Nicki MinajNicki Minaj is usually all about shock value when it comes to her sky-high wigs and colorful outfit choices, but for the latest issue of Elle magazine the rapper is toning things down.

Minaj is one of the female musicians in the Gold Dust Women feature, which honors women in music who are "sounding off" in 2011.

In the black and white photo by Terry Tsiollis, Minaj rocks a white, feathered Mark Fast dress. The Queens-bred entertainer explains why she decided to become a rapper, in an industry dominated by men. "I always wanted to play with the boys," she said. "I didn't want to be a pawn in their game or have a sidekick role. I wanted to be more of a lead character -- a superhero."