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Minaj steps up writing


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

“The feel of the re-release is kind of like my first sound, like the mixtapes,” she said of “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up,” released Tuesday.

The re-release comes seven months after “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

Excerpts from a recent Associated Press telephone interview:

Q. What’s the energy like on the re-release?

A. I studied a lot of the production side of this particular re-release. It was just important that the beats sounded a certain way. ... I was really able to step up the writing on it as well.

Q. This album features some of your signed artists, Parker and Thomas Brinx. How’s it feel to pay it forward?

A. It’s exciting because I think that I’m finally in a position to open doors for other people and it’s a great feeling because I feel like they’re so, so talented.

Q. What are your favorite albums of the year?

A. 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.

Q. Is working as a judge on “American Idol” what you thought it would be like?

A. 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. … But, as a whole, I love the experience that I’m getting.

Q. How are you and Mariah Carey, another new judge on “Idol,” getting along?

A. (Click.)