10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicki Minaj
The Queen of Hip-Hop Nicki Minaj (real name Onika Tanya Maraj) has accomplished a lot in her 29 years (so far) of existence. Since introducing herself to the rap game in 2006, this ambitious Trinidadian woman has now become the top female rapper on the planet. Her 2010 debut album 'Pink Friday' has sold nearly two million copies and she has worked with everyone in the music game, including Kanye West, Rihanna, Eminem, David Guetta and M-I-A. "She's rapping better than a lot of dudes doing it today," says hit maker Tyler "T-Minus" Williams who produced her big hit 'Moment 4 Life.' "She touches into the R&B realm, and she goes into the pop realm as well, but she manages to serve something lyrical and maintain her ability to be a great rapper." Take a look at our list of the 10 Things You Might Not Know About Nicki Minaj and celebrate her fabulousness and achievements in the rap game.
Before she chose her now recognizable name Nicki Minaj, she went through various rap incarnations. "'Cookie’ was my first identity -- that stayed with me for a while," she tells New York Magazine. "I went on to Harajuku Barbie, then Nicki Minaj. Fantasy was my reality. I must have been such a f---ing annoying little girl [laughs]."
Long before she started spitting rhymes, Minaj was good at getting fired. Some of her previous employment experiences includes being an office manager and before that she was a waitress at Red Lobster. "I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could stick my middle finger up at her and demand that she give me my pen back," she recalls to Billboard. "I swear to God I was bad."
While developing her lyrical style she studied Jay-Z and listened to his third album 'Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life .' "I was always attracted to intelligent rappers," she said in an interview with #5 magazine. "That's why I'm so into metaphors and I love double-meanings of things . . . Because all of my favorite rappers ... That's what they do, and it intrigued me."
When her debut album, 'Pink Friday,' premiered at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in November 2010, it marked the first time a female rapper in a decade has ever topped the album chart. Her infectious single 'Super Bass' climbed to No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart making it the highest-charting rap hit by a solo female (without a featured artist) since Missy Elliott's 'Work It' reached No. 2 in 2002.
If she had it her way, she would sit at home and watch reruns of Judge Judy all day, every day. In an interview with Billboard, Minaj admits that she's addicted to the courtroom show. "She is just straight-forward, but she doesn't realize that she's really -- in her next life -- a comedian," she says of the cantankerous judge. "I think it's hilarious, like, when people don't know how funny they are when they are dead serious. And I'm, literally, on the floor crying. I just love her. She's little and she's cute."
Nick Minaj is such a doll -- literally. The rapstress partnered with toy maker Mattel to create a one-of-a-kind Nicki Minaj Barbie doll to be auctioned off on Dec. 19, which will benefit Project Angel Food. “For me, this is a very major moment because it just shows that you can come from nothing and still be a force in the main world, a business woman, and hopefully a mogul one day," she says.
In a video interview, Minaj revealed that she hates one aspect of the music game -- liars. "I'm sick and tired of liars," she says. "I like people to be upfront and straight-forward with me and I tend to do that with people. So that's why the lying irritates me and in this business there's a lot of that. Now I'm starting to believe that you can't be in this business without being lied to and it's kind of sad."
Nicki Minaj is optimistic that a gay rapper will one day shine in the rap game. "I think the world is getting more gay-friendly, so hip-hop is too," she tells Details. "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."
You might already know this, but Minaj adores her fans to death. With 7.5 million followers on Twitter and 14 million friends on Facebook, she's grateful to have so many Barbiez and Ken Barbiez supporting her movement. "It's a blessing!" she tells Teen Vogue about having a gazillions fans. "They feel like my little sisters and brothers. I have this urge to protect them and have fun with them at the same time."
Just hours after officially turning 29 years old, the Harajuku Barbie received a special birthday gift from the Material Girl -- a kiss. "OH MY f'ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!!," she excitingly tweeted to her fans. "It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!"