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Nicki Minaj

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  • Nicki Minaj

  • Nicki Minaj

  • Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj Shot for her Press Release. June 2010

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Influenced by the unpredictable rhymes of Missy Elliot along with the sexually charged attitudes of Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, Queens native Nicki Minaj was discovered thanks to her MySpace page. It was there that Dirty Money Entertainment CEO Fendi first heard her ability to freestyle and first laid eyes on her steamy set of promo shots. With killer curves she was obviously proud to flaunt, plus a background in the performing arts thanks to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art (the school that had inspired the movie Fame), Minaj was a perfect fit for Fendi's urban DVD magazine The Come Up. She appeared in numerous volumes, including number 11, which spotlighted her future label boss, superstar rapper Lil Wayne. Through Fendi, Wayne contacted Minaj and signed her to his Young Money label. They began to build her career through mixtapes like Lil Wayne's Dedication 3 and Minaj's own Sucka Free. Meanwhile, appearances on various remixes -- everything from T.I.'s "No Matter What" to Jeffree Star's club track "Cupcakes Taste Like Violence" -- helped spread the word.

The big breakthrough for Minaj came when Wayne added his rhymes to her "High as a Kite" single, a mixtape favorite in 2008. The year 2009 would see more guest appearances and mixtapes, including the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape, featuring the street single "I Get Crazy." In 2010, the singles "Your Love" and "Check It Out" preceded the release of her official debut album, Pink Friday, which debuted that November at number two on the Billboard 200 and went platinum. She earned a handful of 2011 Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance. An all-out media blitz followed between albums with extravagant performances at award shows across the globe, an appearance as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and joining Madonna -- alongside M.I.A. -- for her Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

In early 2012, the Eurodance-influenced single "Starships" signaled the coming of her official sophomore effort, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, an album built around her devil-may-care alter ego "Roman Zolanski." Guest artists included Nas, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, and Beenie Man, while production came from the likes of RedOne, Dr. Luke, and Ke'Noe. The album hit number one on the U.S. album charts, driven by a Top Ten showing for "Starships." "Pound the Alarm," and "Va Va Voom" also reached the Top 40. By the end of 2012, Minaj had been announced as a judge for the twelfth season of American Idol, although she left at the end of the season. It hardly affected her success, as she set two career records during 2013: most-charted female rapper in the history of Billboard's singles chart, and the first person to win Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards four times in a row. She also announced that her third studio album, tentatively titled The Pink Print, would appear in 2014. First single "Lookin Ass" featured on the Young Money compilation Rise of an Empire, released in March.

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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
09.12.15 Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON Canada

eMusic Features

5

Nicki and Iggy: Female Rappers and the Shame of Ghostwriting

By Madeleine Holden, Contributor

[dek class="right"]Accusations of ghostwriting are used as a cudgel against female rappers in particular; frequently to question their agency and test the worthiness of their place in the male-dominated rap sphere.[/dek] If you pay so much as passing attention to the movements of the rap universe, you'll know that Nicki Minaj recently scooped the BET award for the Best Female Hip Hop Artist for the fifth year in a row. You'll also know that she made… more »

5

Nicki and Iggy: Female Rappers and the Shame of Ghostwriting

By Madeleine Holden, Contributor

[dek class="right"]Accusations of ghostwriting are used as a cudgel against female rappers in particular; frequently to question their agency and test the worthiness of their place in the male-dominated rap sphere.[/dek] If you pay so much as passing attention to the movements of the rap universe, you'll know that Nicki Minaj recently scooped the BET award for the Best Female Hip Hop Artist for the fifth year in a row. You'll also know that she made… more »

0

New This Week: Bear in Heaven, Dr. John, Phronesis & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

Well, here we are. Another Tuesday, another batch of records. Let's not waste any more time, shall we? Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action at a Distance: More eerie, filmy, jangly pop music from Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt. I never fully connected with his main gig, but this sounds great - spooky and lo-fi, the kind of thing that might have come out on Captured Tracks if it wasn't for the high-wattage indie personality behind it. RECOMMENDED Dr. John, Locked… more »

3

Schizo-Pop! A Guide to Musicians and Their Alternate Personae

By Laura Studarus, Contributor

Whether it's on account of creativity bursting at the seams, or just a desire to try something musically or lyrically different from their previous work, sometimes artists feel the need to step outside themselves and create an entirely new persona. The syndrome that's kept psychologists busy for years has manifested itself in concept albums, live performances or just the occasional one-off single. Inspired by Nicki Minaj's sophomore album Roman Reloaded — where Minaj channels her… more »

1

2011: The Year of Europop

By Barry Walters, Contributor

During the last two decades, much of what wasn't rock - and even plenty of rock itself - had something to do with hip-hop. Pop tempos drifted to the middle, lyrics got more aggressive, melody narrowed and simplified, and gender lines stopped blurring. In Europe and much of the world, dance music radicalized pop with the synth sounds of the future, but upbeat club sounds rarely reached US radio beyond Madonna and Janet Jackson. We… more »

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