Minaj in November 2012, at the launch of her fragrance Pink Friday in Sydney, Australia.
|Birth name||Onika Tanya Maraj|
|Born|| December 8, 1982 or December 8, 1984 |
(Dual dates are intentional)
Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
|Origin||Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, United States|
|Genres||Hip hop, R&B, pop, dance|
|Occupations||Rapper, singer-songwriter, television personality|
|Labels||Cash Money, Young Money, Republic, Universal Republic, Universal Motown|
|Associated acts||Young Money, Lil Wayne, Drake|
Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8), known by her stage name Nicki Minaj (pron.: /mɪˈnɑːʒ/), is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer-songwriter and television personality. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago. When she was five years old, she moved to the New York City borough of Queens. Minaj trained as an actress before she released three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009 and signed to Young Money Entertainment.
Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010), peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a month after its release. She became the first female solo artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Her seventh single, "Super Bass" has been certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA, and has sold more than four million copies, becoming one of the best-selling singles in the United States. Minaj's second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), topped charts internationally, also spawning the top 10 singles "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm". The album became one of the best-selling albums of 2012, according to the Nielsen SoundScan, selling one million copies worldwide, as well as "Starships" becoming one of the best-selling singles of that year. Later in the year, she embarked on two worldwide tours, the Pink Friday Tour and the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, and reissued the album as Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up. Minaj has tentatively announced plans for a third studio album to be released in 2013.
Minaj's artistry features fast-paced rapping, alter egos and accents, notably British cockney. Her outlandish and colorful costumes, wigs and clothing have given her recognition as a fashion icon. She featured as a voice actress in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, is currently serving as a judge on American Idol and has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, and Pepsi. Minaj's work has earned her six BET Awards, four American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, an EMA and Billboard's 2011 Rising Star. She is the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times suggesting that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time." The Source named Minaj the Woman of the Year for 2012.
Life and career
Early life and career beginnings
Onika Tanya Maraj was born December 8, 1982 or 1984 in Saint James, a suburb of Trinidad and Tobago's capital city Port of Spain. to parents Carol and Robert Maraj, an accounting clerk/gospel singer and an employee at American Express, respectively. She has two siblings; her parents are of mixed Indian and Afro-Trinidadian ancestry and she lived in Saint James with her grandmother. Her mother would occasionally visit, and one day, when Minaj was five, her mother picked her up to move to the Queens borough of New York City. According to Minaj, her father drank heavily, took drugs, and once tried to kill her mother by setting the house on fire.
Minaj attended Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210, where she played the clarinet. She then graduated from LaGuardia High School, which specializes in music and the visual and performing arts. Minaj participated in the drama program and initially planned to sing at LaGuardia, but lost her voice on the day of the audition. Minaj wanted to become an actress, and in 2001, she was cast in the Off-Broadway play, "In Case You Forget". After her acting career failed to take off, Minaj worked at Red Lobster in the Bronx at the age of 19 as a waitress. Minaj was fired from Red Lobster because of her discourteousness to customers. She stated she had been fired from "at least fifteen jobs" for similar antics. Other jobs Minaj held were administrative assistant, customer service and an office manager position at an unknown business located on Wall Street.
Minaj briefly signed with Brooklyn group Full Force, in which Minaj rapped in a foursome group called "Hoodstars," which consisted of group members Lou$tar (son of "Bowlegged Lou"), Scaff Beezy (Minaj's current hype man) , and 7even Up. In 2004 the group recorded the entrance song for WWE wrestler Victoria titled "Don't Mess With," it was featured on the compilation album ThemeAddict: WWE The Music, Vol.6. Minaj left the group, unsatisfied with their lack of success. During this time, Minaj uploaded a few songs on her Myspace profile and sent a few of her songs to people in the music industry she was managed by Debra Antney. Fendi, CEO of the Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, who also found rapper Gravy, discovered the music and contacted Minaj, signing her to his label. Initially, Minaj adopted the pseudonym "Nicki Maraj", later changing to "Nicki Minaj", stating "My real name is Maraj. Fendi flipped it when he met me because I had such a nasty flow! I eat bitches!" Under Fendi's label, Minaj appeared on the popular street DVD "The Come Up Volume 11" that featured underground rappers from New York.
2007–09: Mixtapes and Young Money
Minaj released her first mixtape Playtime Is Over in 2007 with Dirty Money Records. Her second mixtape, Sucka Free, was released on July 7, 2008 under the label Be. She won the Female Artist of the Year award at the 2008 Underground Music Awards shortly after. On April 18, 2009, Minaj released her third mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty under the label of Trapaholics Records; it received positive coverage on both BET and MTV. She also appeared in XXL magazine during this time.
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 on The Come Up DVD. Minaj generated significant attention when she first appeared on Yo Gotti's 5 Star Chick video, which gave her mainstream success with the urban community. At the request of Jay-Z, Minaj was asked to feature on Robin Thicke's single Shakin' It 4 Daddy. Following the guest appearance, Minaj was given a solo rap verse in the single "BedRock". The record garnered huge commercial success, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also appeared on "Roger That," which charted at number 56. The song, particularly Minaj, received positive reviews from critics. In December 2009, both songs were included in Young Money Entertainment's debut collaborative studio album We Are Young Money. The album charted in the top ten on the Billboard 200, reaching number 9 and later receiving a Gold Certification by the RIAA. Minaj was featured on Mariah Carey's "Up Out My Face" and its music video. The collaboration was well received by critics.
2010–11: Pink Friday and commercial breakthrough
Main article: Pink Friday
After a major record label bidding war, Young Money Entertainment announced on August 31, 2009 that Minaj had been released from a 360 deal with the label in which she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing. Minaj was featured on Rihanna's "Raining Men" from her album Loud, which would lead to a second collaboration on Minaj's "Fly" from her album Pink Friday. Hip-hop rap artist and producer Kanye West was also confirmed for the album. On August 3, 2010, Minaj revealed on an Ustream.tv channel that the album's name would be Pink Friday, a nod to Black Friday.
Pink Friday was released on November 19, 2010. A buzz single, "Massive Attack", was released in April. 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 and the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002. In October 2010, Minaj became the first artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously. She released two singles in September 2010; one a joint single with The Black Eyed Peas front man, will.i.am titled, "Check It Out," and the other "Right Thru Me." The music videos for both were released in late October. "Moment 4 Life" was released as the fourth single on December 7, 2010, featuring Canadian rapper Drake, becoming a success on the Billboard Hot 100. The single peaked at number 5 on the Hot Rap Songs.
The album gained Platinum certification in the United States a month after the release. 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, Pink Friday reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its eleventh week on the chart. Minaj turned down an offer to become a judge on The X Factor, as rapped on her song "Roman Reloaded", due to its salary. In June 2011, Minaj was 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. She and singer Kesha were featured on the remix of Spears' track "Till the World Ends," which charted at number 3 in the US in April 2011.
"Super Bass" was released from Pink Friday in May 2011. The single charted within the top 10 in many countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada, and later was certified as quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song gained positive reviews from critics. Minaj went on to attribute the success of the single in part to Taylor Swift, saying in an interview with American radio station 102.7 KIIS FM, "Taylor Swift did her little interview about 'Super Bass' and [it] took off in the States with the people sort of knowing it...It’s just really uncanny how all that stuff happens...We didn’t plan it like that." Minaj voiced a character in the 3D animated film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, as Steffie, a woolly mammoth. Minaj is also featured on French DJ David Guetta's 2011 album, Nothing but the Beat, on the singles "Where Them Girls At" and "Turn Me On".
2012: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and touring
Minaj's second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was announced in November 2011 through Twitter and was released on April 2, 2012, two months later than initially planned. The album features collaborations with producers Hit-Boy, Dr. Luke, Rico Beats, Kenoe, RedOne and Oak. Cash Money A&R Joshua Berkman told HitQuarters that Minaj was extremely particular about the beats and music she used saying: "She wouldn't just rap or sing on anything – I could give her a thousand tracks and she may only like one or two." Preceding the album's release, three promotional singles were released: Roman in Moscow (which didn't make the final cut of the album), "Stupid Hoe," and "Roman Reloaded." The first single, "Starships," was released on February 14. It peaked at a new best for Minaj of number 2 in the United Kingdom, and reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her second top 10 success, after 2011's "Super Bass". The music video was released on April 26, 2012.
On February 12, Minaj debuted "Roman Holiday" at the 54th Grammy Awards, becoming the first solo female rapper to perform a song on the Grammy stage. The exorcism-themed performance drew a mixed response online. Minaj was featured on "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (with M.I.A.) and "I Don't Give A" from Madonna's twelfth studio album, MDNA (2012); the trio performed the former during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in February. The album's second single, "Right by My Side," which features Chris Brown, was released on March 27, 2012. It peaked at number 24 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and peaked at number 101 in the UK singles chart. The third single, an electro-hop song called "Beez in the Trap", which features 2 Chainz was released to U.S. urban radio on April 24, 2012. It peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Rap Songs Chart.
Minaj began her first worldwide tour, the Pink Friday Tour, on May 16, 2012. It was followed by the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, which began in October. Minaj cancelled her appearance at the 2012 V Festival in the United Kingdom and the final show of her Pink Friday Tour in Dublin due to the damage of her vocal chords. Minaj was scheduled to headline during Hot 97 Summer Jam in New Jersey on June 3, 2012 at MetLife Stadium, but pulled out of her performance the day of after one of the station's DJs (Peter Rosenberg) criticized "Starships" as not being "real hip-hop." Her mentor Lil Wayne heard the remark and pulled his Young Money labelmates from the show. Minaj was scheduled to bring out hip-hop artists Nas, Lauryn Hill, Cam'ron, Foxy Brown, among others. She spoke to Hot 97 with Funkmaster Flex, ending the dispute.
Minaj was featured on Lil Wayne's mixtape, Dedication 4, in September. Later that month, Minaj launched her first fragrance, Pink Friday; the bottle resembles Minaj as she appears on the cover of the album Pink Friday. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was re-released as Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up on November 19, 2012. The three-disc box set is packaged with the standard version of the original album, a disc with eight additional songs, and a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage. The first single from the re-release, "The Boys", with Cassie, was released on September 13, 2012. Its music video debuted on VEVO on October 18, 2012. "Va Va Voom" was released as the fifth single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on October 23, 2012; the second single from The Re-Up, "Freedom", was released on November 3, 2012. Minaj won the award for Best Female Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, and performed "Girl on Fire" with Alicia Keys and special guest gymnast Gabby Douglas. She starred in a three-part E! documentary special, titled Nicki Minaj: My Truth. It aired from November 4, 2012 until November 18, 2012. At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, Minaj was nominated for three awards: Best Hip-Hop, Best Female, and Best Look. Minaj won Best Hip-Hop, but lost to Taylor Swift in the other two categories.
2013–present: American Idol and upcoming projects
Minaj in November 2012 at her fragrance launch in Syndey
In August 2012, speculation emerged that Minaj would join the judging panel for the twelfth season of American Idol, though Minaj commented at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, "You know what? At this time, I have no comment on that one." On September 16, 2012, it was confirmed that Minaj would join the panel alongside Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban, beginning immediately with the auditions starting the same day. Minaj and Carey have received much media attention for their on-set tension, with a video released of the two in the midst of a heated argument during auditions in Charlotte. The following day, in a statement to Barbara Walters of The View, Carey alleged that Minaj had threatened to "shoot her" during an argument that had occurred earlier that week, though Minaj and producer Nigel Lythgoe denied such claims.
MAC Cosmetics revealed that Minaj, who previously backed the campaign alongside Ricky Martin, would front the Viva Glam 2013 campaign, releasing a new shade of lipstick "Nicki 2" and matching lip-gloss. Minaj announced that her clothing line would be launched through retailer Kmart on January 9, 2013. Minaj has confirmed plans to launch her own record label, and has already signed singer-songwriter and producer Parker Ighile, rapper Brinx, and singer Keisha. The title "Pink Friday Records" was intended, but was scrapped because it was "Not fair 2 (sic) the dudes", Minaj revealed in a press release, clarifying that she would release the new name "very soon". She has tentatively announced plans to release her third studio album in 2013. She described its concept as "a continuation of the Re-Up with a lot more."
Minaj is known for her outlandish costumes, cosmetics, and wigs.
