Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

born on 8/12/1982 in Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago

Alias Onika Tanya Maraj

Nicki Minaj

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Nicki Minaj

Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known by her stage name Nicki Minaj ( /mn/), is a Trinidadian-born American recording artist. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, and moved to the Queens borough of New York City when she was five years old.

After releasing three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009 and being signed to Young Money Entertainment in August 2009, Minaj released her debut album, Pink Friday in November 2010. It quickly became a commercial success, peaking at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and being certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a month after its release.[1][2] She became the first artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time.[3] Her second single, "Your Love", reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, making Minaj the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since Missy Elliott accomplished it with Work It in 2002.[4] She also became the first female artist to be included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List.[5] Minaj was named the 2011 Rising Star by Billboard.[6]

Early life

Maraj was born in 1982[7][note 1] in Saint James,[8][9][10] (a suburb of Trinidad and Tobago's capital city Port of Spain). Her parents are of mixed Indian and Afro-Trinidadian ancestry[11][12] and she lived in Saint James with her grandmother until age five, because her parents were looking for a place to live in the Queens borough of New York City at the time. Her mother would occasionally visit, and one day, when Minaj was five, her mother picked her up to move to Queens.[13] According to Minaj, her father drank heavily, took drugs, and once tried to kill her mother by setting the house on fire.[14]

She attended Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210, where she played the clarinet.[13] She graduated from LaGuardia High School.[15][16] At LaGuardia, a school specializing in music and the visual and performing arts, Minaj participated in the drama program.[15] She had initially planned to sing at LaGuardia, but lost her voice on the day of the audition.[15]


200709: Mixtapes and Young Money

Minaj released her first mixtape in 2007 after releasing Playtime Is Over with Dirty Money Records. She released another mixtape on July 7, 2008, titled Sucka Free, under the label Be. On April 18, 2009, Minaj released a third mixtape and appeared in XXL magazine.[17] She won the Female Artist of the Year award at the 2008 Underground Music Awards.[18] Minaj released Beam Me Up Scotty, another mixtape, in April 2009 under the label of Trapaholics Records; it received positive coverage on both BET and MTV.[19][20]

In August 2009, Minaj signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment, with distribution from Universal Motown Records, after fellow American rapper Lil Wayne discovered her and secured the record deal.[17][21] She then had a solo rap verse in their single "BedRock," which became a commercial success, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj also appeared on "Roger That", which charted at #56. The song, and in particular Minaj, received positive reviews from critics.[22] Both songs were included in Young Money Entertainment's debut collaborative studio album We Are Young Money, which was released in December 2009. The album charted in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 200, reaching #9 and later receiving a Gold Certification by the RIAA.

2010present: Pink Friday and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Main article: Pink Friday

After a major record label bidding war, Young Money Entertainment announced on August 31, 2009 that Minaj had been released a 360 deal with the label in which she retains and owns all of her 360 rights including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.[23] In an interview with 95.8 Capital FM, Rihanna stated that after the two collaborated on "Raining Men" from her album Loud that the duo would be teaming up together for a possible second collaboration on Minaj's Pink Friday.[24] Hip-hop rap artist and producer Kanye West was also confirmed for the album.[25] On August 3, 2010 Minaj revealed on a channel for her fans that the album's name would be Pink Friday, stating, To carry on a great tradition of Black Friday, we are going to switch it up this year in honor of the Nicki Minaj album and call that day Pink Friday, and call my album Pink Friday![26] Minaj released the artwork for her album cover on October 15, 2010.[27]

Pink Friday was released on November 19, 2010 in both standard and deluxe versions.[28][29] A buzz single, "Massive Attack", was released in April.[30] In August, Minaj released "Your Love" as the first official single from her debut album. The single peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, 7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and topped the Rap Songs chart. Minaj became the first female artist to be included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List[5] and the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002.[31] In October 2010, Minaj became the first artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously.[3] Minaj released a joint single with The Black Eyed Peas front man, titled, "Check It Out", which is Minaj's most successful single to date in Europe. "Right thru Me" was released September 24, 2010; the music video was released in late October. "Moment 4 Life" followed "Right thru Me" and was released as the fourth single. The track featured Canadian rapper Drake and was released on December 7, 2010, becoming a success on the Billboard Hot 100. The single peaked at number 5 on the Hot Rap Songs.[32] The album gained a Platinum certification in the United States a month after the release.[2]

On January 29, 2011, Minaj appeared on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest, performing "Right Thru Me" and "Moment 4 Life". On February 9, 2011, it was announced that Pink Friday had reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its eleventh week on the chart.[33] It was hinted by Simon Cowell that Minaj would join the judging panel of the American version of the The X Factor.[34] Starting in June 2011, Minaj will be supporting Pink Friday by serving as an opening act along with Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo on Britney Spears' sixth concert tour, the Femme Fatale Tour, in support of her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale.[35] She also was featured on the official remix of Spears' track "Till The World Ends" along with Spears and singer Kesha, which charted at number 3 in the US in April 2011.[36] "Super Bass" was released from Pink Friday in May 2011, the reception of the single was huge after the single charted within the top 10 in many of countries including; United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada and more.[37] The song gained positive reviews from critics with some critics saying; "obvious hit",[38] "memorable hooks",[38] "infectious".[39] Minaj will voice a character in the 3D animated film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, as an unknown character,.[40][41] Minaj is also featured on French disc jockey David Guetta's 2011 album, Nothing but the Beat on "Where Them Girls At" and "Turn Me On". She will be featured alongside Madonna and M.I.A on an upcoming single from Madonna's twelfth studio album, for which a music video has been directed by Megaforce.[42]

On November 22, 2011, Minaj announced via Twitter that her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, is currently in the works set to be released on Valentine's Day 2012. She later retweeted to one of her fans saying that she would release a teaser of the LP's first single on the week of December 6th-9th. The first single from the album, titled "Roman in Moscow," was released to iTunes and to the radio on December 2, 2011. The cover has a red background with the name Nicki Minaj crossed out and instead saying Roman in Moscow. On the top Minaj songs on iTunes, "Roman in Moscow" ranked number three. [43]

Musical style and image


In an interview with Vibe Minaj discussed her sexual image stating, "[w]hen I grew up I saw females doing certain things, and I thought I had to do that exactly. The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot... and I thought that to have the success they got, I would have to represent the same thing. When in fact I didnt have to represent the same thing."[44] In an interview with Interview, Minaj commented on her sexual image again stating, "I made a conscious decision to try to tone down the sexiness, I want peopleespecially young girlsto know that in life, nothing is going to be based on sex appeal. Youve got to have something else to go with that.[45] Minaj has a tattoo in Chinese characters that reads "" (shangdi yu ni chang zai)[46] on her left arm, meaning, "God is always with you."[47]

Alter egos

While growing up, Minaj's home life was often chaotic, with her parents constantly fighting.[48] As a means of escape, she would create characters and live her life through them.[48] In an interview with New York she stated, "To get away from all their fighting, I would imagine being a new person. 'Cookie' was my first identity that stayed with me for a while. I went on to 'Harajuku Barbie,' then 'Nicki Minaj'. Fantasy was my reality."[48]

For her debut album, Minaj created another alter-ego named "Roman Zolanski".[49] She stated that in songs like "Bottoms Up" with Trey Songz it is not Minaj rapping, but instead Roman Zolanski, and claims that Roman is her "twin sister". She claims that he was born inside her, out of rage, and becomes him when she is angry. She has also said 'He is a demon inside her'. Roman has been compared to Eminem's alter ego Slim Shady, and on the song "Roman's Revenge" from Pink Friday, Minaj and Eminem collaborate, using these alter egos.[50]On the collaboration, she said "The new album is going to have a lot of Roman on it ... And if you're not familiar with Roman, then you will be familiar with him very soon. Hes the boy that lives inside of me. He's a lunatic and he's gay and he'll be on there a lot." Roman also has a "mother" called "Martha Zolanski",[51] who also appeared on the song Roman's Revenge, with a British accent.[52] Martha appears in the video for "Moment 4 Life" where she appears to be Minaj's magical Godmother. In songs such as "All I Do Is Win (Remix)" it is Minaj rapping.[49] Minaj stated that on her debut album, fans will get to "meet" Nicki, Roman and Onika.[49]

On November 18, 2010 Minaj assumed a different alter-ego named "Nicki Teresa".[53] Wearing a colorful scarf around her head, she went around as the "healer to her fans" as she visited them at The Garden of Dreams Foundation at Fuse studios in New York City.[53] Minaj made an appearance on Lopez Tonight on December 6, 2010 and presented a different alter-ego for the Spanish-inspired occasion, named "Rosa" (pronounced Rrrrrosa).[54]


Minaj has stated that artists who have influenced her musical style include Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill, Jadakiss, Natasha Bedingfield, Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott.[55][56] She was also inspired by Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Jones[57] M.I.A and Cyndi Lauper.[58][59][60]

Personal life

While some songs and interviews have implied that Minaj is bisexual,[61][62] she has said that she does not date nor have sex with women,[15] but added in an interview with Out magazine, "I dont date men either."[63] In an interview with Vibe she commented, "I just embrace all people of all lifestyles and I dont tell them they are bad people. And I say girls are beautiful and girls are sexy and they need to be told that, and if they dont have anyone to tell them that and mean it, Im gonna tell them that. But I feel like people always wanna define me and I dont wanna be defined."[64] She reiterated her dislike of being labeled in an interview with Out, saying: "The point is, everyone is not black and white. There are so many shades in the middle, and youve got to let people feel comfortable with saying what they want to say when they want to say it."[63]

During an interview in the May 2010 issue of Details, Minaj was asked if she felt hip-hop was becoming more gay-friendly. She responded, "I think the world is getting more gay-friendly, so hip-hop is too. But it's harder to imagine an openly gay male rapper being embraced, people view gay men as having no street credibility. But I think we'll see one in my lifetime."[62]

In July 2011, Minaj's cousin, Nicholas, was murdered near his home in Brooklyn, New York. Minaj tweeted that she was devastated.[65]


Main article: Nicki Minaj discography
  • Pink Friday (2010)
  • Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)

See also

  • List of awards and nominations received by Nicki Minaj


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  22. Nicki Minaj steals spotlight from fellow Young Money band. Retrieved on 2011-08-18.
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  24. Rihanna launches 'Loud' in London. Capital FM. Retrieved on December 24, 2010.
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  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Sandra Rose (July 14, 2010). Was That Nicki Minaj's Alter Ego in the Now Classic "Ate the Box" Video?. Retrieved on July 22, 2010.
  50. Dawson, Imani A.. Nicki Minaj Gets 'Revenge' With Eminem. Vibe Media Group. Retrieved on November 4, 2010.
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  52. rosa
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  56. Nicki Minaj Says Her Album Drops First Quarter Next Year; Can Her Looks Carry Her To Platinum Status?. DimeWars. Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
  57. Nicki Minaj/The Musical/Guy Ritchie/Stefano Gabbana. (2010-12-12). Retrieved on 2011-08-18.
  58. [Nicki Minaj Talks about Her Perfume, Praises Cyndi Lauper and Pisses of Her Nail Lady]
  59. Ganz, Caryn, M.I.A. Confirms She's Working With Madonna and Nicki Minaj, Spin, 2011-11-28. URL accessed on 2011-12-17.
  60. Ganz, Caryn, Nicki Minajs M.I.A. Love Affair Continues With Killer Bonus Track, Yahoo, 2011-11-23. URL accessed on 2011-12-17.
  61. Jonah Weiner (February 22, 2010). Who's That Girl?. Slate.
  62. 62.0 62.1 Nicki Minaj: Hip-Hop's Hottest Sidekick Goes Solo. Details.
  63. 63.0 63.1 Ganz, Caryn (September 10, 2010). The Curious Case of Nicki Minaj. Out. Retrieved on September 19, 2010.
  64. EXTRA, EXTRA: Lost Nicki Minaj Quotes. VIBE (July 6, 2010).
  65. Rap star Nicki Minaj's cousin shot dead in Brooklyn,, July 5, 2011


External links

  • Official website
  • Nicki Minaj at the Internet Movie Database

Media related to Nicki Minaj at Wikimedia Commons

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This page was last modified 01.01.2012 00:49:18

This article uses material from the article Nicki Minaj from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.