Happy 39th birthday to the QUEEN of rap, Onika Miraj.
Nicki Minaj is one of the goats in hip hop and she changed the game in so many ways.
The Trinidadian superstar moved to America (Southside Jamaica, Queens) when she was 12. Music and acting were always an escape while her family tried to make ends meat.
When she first arrived to the music scene, she dropped songs on MySpace. Her solo career began in 2007 when Fendi, CEO of Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, signed her. Nicki’s mixtapes, Playtime is Over (2007), Sucka Free (2008), and Beam Me Up Scotty (2009) are classics. This year, she re-released Beam Me Up Scotty and added three new songs. It made Billboard history, charting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It’s her fifth project to debut at No.2.
Lil Wayne signed Nicki in 2009 and before our eyes, she became the First Lady of Young Money. With the guidance and mentorship of Lil Wayne, her lyrical dexterity and musical skill leveled up. She went on to drop her debut album Pink Friday, Pink Friday:Roman Reloaded, Queen and more. Her first mega hit was “Super Bass” (2011). It went 8x’s platiunm and last month, it went diamond. According to Chart Data, Nicki is the eighth rapper with a solo diamond single, joining an elite group that includes Drake, Eminem, Kanye West, and more.
Some of her most successful songs include “Starships,” going 6x platinum. “Moment 4 Life,” featuring Drake. It reached 13 on the Hot 100, as well as #1 overall in R&B and Rap. Others include, “Massive Attack,” “Your Love,” “Check It Out,” and “Right Thru Me.” Around this time, Nicki continuously topped the charts and a female rapper hadn’t topped the rap charts without a featured artist since Missy Elliot in 2003 with “Work It,” Forbes points out.
Nicki’s featured verse on Kanye West’s “Monster” is often considered one of the best verses in hip hop, some even say her verse outshined the males featured on the song, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z.
“50K for a verse no album out.” ~Nicki Minaj
Before Nicki dominated the industry, there wasn’t a female rapper making noise the way Nicki was. Nicki got consigns from Foxy, Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West, Nas and more. Nicki brought excitement to hip hop with her fashion trends, wild hair styles, and her unique personas, like when she talks in her London accent, or her alter ego, Roman Zolanski, or Nicki The Harajuku Barbie. Her fans aka the barbz ride hard for her.
The Queen rapper’s pen game proved that her music was out of this world, with her creative metaphors and rhymes. She wasn’t afraid to push limits and her “animated cocky bars” made her stand out from the rest of the industry. She gained notoriety for being a real lyricsist, writing her music filled with quick-witted, punchlines. Some people hated on her at first, but she showed she’s not a gimmick, just the GOAT.
Check out some Hot 97 Nicki Minaj moments: