Nicki Minaj is celebrating 15 years in the music business this year, and is riding high on the Billboard charts with her record-breaking number one smash hit single, “Super Freaky Girl“.

Nicki spoke to Jada Pinkett-Smith this week for publication Interview Magazine (Oct 18). During the interview, Nicki opened up about how she is balancing motherhood with being a super force in the music industry, whilst remaining true to her artistic legacy.

She also shared her views on what she thinks about the current state of the music industry today. “I wish there was some more singing. I remember listening to Monica’s first album, for instance, and I couldn’t put it down. Or, of course, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘.”

Nicki also touched on how she wishes the new era of rappers focused more on originality. “So many new artists are trying to become the person they looked up to instead of giving us a new flavor. And it’s irking the crap out of me!”, Nicki admits during the interview. “I know I could see so much talent in some of the new artists, females, males, whatever. But they lose me when I’m seeing the person who they are trying to be like or sound like more than I’m seeing who they are.”

While discussing the rappers that came before and inspired her to become a rapper herself, Nicki explains that each artist stood out and sounded much different to the next artist. “When I started falling in love with rap, I felt like everybody was their own unique thing. Whether it was the Jay-Z‘s and the DMX‘s or the Wu-Tang Clan‘s or the Nas‘s or the Pac‘s or the Biggies.”

“Even the female rappers, whether it was Eve, MC Lyte, who I’ve always loved, even Left Eye’s voice was so unique, to Salt-N-Pepa. [Lil] Kim and Foxy [Brown] never even sounded alike to me. Everyone had their own thing.”

Left Eye in the Calvin Klein Jeans campaign (1998)

Although we know Nicki has praised her inspirations in the past, it’s always a blessing to see her acknowledge Left Eye, as we know Left Eye gets heavily overlooked when it comes to the industry acknowledging legendry female rappers and respecting her work and talent.

Despite being a member of TLC, Left Eye still made sure her style and creativity stood out in the group and on features with other artists. If she was still here today, she would have loved Nicki Minaj — maybe even blessed us with a collaboration. One can dream.

Check out the full Nicki Minaj interview HERE