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(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for ELLE)

Nicki Minaj is about to drop her much-anticipated Queen album, but not without controversy.

In a recent interview with Elle Magazine, Minaj opens up about feeling herself as a single woman, perfecting her music, and takes not-so-subtle digs at the reigning female hip-hop it-girl Cardi B. as well as her ex-boyfriend Meek Mill.

Here are three surprising things we just learned about Nicki Minaj from her interview with Elle magazine:

Minaj has forgotten about her checkered past

In the Elle interview, Minaj is sitting high, looking low, criticizing everybody else and taking obvious stabs at her sometimes rap rival Cardi B’s past as stripper.

Minaj says: “Maybe I was naïve, but I didn’t realize how many girls were modern-day prostitutes,” she begins.

“Whether you’re a stripper, or whether you’re an Instagram girl— these girls are so beautiful and they have so much to offer. But I started finding out that you give them a couple thousand dollars, and you can have sex with them. I was like, yikes. It’s just sad that they don’t know their worth. It makes me sad as a woman. And it makes me sad that maybe I’ve contributed to that in some way.”

Then she twists the knife deeper: “I’ve never had to f*ck for beats. I’ve never had to f*ck for a record deal. I don’t have those pressures. I get up when I want, shop when I want.”

That’s seems like a lot of nerve and a straight swipe at Cardi B.’s relationship with Migos front man rapper Offset. It’s clear that Minaj believes that Cardi B. slept her way to the top to get a record deal.

But it’s surprising that she plays so coy about the matter as if hasn’t sold herself to the devil that is the record industry.

She appears to have forgotten about that erotic “Minaj à Trois” photoshoot where the two Nicki Minajs give each other oral sex. Minaj also seems to have a forgetful memory of the video that was done before she become famous. where she admitted to having sex, oral sex and smoking joints with Remy Ma. That probably led to the constant beef the two have. Seems like Nicki is the pot unnecessarily calling the kettle black.

At one point, Minaj tries to clean up her diss.

“It being okay to keep your legs closed.” She’s speaking slower than usual, as if she’s searching for the way to preach self-respect without sounding like she’s slut-shaming. “I don’t really know how to say that without being offensive.”

Mmmhmm.

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She believes that getting rid of Meek Mill helped her to find her zen

The rapper explains:

“I remember feeling like I could do anything at one time in my life,” she says, “And somewhere along the line, I just started second guessing myself, for whatever reason…as soon as I realized that I could actually live and breathe, and eat and sleep, and walk and talk without having a boyfriend, something clicked in me.”

So… is she saying that Meek and his legal troubles was pulling her down? Seems like it.

“Becoming single was one of the things that made me feel strong and powerful. The fact that I am a young woman who doesn’t need a man for money. I don’t need a man for a job.”

But she does seem to have sympathy for his legal troubles. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” Minaj says of his situation.

“But I’m also not gonna bad-mouth a judge who… because anything I say stays on the record.”

Smart move. Onika.

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She considers herself the reigning Queen Bee

Honestly, we weren’t sure why the former Barb would attempt to assume the title of Queen Bee, since Lil’ Kim claimed it first…

According to Minaj, it’s because she’s changing the game. That’s why.

“I feel like true icons shift music, uplift music, switch music, have the balls to take a chance,” Minaj says, noting that she worked for about 30-36 hours in the studio perfecting Queen.

“I’m such a perfectionist that when something is too easy to me, I actually feel guilty. It would’ve been so easy to listen to all the trap music out there right now and say, ‘Let me just copy this,’ but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.”

Oh, okay. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right?