Nicki Minaj: Breaking The Boundaries SalJD May 20, 2013 featured, Her Source | Beauty and Fashion Trends 9 Nicki Minaj’s domination of the Hip Hop arena has established her as a living legend. Last night proved to be a rock star night for The Source’s 2012 Woman of the Year, Nicki Minaj and her barbz as she took home the Billboard Awards for Best Rap Album (Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded), Best Rap Artist and Top Streaming Artist. Minaj also had a wild performance of her new single “High School” with mentor Lil Wayne, which included a steamy lap dance (yes fellas, a Nicki Minaj lap dance). Nicki has left an undeniable footprint in the new era of Rap and while some may argue that it’s for the best and others for the worst, one thing is for certain: she isn’t going anywhere. What’s most admirable about the platinum selling rapper is where she came from. Onika Tanya Maraj was born on December 8th 1982 in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago; however she was raised in Southside, Jamaica, Queens. Dealing with the turmoil of a drug addicted father and the reality of poverty, Nicki turned to music and fantasy as a way of escape. This method eventually birthed her alter egos who you may know as Roman Zolanski, the Harajuku Barbie or Nicki Lewinski. She studied at the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music and Art but decided to set herself apart from being a generic aspiring singer by getting into the rap game. The hustle of young Nicki is certainly what set her apart from the alienated art of female rap. From 2007 to 2009 she released three mix tapes, going so far as to sell them out of her car. Her incredible grind was eventually picked up by Fendi of Dirty Money, who signed her. Although you may not believe it from her star studded arena shows today, back in 07 you may have found Nicki rapping on the streets of Jamaica, Queens. As Lil Wayne began building his Young Money Empire, he tapped Nicki Minaj as the 1st lady of the budding label. World domination was now Minaj’s sight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4o80Bk4j2A After being co-signed by nearly every relevant rapper in the game (Lil Wayne, Drake, Diddy, DJ Khaled, Jay Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Tyga, etc) Nicki Minaj has certified her spot among the boys club of Hip Hop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgEjy_JWZys Taking a look at Nicki Minaj’s set of accomplishments; it’s hard to deny the rapper the title of Rap Queen. Let’s recap. – 2 Platinum Selling Albums (Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded) – Endorsement deals with Pepsi, MAC Cosmetics, and Adidas – 4 American Music Awards (Favorite Rap Artist, Favorite Rap Album) – 6 BET Awards (Best New Artist, Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, Best Group, – 5 BET Hip Hop Awards (Rookie of the Year, Made You Look, People’s Champ, Hustler of the Year, MVP of the Year) – 5 Billboard Music Awards (Top Streaming Song, Top Streaming Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album) – 2 MTV Video Music Awards (Best Hip Hop Video, Best Female Video) – 1 People’s Choice Award ( Favorite Hip-Hop Artist) – 1 Soul Train Award (Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year) – 2 Teen Choice Awards (Choice R&B/Hip Hop Song, Best R&B/Hip Hop Artist) – Upcoming Clothing Line with K-Mart – Pink Friday Fragrance with Macy’s – Judge on American Idol, Season 12 – Beats by Dre, Pink Pill – Launch of her own alcoholic beverage “Myx” – Star in a “Fame” – a biographical comic book on the rapper – Star in upcoming film “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz – Performances at the Super Bowl and Grammys Nicki Minaj came under some criticism following the release of her album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded for her alienation of Hip Hop music and increased “pop” sound. In response, she released an extended version of the album titled “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (The Re-Up)”. The new album focused back on Minaj’s mix tape sound and silenced critics who questioned her Hip Hop capabilities. Criticism and fame come to any artist hand in hand. Comments on Nicki Minaj’s career have been filled with both praise and hatred but she continues to dominate as the lead female in the Hip Hop arena. Her blueprint (or pink print as she calls it) has been a constant point of reference for nearly every female rapper to emerge after her. Somewhere within the confines of Nicki’s career lays a formula for uncontested success, for both male and female rappers alike. Although we at The Source look forward to the emergence of new lyrical and talented females in Hip Hop, we salute you, Nicki Minaj for re-opening doors and lighting a candle in the once dark room that was female rap. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7UxqfaZEcg ~ Salvatore DiBenedetto (@SaysSal) 9 Responses Von Tae' May 20, 2013 Amazing article ! Very FACTUAL and I think a lot of people need to read this. Great job 😉 Quiet Observer May 20, 2013 Shoutout to The Source for giving Nicki Minaj her due and enlightening the Urban community on all the accomplishments she has had in her only 3 year career. I would suggest the writer look into WHY Nicki went where she did with “Roman Reloaded”. She experimented because she wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of music (which is very constricted in Hip Hop, especially) and that alone was admirable. It’s time for the urban community to stop tearing down successful artists who have overcome and support hard working artists in this industry–especially a female. Nicki Minaj will be remembered as The Queen of Hip Hop. GRACIOUS May 20, 2013 This article is on point,kudos to the writer for been truthful and stating facts.some people are scared to sy the truth even when faced with it.Before Nicki ,there were no females making headlines because they were female rapper and all these old female rappers were no where to be found bu today the tory is difference ,almost all of them are now in the game.Thanks to Nicki and as for her album she wasnt afraid to do that which most people feared to do .That alone is courage and fearlessness.WELLDONE MINAJESTY,THE GRAMMY AWAITS YOU. nicko May 20, 2013 Wow ! Im so proud of Nicki ! Love this article ! JustCoastWitHa May 21, 2013 Wow, I never noticed all these glorious accomplishments, Nicki is Queen and has every right to be ask Cocky as is frfr italo May 21, 2013 This is article right here speak the truth! I appreciate the author for writing this since a lot of people don’t give nicki her dues. She is running the female and male rap game and has been since she came out with her first album and with time I can guarantee you she will be remembered as the queen of hip-hop and a legend. italo May 21, 2013 SHARE THIS ARTICLE SO PEOPLE CAN SEE THE TRUTH! Derionta B May 21, 2013 Yay! FINALLY a SOURCE that states FACTS!!! Most of these articles ppl be bashing her instead of realizing the HISTORY she’s making. KUDOS to thesource.com! Cory Baquiran May 21, 2013 Hi, Nice work! I saw this really great post today.