Nicki Minaj and Her Impact on the HipHop Industry

The talented Nicki Minaj has clearly made her mark on the music industry. From pop to R&B to gospel to urban latin and, of course, hip hop, Nick Minaj’s voice can be found successfully killing it in any genre. Her lyricism, versatile flow, unique style, and trademark use of double entendres have separated her from the rest and established her as one of the best rappers alive. It is undeniable that Nicki Minaj’s career has left a strong impact on the music industry and continues to push the standards for lyricism in the rap game.

Beginnings

Onika Tanya Maraj, well-known as Nicki Minaj, was born in Trinidad and Tobago on December 8, 1982. At the age of five years old, Minaj moved to Queens, New York with her family. Minaj had a hard childhood while living in poverty with an abusive father. Though she wrote her first rap song at the age of 12, she pursued acting and singing. Before rapping, the star originally pursued acting as her career as she went to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts. Upon graduating, she worked as a backup singer for local artists in New York. She began dropping songs on MySpace, a platform where she began to gain a lot of popularity. Minaj’s mixtapes, Playtime is Over and Beam Me Up Scotty, became extremely popular. On the same social platform, famous rapper Lil Wayne discovered her and signed her to his label, Young Money Records, in 2009. From her record deal with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj grew into the star we know today. Nicki cites Foxy Brown, Trina, and Lil Wayne as her main influences in her craft.

 

Career

The Queens native began her rap career with her first mixtape Playtime is Over (2007). From her first mixtape, Nicki Minaj developed a following who loved her lyricism and style. After dropping her second mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty (2009), Minaj already had a following and gained the attention of celebrities, like Lil Wayne. Her debut album, Pink Friday, solidified her place in the rap game as a force to be reckoned with. Songs like “Your Love”, “Did It On’ Em”, and “Super Bass” were the standouts on the album and made Minaj a crowd favorite. Features by Eminem, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Drake on a debut album demonstrates the value that Minaj’s music had in the game. Nicki Minaj was already a household name upon dropping her sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), which held fan-favorites like “Beez in the Trap” and “Starships”. The Pinkprint (2014) held the popular, yet controversial song “Anaconda” and marked the end of Minaj’s animated personas. Nicki Minaj’s most recent album, Queen (2018) was a bit different from her previous albums, as it was more lyric-focused and employed more of a hiphop trap sound, rather than her typical pop sound. 

Awards

Nicki Minaj is known as the most awarded female rapper ever. Hundreds of awards, including BET Awards, MTV Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and many more. Though she has not received a Grammy, she does have 10 Grammy nominations.

Social Involvement 

Nicki Minaj engages in a lot of charity work, including donating to the less fortunate and giving out scholarships to college students. 

Discography

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Nicki Minaj's Impact

Unique Animated Style

In Hiphop’s past, many artists, male and female, adopted a gangster-like persona as their main image. Nicki Minaj’s introduction to the hiphop was very animated in her lyrics and appearance. Nicki Minaj brought color to the hiphop world, literally, with her colorful hair and outfits and unique personas. At the beginning of her career, Nicki Minaj also often took on alter egos, like Roman Zolanski, as a way to change up her style. Nicki Minaj’s unique brand changed up the look for a stereotypical rapper in the rap game. 

Resurged The Female Rap Game

Before Nicki Minaj came into the rap game, there was not a single current female rapper that was dominating the rap game. Rap pioneers like, Remy Ma, Queen Latifah, and Lil Kim, definitely paved the way for Nicki Minaj, but they faded out of the current mainstream music, leaving a dearth in female rap. Once Nicki Minaj came into the game, she changed the current generation’s ideas of female rappers. Female rappers could be attractive and also write their own lyrics that rivaled the greats. After Nicki Minaj’s debut, female rappers started popping up, creating the surplus of female rappers that are in the rap game currently. Nicki Minaj started resurgence of female rap and paved the way for current female rappers. 

Acclaimed Verses and Songs

Nicki Minaj’s music is timeless. “Itty Bitty Piggy” from her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty and “Beez in the Trap” from her 2012 album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded are a few of the classic Nicki Minaj songs that still played at parties and events to this day. Minaj’s verse on “Monster” (2010) is well-known and praised for having a better verse than the legends on the track (Jay Z, Kanye West, etc.) as a newcomer. “Moment 4 Life”, “Anaconda”, “Super Bass”, and “Favorite” are all songs that are considered Nicki Minaj classics. Very few musicians nowadays create songs that can be played for over a decade and never lose its appeal. 

Nicki Minaj’s talent and impact on the Hip Hop world is unmistakable.

Unforgettable lyrics, unmatched charisma, and versatility all contribute to the magnificence that is Nicki Minaj. 

Anybody who Googles “The Queen Of Rap” sees Nicki Minaj as the results.

That in itself is enough proof of her impact on the HipHop industry.

References 

Banks, Thembi. “Exclusive: Nicki Minaj on Image, Criticism, and Success.” Essence, 25 Dec. 2010, https://www.essence.com/news/nicki-minaj-pink-friday-criticism-image-success/ Accessed 3 Mar. 2021

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Nicki Minaj”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 4 Dec. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nicki-Minaj.  

“Chart History – Nicki Minaj.” Billboard, https://www.billboard.com/music/nicki-minaj/chart-history/HSI

Warren, Michael J. “Nicki Minaj: My Time Now.” YouTube, uploaded by XoXo 2048, 23 Dec. 2011, https://youtu.be/S1UhlTY1ZHM 

Warren, Michael J. & Marion, Annetta. “Nicki Minaj: My Time Again.” YouTube, uploaded by Mecia is Royalty, 23 Jan. 2018, https://youtu.be/zfP4m-feoUQ 

Alexis, Nadeska. “Nicki Minaj Calls Foxy Brown ‘The Most Influential Female Rapper.’” MTV News, 16 Aug. 2012, http://www.mtv.com/news/1691906/nicki-minaj-foxy-brown-influence/ Accessed 3 Mar. 2021 https://www.revolt.tv/news/2020/11/24/21702894/nicki-minaj-grammys-best-new-artist-snub

https://www.complex.com/music/2019/06/nicki-minaj-bet-awards-2019-ratings

https://www.insider.com/nicki-minaj-donate-village-india-2017-5

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