Nicki Minaj doesn't see herself as a "female rapper".

The 31-year-old musician has had immense success with her songs, including hits such as Super Bass and Starships. Her aim now is to prove there is no distinction between rappers based on their gender.

"I do not see myself as a female rapper anymore, I'm sorry," she explained to MTV News. "I see myself as a rapper."

The star is currently working on her third studio album, The Pinkprint. In the past she's collaborated with the likes of Lil Wayne and Eminem, and Nicki knows they are part of the reason she's made it so far.

"I've worked with the greats and I've held my own with the greats and they respect me," she explained. "So I should respect myself enough to see myself the same way they see themselves."

Nicki's last album was Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which she released in April 2012. Even after two years without new material her fans "still care", which amazes the singer.

"It wasn't done like that before I came out," she said. "It just wasn't."

Pharrell Williams is helping to produce The Pinkprint, meaning Nicki is again working with one of the biggest names in the music industry. The record is due for release this year and the star is sporting a new look to go with her latest work. Rather than donning the bright wigs Nicki is known for, she's going au natural.

"Before my first album I used to have a natural look, only my underground followers knew that side of me. Mainstream only knew the wigs and stuff like that, but I wasn't always looking like that," she explained to "I always thought it would come full circle and then I thought: 'What can I do by the time the third album comes out?' Because what other color wig can I put on my head? I was running low on ideas and people reacted really well to the natural look."