Nicki Minaj shows off a pink ‘do on the cover of Allure magazine’s April 2012 issue.
Why does this woman—who played a dominatrix in a video with model corpses in lingerie (Kanye West's "Monster"), and who proudly proclaims, "I'm a big deal/That's why I get more head than a pigtail"—also have an audience of insanely devoted eight-year-olds? "I think as far as the younger demo is concerned, I play dress-up," Minaj 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 remembers being fascinated with her hair when she was nine. "I was doing every- and anything to it—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." She also had a philosophy: Hair allowed you to reinvent yourself, which was perhaps particularly critical to a little girl with big dreams and a troubled reality. "I had done something I thought was really, really, really cute, and I showed my neighbor," she says. "She was like, 'Why'd you do that to your hair?' And I never forget what I said: 'I'm someone new in this hair.' "
"Nicki basically owns pink," said hairstylist Terrence Davidson, who collaborates with Minaj on her wigs. This one took him five pieces and two days to create. At the shoot, he brushed the curls, set them with hair spray, and dabbed on a bit of serum.
Minaj, who is working on a fashion line, has major plans for world domination. "I never thought about music as just being the end-all, be-all. I always looked at it like a business, something that I could create an empire out of. So that's why I'm only about to put out my second album and I'm already thinking about this," says Minaj. "I had a little conversation with Jay-Z at the Victoria's Secret fashion show. He said, 'Congratulations on all your success.' And I was like, 'Yeah, I'm coming for you. I'm coming for your spot, Mr. Mogul.' "
For more from Nicki, visit Allure.com!