Minaj has been noted by the media for her curvaceous figure. In an interview with VIBE Minaj discussed her sexual image stating, "When 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 didn’t have to represent the same thing," later adding, "I made a conscious decision to try to tone down the sexiness, I want people—especially young girls—to know that in life, nothing is going to be based on sex appeal. You got to have something else to go with that." Minaj has made "signing boobs" part of her movement to empower women. In an interview with The Guardian, Minaj says she is competing with both male and female rappers. "That's why I say stuff like, 'Dick in your face', because I don't even wanna refer to female genitalia any more. I just feel I have bigger balls than the boys," Minaj said, referencing the song "Come on a Cone" from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded In her "Moment 4 Life" song, she refers herself as a king instead of the term "queen".
Minaj is known for wearing outlandish costumes and wigs, which leads to comparisons to Lady Gaga, and is often called "the black Lady Gaga"; Minaj refutes comparisons between the two. She cites Alexander McQueen, Versace, and Christian Louboutin as her favorite designers. The Huffington Post described Minaj's fashion as "risk-taking", "bold sartorial choices", and "far-out", with Yahoo! commenting that her costume was "colorful", "crazy" and stated that "the world would certainly be very quiet without Ms Minaj". Minaj has been invited to attend various events for fashion designers. Donatella Versace invited Minaj to perform for the launch of the collaboration of Versace for H&M alongside Prince. She also performed "Super Bass" at a Victoria Secret fashion show in November 2011. Minaj was personally invited to be sat with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour during New York Fashion Week to see designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.
With over 17,000 tweets and 15 million followers, Billboard ranked Minaj the sixth most active user of microblogging website Twitter. In March 2011, Billboard named Minaj the fourth most active musician on social media, through their Social 50 chart. The chart tracks Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and Instagram usage. On Twitter, she is the most followed rapper in the world. Upon Twitter and in public appearances and interviews, Minaj refers to her fans collectively as "Barbz" and her male heterosexual and LGBT following as "Boyz" and "Ken Barbz," respectively, alluding to her "Harajaku Barbie" persona. Minaj deleted her Twitter account for eight days in April 2012, following a dispute between her and fans who wanted to leak snippets of her then-unreleased album. At the time, she possessed 11 million followers and lost over a million followers as a result of the ordeal.
In 2012, amateur cartoonist David Monger authored a popular web series based on Nicki Minaj called The Nekci Menij Show. Featuring pop icons from Madonna to Marina and the Diamonds, the characters are illustrated in an intentionally crude manner accompanied by SMS language so as to mirror the internet meme Dolan Duck. Since September 2012, the show had garnered more than 600,000 views on YouTube. Primarily crafted using Microsoft Paint, the show is intended as a satire of celebrity syndrome and stan culture. Minaj has reached over one billion video views on YouTube.
While growing up, Minaj's home life was often chaotic, with her parents constantly fighting. As a means of escape, she would create characters and live her life through them, saying, "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." Minaj also introduced "Point Dexter" on her skit on SNL as an alter-ego, but she has since mentioned Point Dexter as one of her alter-egos.
On November 18, 2010, Minaj assumed an alter ego named "Nicki Teresa". 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. 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).
For Pink Friday, Minaj created another alter ego, "Roman Zolanski," which Minaj claims is her "twin brother" that 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. 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. He’s 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," who also appeared on "Roman's Revenge," with a British accent, and on "Roman Holiday", singing for the first time. 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. Minaj stated that on her debut album, fans will get to "meet" Nicki, Roman and Onika. Minaj also produces with her management team and personal friends as Pink Friday Productions, most notable for producing in her second studio album.
"When I started rapping, people were trying to make me like the typical New York rapper, but I'm not that," Minaj says. "No disrespect to New York rappers, but I don't want people to hear me and know exactly where I'm from."
—Minaj talking about her rapping technique in an interview with Billboard
Minaj is known for her animated rapping style, particularly her flow. She often combines metaphors, punchlines, and wordplay into her work, which has received comparisons to her mentor, Lil Wayne. The New York Times described Minaj as "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." While many critics describe her technique as bubblegum rap, Minaj explained, "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—im not mad at it because it got everyone’s attention". Widely recognized as a rap artist, Minaj heavily lends herself to electronic music genres, especially electropop. Her debut album Pink Friday marked her exploration of the genre, spawning a string of electro-hits, including "Super Bass". Following the same conventions of combining rap with electronic synths, Minaj's second album pervasively toiled in the electropop genre and generated various songs, including "HOV Lane", "Whip It", "Automatic", "Come On A Cone", "Young Forever", and "Fire Burns", and the Billboard hits, "Roman Holiday" and "Beez in the Trap". At this stage in Minaj's career, she adventured into collaborations with other artist, producing additional electronic hits "The Boys" with "Me & U" singer Cassie and "Beauty and a Beat" with Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.
