#1 MOST POPULAR FEMALE RAPPER
Originally adopting the stage name “Nicki Maraj”, she changed it to Nicki Minaj: “My real name is Maraj. Fendi flipped it when he met me because I had such a nasty flow! I eat bitches!” On Fendi’s label Minaj appeared on the street DVD, The Come Up Volume 11, featuring underground rappers from New York.
Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobagoon December 8, 1982 to Carol and Robert Maraj. Minaj, who has three siblings, was born to a Robert Maraj, a financial executive and part-time gospel singer of halfIndo-Trinidadian and half Afro-Trinidadian ancestry and Carol Maraj, who is of Afro-Trinidian heritage. Her mother held a variety of jobs, including accounting clerk, foreign-exchange teller and gospel singer. Minaj’s father, who worked for American Express, was addicted to alcohol and other drugs and attempted to kill her mother by setting their house on fire. Until she was five years old Minaj lived with her grandmother in Saint James and was occasionally visited by her mother, with whom she later moved to Queens, New York. Minaj said that her upbringing, which lacked discipline, made her “seek out and practice self-discipline”.
Minaj released her first mixtape,Playtime is Over, on Dirty Money Records on July 5, 2007 and her second, Sucka Free, on April 12, 2008. That year, she was named Female Artist of the Year at the 2008 Underground Music Awards. In 2009 Minaj was involved in a conflict with ego trip’s Miss Rap Supreme winner Rece Steele, who was annoyed when Minaj interrupted her interview and put a sign behind Steele’s head; Minaj hung up on interviewers from Spate magazine when they asked about the incident. She released her third mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, on April 18, 2009 and it received favorable coverage on BET and MTV.One of its tracks, “I Get Crazy”, reached number 20 on the U.S. BillboardHot Rap Songs chart and number 37 on the magazine’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Minaj is the only female rapper to be featured on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list. She made her first appearance on the list in 2011, earning $6.5 million from May 2010 to May 2011. In 2012, she placed eighth on the list, earning $15.5 million from May 2011 to May 2012. Minaj rose to fourth on the list in 2013, earning $29 million from June 2012 to June 2013. She made her fourth consecutive appearance on the list in 2014, earning $14 million from June 2013 to June 2014. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Minaj donated $15,000 to the Food Bank For New York City and held a turkey drive at her alma mater, PS 45.
Minaj is a Christian, and said that after her father went to rehab and began attending church”he got saved and started changing his life.” In July 2011, Minaj’s cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, was murdered near his home in Brooklyn, which she refers to in her songs “Champion”: “Cause they killed my little cousin, Nicholas/ But my memory’s only happy images,” and “All Things Go”: “I lost my little cousin to a senseless act of violence.”
In late 2014, Minaj separated from her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. Several tracks on The Pinkprint, as well as its accompanying short film, are believed to have been inspired by the end of their relationship.
#1 MOST POPULAR FEMALE RAPPER