Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj (/mɪˈnɑːʒ/), is a Trinidadian-born rapper, singer, songwriter and actress. She is noted for her versatility as an artist, her “sharp” lyrics and animated flow in her rapping and her usage of alter egos and accents. Minaj first gained recognition after releasing three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009. She rose to fame with her debut album, Pink Friday (2010), which topped the U.S. Billboard 200. The fifth single, “Super Bass”, reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and became the highest charting solo song by a female rapper since 2002. It also became the second song by a female rapper to become diamond certified in the US.
The follow-up album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), saw Minaj exploring a dance-pop sound, and reached number one in several countries worldwide. Her third and fourth studio albums, The Pinkprint (2014) and Queen (2018), explored more personal topics and marked a return to her hip hop roots. The former’s second single, “Anaconda”, became the first solo female rap video to reach one billion views on YouTube. Her collaboration with Karol G, “Tusa”, became the longest running number one single in Argentina. Minaj spawned her first and second U.S. number one singles with her remix of Doja Cat’s “Say So” and her collaboration with 6ix9ine “Trollz” in 2020, becoming the first female rapper in 22 years to debut at number one on the chart with the latter. She became the first female artist to have one hundred Billboard Hot 100 entries and currently has twenty U.S. top ten singles, which is the most for any female rapper. All of her albums have reached the top two in the U.S. with the re-release of Beam Me Up Scotty (2009), having the highest debut for a female rap mixtape.
Cited as the latest “Queen of Rap” and the “Queen of Hip Hop” by several media outlets, Minaj is also one of the best-selling music artists, with 100 million records sold worldwide. The New York Times and other media outlets have considered her as one of the most influential rappers. Billboard ranked her as the top female rapper of the 2010s, and seventh among the top female artists. Her various accolades include eight American Music Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, six MTV Europe Music Awards, twelve BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, a Brit Award, and three Guinness World Records. In 2016, Time included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Outside of music, her film career has included voice roles in the animated films Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) and The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) as well as supporting roles in the comedy films The Other Woman (2014) and Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016). She is also currently the most followed rapper on Instagram with over 175 million followers.
List of awards and nominations received by Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian-born rapper, singer and songwriter. After releasing three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009, Minaj signed a recording contract with Young Money Entertainment in 2009. Since then, she has released four studio albums—Pink Friday in 2010, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in 2012, The Pinkprint in 2014, and Queen in 2018.
awards and nominations
In 2011, Minaj won two American Music Awards–one for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist and the other for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album, for her debut album Pink Friday. She went on to win in both categories again the following year, with the “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album” award being for her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. In 2015, Minaj won in the same categories again, with the “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album” award being for her third studio album The Pinkprint. In 2011, Minaj won her first MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video for her single “Super Bass”. The following year, Minaj won another award for Best Female Video for her single “Starships”. In 2015 and 2018, she won the awards for Best Hip-Hop Video for “Anaconda” and “Chun-Li”. She also won the BET Awards for Best Female Hip Hop Artist from 2010 to 2016.
Throughout 2011 to 2016, Minaj was nominated for a total of 10 Grammy Awards. She received her first Grammy nomination in 2011 in the category Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the single “My Chick Bad” with fellow rapper Ludacris at the 53rd ceremony. For the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, Minaj received nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for her debut album Pink Friday, and Best Rap Performance for her single “Moment 4 Life” featuring Drake. In 2015, Minaj received two nominations at the 57th Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song for her single “Anaconda” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her joint single “Bang Bang”, with Jessie J and Ariana Grande. For the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016, Minaj received three nominations, including Best Rap Album for her third studio album The Pinkprint.
When I started rapping, people were trying to make me like the typical New York rapper, but I’m not that. No disrespect to New York rappers, but I don’t want people to hear me and know exactly where I’m from.
— Minaj on her rapping style in a Billboard interview
Minaj is known for her animated rapping style and “unique” flow. Her rapping is distinctive for its speed and the use of alter egos and accents, primarily British cockney. She often both sings and raps in her songs, and has made use of metaphors, punch lines, and word play. The alter egos are incorporated with her lyrics in British accents (Roman Zolanski) or soft-spokenness (Harajuku Barbie). Ice-T said about Minaj’s rapping style, “[Minaj] does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions.”
Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called Minaj “a sparkling rapper with a gift for comic accents and unexpected turns of phrase. She’s a walking exaggeration, outsize in sound, personality and look. And she’s a rapid evolver, discarding old modes as easily as adopting new ones.” Although many critics describe her technique as bubblegum rap, Minaj said: “What people don’t know is that before I was doing that craziness I was doing me, I was just doing regular sounding rap that anyone could hear and identify with. But once I started doing all that weird shit—I’m not mad at it because it got everyone’s attention.” Robby Seabrook III of XXL included Minaj in list of “most unique flows from rappers over the last five years”, saying that she “has solidified her spot as a leader of the pack for her animated flows, inspiring many other women in hip-hop to play with their vocals. She goes from campy to bellicose, excited to eccentric, oftentimes all on one song.”
Noted as a rap artist, she also occasionally lends herself to electronic music genres (especially electropop). Pink Friday marked her exploration of the genres, spawning electro songs including the pop-laden “Super Bass”. Also combining rap with synthesizer music, Minaj’s second album, Pink Friday Roman Reloaded, had a number of electro-hop and electro pop songs: “HOV Lane”, “Whip It”, “Automatic”, “Come on a Cone”, “Young Forever”, “Fire Burns”, “Roman Holiday”, “The Boys” and “Beez in the Trap”; while “Starships” is a eurodance song.
Her verse on Kanye West’s “Monster” was critically acclaimed and contributed greatly to her popularity; many critics said she had the best verse in the song. West claimed at one point he considered deleting her verse from the track, because he was worried it would outshine his own work:
It was like that moment when I thought about taking Nicki’s verse off of “Monster” because I knew people would say that was the best verse on the best Hip Hop album of all time or arguably top ten albums of all time. And I would do all that work, eight months of work on “Dark Fantasy” and people to this day would say to me ‘My favorite thing was Nicki Minaj’s verse.’ So if I let my ego get the best of me instead of letting that girl get the shot to get that platform to be all she could be, I would take it off or marginalize her, try to stop her from having that shining moment…
Tara Colley of The Conversation described Minaj as a “pre-eminent female rapper” and that she has “consistently straddled the distinct personas of gangsta boss and sexy pop siren without truly committing to either” and that “her chameleonic ability” matches “some of rap’s most verbose, witty, filthy and pop-friendly” stars such as Eminem and Lil Wayne. Zoe Johnson of XXL, stated that in recent years Minaj’s “beat selection has moved to refined production full of grit and hip-hop flare in recent years”.
Main articles: Nicki Minaj discography and List of songs recorded by Nicki Minaj
🔸Pink Friday (2010)
🔸Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)
🔸The Pinkprint (2014)
Main article: Nicki Minaj videography
🔸Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
🔸The Other Woman (2014)
🔸Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)
🔸The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)