Her verse in Kanye West's "Monster" was well received by critics, stating she had the best verse in the song. Her alter egos are incorporated in her lyrics through her use of British accents (Roman Zolanski) and being soft-spoken (Harajuku Barbie.) Ice-T says of 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 – but she's no Lil' Kim".
Rap artists Jay-Z
) and Foxy Brown
) have been major influences to Minaj.
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. She was also inspired by Janet Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Jones, M.I.A., and Cyndi Lauper.
Minaj cites Foxy Brown and Jay-Z as major influences, saying, "I really loved [Foxy] as a female rapper. I was really interested in her mind and her aura, I was really, really into Jay-Z. Me and my friends in high school, we were reciting all of the Jay lyrics. His words were our words in our conversations all the time. I never really told Foxy how much she has influenced me and how much she changed my life, and you've gotta tell people that when they're alive to even be able to take the compliment, instead of paying tribute to them when they're no longer here." She has said that Foxy Brown was "the most influential female rapper" and that her album Broken Silence changed her life.
Jada Pinkett Smith is one of Minaj's role models in her acting career. Minaj was inspired by R&B singer Monica, and used to sing her song "Why I Love You So Much" at every talent show she was in. Minaj referred to Monica as one of her biggest musical influences of all time whilst performing in Atlanta on her Pink Friday Tour. Kanye West, Trina, and Drake have been named as influences to Minaj. Betsey Johnson is another one of Minaj's fashion icon, saying, "[Betsey] is a free spirit. When I met her the other day, I felt like I knew her for my whole life. She's so warm and considerate and caring. She's amazingly talented and I've been wearing her clothes forever, so to meet her was like, 'Yay!' [I was] bowing down to her; she's dope!"
Products and endorsements
Minaj has signed contracts with a variety of corporate interests and manufacturing companies. Minaj created her own app titled after her official website "MyPinkFriday" which featured her self-created slang dictionary the "Nictionary" for Android and iPhone users in 2010. In April 2011, she helped launch Casio's TRYX digital camera in Times Square, along with The Roots. In April 2012, Minaj launched the Nokia Lumia 900 in Times Square followed by a performance of "Starships," "Super Bass," and "Right by My Side." Minaj contracted a promotional deal with Pepsi in February 2012, in which she appeared in a commercial, which was shot in Argentina for the global LiveForNow campaign, and internet advertisements. The commercial featured a remix of "Moment 4 Life." In December 2011, Mattel produced a custom Nicki Minaj-themed Barbie to be auctioned on charitybuzz and was valued at an estimate of $US15,000 dollars.
MAC Cosmetics collaborated with Minaj on many business ventures, such as a limited edition lipstick called Pink 4 Friday that went on sale for four consecutive Fridays starting November 26, 2010 to promote the release of Pink Friday, and also as part of the Viva Glam campaign with Ricky Martin in Latin America, which has raised $US270 million dollars for MAC AIDS Fund. In December 2012, Minaj announced her "solo" VivaGlam campaign on a new lavender shade lipstick with MAC called "Viva Glam Nicki II", that will launch in February 2013. Minaj has collaborated with OPI Products on a six-piece nail polish collection with colors named after her songs.
