention a body-painted Vogue spread—her prophecy seems to be coming true. Her latest coup? A spot on Allure's April cover, and it wouldn't be Nicki if she weren't sporting a wild wig, in this case a candyfloss-pink number created by her hairstylist Terrence Davidson. 

Not since Dolly Parton has a music-world figure been so strongly associated with towering updos, and Minaj tells the magazine she's always pushed the coiffure envelope. "I was doing every- and anything to [my hair]—putting in wads of gel and brushing it to the next century, and just thinking I was so cute," she says. "I always thought I had an eye for that stuff."

As fans from Donatella Versace to Anna Wintour would agree, she certainly does. But it seems all the fashion-world adulation she's been receiving still isn't enough for the Queens-born rapper, who tells of chatting with Jay-Z at the Victoria's Secret fashion show. "I'm coming for you," Minaj mock-threatened Jay. "I'm coming for your spot, Mr. Mogul." Could a Rocawear-like empire be far behind?

Photo: Michael Thompson/ courtesy of Allure

Pretty in pink: Nicki Minaj rocks orange and pink hair and plenty of pouf for the April issue of Allure.

Minaj also explains her success with the younger set (most notably Sophia Grace and Rosie, the 8-year-old YouTube stars who covered her song "Super Bass".) "I think as far as the younger demo is concerned, I play dress-up," she says. "I also can put on a very cartoonish voice. So sometimes children may not know what I'm saying, but they like the sound of it, and they think I sound like some weird character."

Minaj sports a Marlies Dekkers bra and a Jason Wu skirt on the magazine's cover. In the accompanying shoot, she wears a Dolce & Gabbana dress paired with an Adrienne Landau shrug. The issue hits newsstands on March 20.