By Tevin Tobias
Known for her out-of-this-world costumes, colourful wigs, amazing articulation of the British cockney accent and animated alter egos Roman and Martha Zolanski; Nicki Minaj has proven herself to be a tough act to follow and a competitor of note.
Her debut studio album Pink Friday (released mid 2010) was certified platinum and was an instant hit with the Barbs (her fans). She also received love from the critics and fellow rappers. Pink Friday consists of songs that invite the listener into the troubled and difficult childhood of young Minaj from her attempted suicide and the burning of her childhood home. Her songs describe her personal achievements, it also expresses her vulnerability as a female rapper in a male dominated industry.
A few songs standout in this album namely; Dear Old Nicki and Right Thru Me. In Dear Old Nicki she writes a letter to her former self “old Nicki” to come back, because the ‘new Nicki’ is only “chasing glitz and glamour, money, fame and power”. In Right Thru Me, Minaj dedicated the song to her boyfriend at the time, asking him how he knows her so well and eventhough they may be going through an unhealthy relationship, he still manages to be there for her whenever she needs him.
Minaj has also collaborated with some of the most influential voices in the music industry, from the likes of Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Madonna.
Nicki Minaj has achieved more than the average female rapper, she has won seven BET awards, four American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, an MTV Europe Music award and five Billboard Music Awards. Apart from all her musical achievements she has also endorsed products such as Adidas, MAC Cosmetics and Pepsi.
Nicki Minaj’s career hasn’t been smooth sailing; she had her fair share of “beef” with other artists namely; Mariah Carey and Lil Kim. Nicki and Mariah had several fall-outs on the reality singing competition Idols where both females were judges and had strong opinions towards each other and artists they critiqued. The beef with Lil Kim stemmed from Lil Kim making accusations that Nicki is stealing her style (the colourful wigs) and that Nicki Minaj wants to be her (Lil Kim).
Whether you like Nicki Minaj or not, one thing we all can agree on is that Nicki Minaj is a visionary and a force to be reckoned with.