With designer Jeremy Scott, Minaj signed an endorsement deal with Adidas' fall and winter 2012 campaign to appear in Internet advertisements and commercials for Adidas Originals. The ad was filmed in a disclosed location in Brooklyn, also featuring Big Sean, Derrick Rose, Sky Ferreira and 2NE1, all around the world wearing Adidas attire. The commercial used Minaj's song "Masquerade" as the theme song for the ad. Minaj plans to launch her own clothing line in 2013, and described it as "Harajuku Barbie." Minaj's line includes fashion, accessories, and houseware, announced January 2013 with Adam Levine on the same contract, that it would be sold in mass retail stores such as WalMart and Target. Minaj's clothing line will be exclusively sold at K-Mart, announced January 2013. Minaj revealed via Twitter that she is working on two books. Minaj has teamed up with Give Back Brands to launch her new fragrance "Pink Friday" in September 2012, which will be sold under exclusive license to Macy's in the United States and Elizabeth Arden internationally. Minaj's single "Super Bass" was featured on the Just Dance 4 video game that was released October 2012. On February 14, 2013 Bluewater Comics revealed Minaj would star in the "Fame" biographical comic series , and would make her debut in the comic book titled Fame: Nicki Minaj that was released to stores February 13, 2013.
Minaj has redounded on the aftermath of the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy by donating $15,000 to the Food Bank For New York City and holding a turkey drive at her alma mater, P.S. 45 in New York.
In July 2011, Minaj's cousin Nicholas Telemaque was murdered near his home in Brooklyn, New York City. Minaj referenced Telemaque in the song "Champion" through the lyrics, "Cause they killed my little cousin, Nicholas/ But my memories only happy images."
Minaj is the only female rapper to be featured on Forbes Hip Hop Cash King's list, she ranks at No. 8, having earned $US15.5 million from May 2011 to May 2012.
Minaj is a Christian. She stated that after her father went to rehab and started attending church, "he got saved and started changing his life."
Critics have noted Minaj's use of various sexual identities within her music, with some implying that she is bisexual. However, she has said that she does not date or have sex with women, but added in an interview with Out magazine, "I don’t date men either." In an interview with Vibe she commented, "I just embrace all people of all lifestyles and I don't tell them they are bad people. But I feel like people always wanna define me and I don’t wanna be defined."
Minaj has been embroiled in a feud with veteran rapper Lil' Kim since her success with Pink Friday. Kim accused Minaj of copying her image saying, "If you are going to steal my swag, you gonna have to pay. Something gotta give. You help me, I help you. That's how it goes to me." Minaj's single "Roman's Revenge" with Eminem was believed to be a response to Kim's comments, although she later denied this, she responded to the situation in an interview with HOT 97's Angie Martinez saying, "She picked a fight with Foxy, then she picked a fight with Eve, then she picked a fight with Remy, then it was Mrs. Wallace, then it was Nicki Minaj. Every time you in the news, it’s 'cause you gettin' at somebody! Where’s your music? Put your music out, and when I see your name on Billboard, that’s when I’ll respond to you. Other than that, goodbye. It’s Barbie, bitch."
Lil' Kim reignited the feud with the release of her mixtape Black Friday (the title of which directly referenced Minaj). The artwork portrays Lil' Kim decapitating Minaj with a sword. A fragment of a diss track called "Tragedy" was released in response by Minaj in April 2011. Following the release of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, critics suggested that the track "Stupid Hoe" may have contained attacks directed at Kim. Lil' Kim later suggested in an interview with 105's Breakfast Club that the song "Automatic" was similar to her unreleased material, also calling Minaj "obnoxious" and "catty".
The feud has drawn attention from various other recording artists and rappers. Minaj's labelmate and rapper, Drake said "[he] didn't give a f--- what Lil Kim or nobody else is talking about." 50 Cent commented on the situation in an online interview with Power 98.3 FM remarking, "It's obvious ... she [Minaj] was inspired by some of Kim's [style]. But that's not bad. There's not a whole lot of female artists that you can make reference to, so you'll see those little influences even stronger. I think she's hot – I think she's got a good little thing going right now, as far as Nicki Minaj is concerned." Diddy spoke of his love and respect for Kim, attributing his personal success, in part, to her, however he defended working with Minaj stating that "I wouldn't be around Nicki if I ever heard anything negative said about Kim. I've never heard anything like that." Mary J. Blige commented on the rivalry, saying, "Kim is my friend and I love and respect Nicki, just met her and got to know the young lady and she's a sweetheart," adding that the feud had arisen because of "crews" behind it.
- ^ Jeffries, David (December 8, 1984). "Nicki Minaj - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nicki-minaj-mn0001013175. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
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- ^ Justin | Ep. Royal16 | My Super Sweet 16 | Full Episode Video | MTV
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- ^ Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) – Full cast and crew