In a new interview with Time, Nicki Minaj encourages young women to not "ever be ashamed to ask for the top dollar in [their] field." As someone with an enduring rap career, a successful line of beauty products, and a judge's seat on American Idol, she's clearly proved her business savvy in an industry that's especially tough on women.

Minaj stresses how important it is for women in her industry to not be shy about negotiating for equal pay:

One thing I learned along the way in business is the necessity for you to be unapologetic about asking for how much money you deserve.

At a very early stage in my rap career, I was making six figures for shows…If I heard there was another rapper making that, I thought, ‘you know what? I get out there and demand or command a crowd. I get out there and make my fans happy. I get out there and give a real show. I want that, too.’ And I pushed myself to be better with my showmanship, but I also decided, you know what? I want to be compensated well.


The "Anaconda" rapper explains two rules she set for herself early on in her career, and advises all young women who want to be in charge of their own business to abide by them as well:

I write my own raps, a man doesn’t have to write down your thoughts, you’re intelligent enough to write down your own thoughts.

Number two, I would become a mogul.


She also credits her own mother for inspiring her to take control of her work:

As a child [my mom] didn’t have a job where she was the boss. And I always looked at that and wished that she was the boss and that she did make her own rules. So from very early on I felt like, “You know what, whatever I do one day, I wanna be more in charge of my business.”

Now worth $77 million, she can hire guards to wave money behind her on stage at awards shows, which is pretty much as successful as you can get.

Sources: Time