There's no business like show business—but according to Nicki Minaj, that's not necessarily a good thing. Speaking with The Fader for its upcoming Fall Fashion issue, the "Bang Bang" rapper was asked to explain her June 29 BET Awards speech, in which she cryptically referenced a near-death experience, saying she didn't call an ambulance because she didn't want to end up "on TMZ."
"I was making a point to say that the business kills so many people and we don't even realize it," Minaj, 31, told the mag. "I can only imagine how many people in this business have died because they may not have wanted to...to be embarrassed publicly. We care so much about what the world thinks that we don't live, really."
The "Moment 4 Life" superstar has yet to disclose any details of her reported brush with death, saying only that the experience was something of a wake-up call. "It made me realize, I don't care what anybody gotta say," she told the crowd at the BET Awards. "I'ma do me. I'ma do me."
For Minaj—who's preparing to release her third studio album, The Pink Print—that means pushing the limits of what's expected of her. "Every time I do a business venture or something that isn't the norm for a female rapper, I pat myself on the back," she told The Fader. "It's important that corporate America can see a young black woman being able to sell things outside of music."
Her latest plans, she revealed, involve a deal with the Home Shopping Network. "A female rapper!" she exclaimed. "With HSN!"
Minaj has indeed come a long way since signing with Young Money in 2009, but she hasn't forgotten her roots. In fact, she teared up talking about her little brother, Micaiah, 16, who was just a kid when she left home.
"One day he asked my mother, 'Do you ever think there'll come a time we all live in the same house again, and Onika will be back and she'll have her room, and I'll have my room?' And it just broke my heart," she told The Fader. (Minaj's given name is Onika Tanya Maraj.)
"I don't want to get emotional," she continued. "I just miss them. Every time I talk about them, I get emotional."
The Fader's Fall Fashion issue is on stands Aug. 26.