The rapper's new interview might be more revealing than the couple's photo shoot

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Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj
Credit: Ellen von Unwerth/GQ

Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill are “just like any other couple in the hood,” the singer tells GQ for its October issue.

That’s one of the candid comments Minaj, 32, makes about her relationship with Mill, 28, in an interview for their first-ever photo shoot together.

Just as many other couples experience, getting approval from her mother wasn’t so easy.

“The only person was my mother,” the musician said of Carol Maraj’s reaction to the relationship. “My mother only knows Meek from what she sees in public, in the media. She’s met him now, but she just wants to make sure he’s a nice guy. She’s overprotective of her daughter.”

Minaj, who shot down engagement rumors after rocking a diamond ring in April, said Mill is on a short list of men who have had a chance with her heart.

“Another thing people don’t realize is I’ve only had three boyfriends in my whole life,” she told the magazine. “I’ve never dated around … I don’t have a whole lot of experience in that department so my mother and my family were very like, ‘What?'”

She continued, “This is a big step, because they’ve only known one thing for over a decade. Even my pastor, who’s like a second mother, was scared. Everybody was just scared. Those women were scared for me because when I love someone I really let them in, and I really let me guard down, and I think it’s only natural for a mother to just you know, she just wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing into anything.”

As Minaj and Mill’s love story goes, a phone conversation ignited the spark.

“I just knew that after our first conversation on the phone, I was in trouble,” she said with a smile.

However, the trajectory of their relationship has not always been clear to the public.

“Together, I think one of the biggest misconceptions at the beginning was that people thought that me and him just popped up out of the blue and were just in a relationship,” she explained to the magazine. “We were friends for a very long time and he was someone that I was able to really confide in. Nothing that we do is for TV.”

Minaj said her decision to be public about relationships was made long before their romance.

“I was in another relationship and I said after I drop my third album that I don’t care anymore what people think; I’m going to be vocal about who I’m with,” she said. “It just so happens that I’m with a new guy.”

She continued, “When I came in the business, you couldn’t tell people you were in a relationship, because record company and management said that doesn’t make you appealing to men. So don’t tell people you’re in a relationship. So after you do that for 10 years it becomes something you feel like you have to do. It’s difficult to break out of that box.”

According to Minaj, the music industry has changed its tune about relationships, making it more acceptable for an artist’s personal life to be part of their public persona.

“People don’t care if you’re in a relationship, but in the beginning it wasn’t like that,” she said. “Take Janet Jackson. People didn’t know she was married for nine years or something like that. It was a taboo thing in the beginning. I didn’t want to hide that side of my life anymore.”

With the industry’s pressure behind her, Minaj seems ready for everyday couples outings, including cute activities with pals. When asked about the ideal double date they haven’t been on, Minaj replied, “I don’t know. A lot of people. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz. Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

She added, “Yeah, [I] happen to love Alicia and Swizz because they’re both so down to earth. So we already are friends with them and Bey and Jay. So those are already friends. We admire and respect them. So that’s a no brainer.”

Still, Minaj and Mill don’t need to make every outing an A-list affair.

“On another note, I like just going out with my best girlfriends and his guy friends, and we do that all the time,” she said. “Because it’s fun, we’ll all get together and do truth or dare and do some crazy funny s—. We have fun together whether it’s with famous people or not, we don’t need to be around famous people to have fun.”

Minaj also divulged details about the couple’s physical connection, which is on display in their steamy music video for “All Eyes on You” and a behind-the-scenes clip from their GQ shoot.

“My favorite thing about Meek is kissing him,” she said. “I love the way his lips feel.”