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Nicki Minaj on new music and 'American Idol'

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Photo - Nicki Minaj accepts the award for favorite artist - rap/hip-hop at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Nicki Minaj accepts the award for favorite artist - rap/hip-hop at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Entertainment,Associated Press

Nicki Minaj, the rapper who has had much success on the pop charts with songs like "Starships" and "Super Bass," says the rerelease of her sophomore album will be nostalgic for her early fans.

"The feel of the rerelease is kind of like my first sound, like the mixtapes," she said of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded -- The Re-Up," out Tuesday.

The rerelease comes seven months after "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. That album features pop, dance, R&B, reggae and rap sounds. It's a far stretch from when Minaj kicked off her career as a sexed-up street rapper, signed by Lil Wayne in 2009 after she released three buzzed-about mixtapes. Her official debut, "Pink Friday," is near double platinum and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

But the 29-year-old says she's "back to basics" on her eight-track "Re-Up," which features Lil Wayne, Tyga and some of Minaj's proteges.

"It sounds probably more hood in some ways, for a lack of a better word," she said.

Her pop fans won't be disappointed, though: There's also the Dr. Luke-produced, dance-flavored "Va Va Voom."

The Associated Press: What's the energy like on the rerelease?

Minaj: I studied a lot of the production side of this particular rerelease. It was just important that the beats sounded a certain way. ... I was really able to step up the writing on it, as well.

AP: What are your favorite albums of the year?

Minaj: I really have been enjoying all of the hip-hop albums that came out because I feel like hip-hop artists have been taking their careers into their own hands, and I just want to give a salute to everyone because it's not easy. ... The music has been sort of changing and adding new sounds to the game and introducing new people to the game, so I would just give a big nod to hip-hop for 2012.

AP: Is working as a judge on "American Idol" what you thought it would be like?

Minaj: No. ... They're very long days, and that's the biggest thing I didn't really expect. ... I'm used to being able to handle my business at any time, and when it's "American Idol," sometimes we're in one place for eight hours judging people and I can't go to my BlackBerry every five minutes like I'm used to. So that kind of slows my business down, and that is something that I never could have foreseen. But, as a whole, I love the experience that I'm getting.

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