Nicki Minaj wanted to kill her alcoholic father when she was 5 years old because he tried to set the house where Minaj, her mother and her two siblings were sleeping in, on fire.
Luckily for Onika Tanya Maraj aka Nicki Minaj, her grandmother stepped in and took her away along with Nicki’s mother and her siblings to Queens, New York.Where she would spend her childhood dreaming of becoming a great actress and so would opt for acting as her high school major in a school of visual arts.
In 2001, Nicki was lucky enough to get a chance to display her acting skills on highly influential New York theaters for aspiring Broadway actors.Unfortunately her acting career failed to take-off and reality stuck her real bad when she was shown the door at most Broadway theaters.
With no deep pockets nor any specialized skills she was on her own in the wilderness of the big apple.And the next seven years would be the darkest in Nicki Minaj’s life.
Left to fend for herself with no financial aid from her family, Nicki worked as a waitress for the most of 2002 and 2003 but was ousted from most of the restaurants she worked in, because many customers taught she was rude and arrogant and Nicki herself confessed to stealing bread at the Red Lobster restaurant and sliding them under her bra pads to eat them later.
Nicki also confessed that many customers passed obscene comments about her butt and when she raised her voice they would end up complaining to the management that the waitress Nicki was crass and crude.
And so she was fired from not only restaurants but clerical jobs including a managerial job for a Wall Street firm.By the end of 2004 Nicki had reached a breaking point in a career as she was not able to stick to a single job and had to do something unconventional to make money and not steal bread to keep herself alive.
Nicki formed a rap group with 7even Up and Scagg Beezy whose major achievement would be recording a entrance song for WWE’s Diva Victoria in the year 2004. The band had released some underground rap songs but never got the attention of the mainstream media.
Not happy with the rap group’s success or the money made, Nicki quit the band and released a few demo songs of her own on YouTube as free music downloads.She managed to get the attention of Fendi, CEO of Dirty Money Entertainment who signed Nicki on a 6 month contract.
Fendi has to be credited for changing Nicki’s name from “Nicki Maraj” to “Nicki Minaj” which has Nicki openly admitting to her distaste of name change.Nicki would rather keep her Afro-Asian name but much to her surprise the name was a huge it on and off-line with many fans confessing that it turns them on.
In 2007, Minaj would release her first mix-tape Playtime under Dirty Money Entertainment label and in 2008 Sucka Free would be released which would give the exposure and the promotion Nicki was looking for.
Sucka Free would get her positive reviews from many underground rap critics and would eventually win her Best Female Artist of the Year at the Underground Music Awards in 2008 apart from heavy airtime on MTV for the lead single “I Get Crazy”.
In 2008 Nicki’s heavy airtime on the MTV for her lead single “I Get Crazy” got the attention of Lil Wayne, who would sign Nicki for his label Young Money Entertainment and would immediately cast Nicki in his album We are Young Money, released in 2009. Nicki Minaj would taste her first real success when “BedRock” and “Roger That” lead songs from We are Young Money reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 with “BedRock” peaking at No.2.
Mean while Nicki was given a verse on a track called “Monster” that featured three of the greatest rappers of our times Kanye West, Jay Z and Rick Ross which would peak at No.30 in the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj had also worked on Rihanna’s Loud album and months later Rihanna would return the favour.
And finally in the spring of 2010, Nicki would release her first studio album Pink Friday with tracks “Your Love” “Check It Out” “Right Thru Me” all in the Top 40 of Billboard Hot 100 charts.
She is the only female artist to date to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 all at once but the best was yet to come and when “Moment 4 Life” was released mid 2011, she would reach the pinnacle of success when this song reaches the No.1 spot in the Billboard Hot 100.
It didn’t stop there, the hits kept on rolling with another Billboard Top 5 number “Super Bass” and a remix with Britney Spears and keisha “Till the World Ends” peaked at No.3 in the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Pink Friday, primarily a Hip Hop album with a touch of R&B had vocals from every big name on the music scene then, including Kanye West, Drake,Eminem, Rihanna and many other top names of the music industry, yet another reason why Pink Friday debuted at the No.2 spot in the Billboard Hot 200 album charts.The album sold more than 100,000 copies on the itunes music store in the first week of it’s release alone and went Platinum within a month.
When Nicki was riding high her new found success wave, she was interviewed by ABC’s Nightline show, a Live show with no delays, watched by many teens, kids apart from the usual adult audience, Nicki Minaj had a terrible nip slip during the course of her live interview which was watched by millions around the globe.
Nicki Minaj was badly criticized by the American public and ABC was not spared either for telecasting the event without the usual 5 – 7 second delay.This incident only spurred Nicki’s popularity with many calling it a publicity stunt by Nicki Minaj.
Nicki gained more publicity with her duel with fellow rapper Lil’ Kim, at whom Nicki’s song “Stupid Hoe” from her second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is said to be directed at. “Stupid Hoe” is an abusive explicit number with curses directed at a specific person.It was during this time Nicki Minaj’s cousin Nicholas was shot dead near his home in Brooklyn, New York.
The stage was set for Nicki’s second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded released during the spring of 2012.The nip slip and the duel with Lil’ Kim surged Nicki Minaj’s popularity to such an extent she was selected to perform at the half time of Super Bowl XLVI, early 2012.
“Give Me All Your Luvin” performed with Madonna and the M.I.A became one of the most watched Super Bowl events.She also performed at the Grammy Awards 2012 with a premier of “Roman Holiday” and for more than one reason, it was a very controversial Exorcism based event which was hugely criticized and condemned by the American Catholic Association on behalf of the Vatican.
Nevertheless, Super Bowl XLVI and Grammy Awards 2012 were hugely successful events and it reflected in the sales of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, with more than 150,000 copies sold on the itunes music store in the first week of it’s release alone.
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded debuted at No.1 slot in the Billboard Hot 100 charts with “Starships” becoming one of the best selling singles of the year 2012.It was followed by “Right by My Side” which also peaked into Top 20 of the Billboard Top 100 charts.
The album on the whole did not receive much of a positive review from the critics like her debut album Pink Friday did.Somewhere during May 2012, Nicki organized her first US tour to make the most of her Pink Friday success later followed by another tour promoting Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, where she confessed that Cyndi Lauper is her role model.
Later that year Nicki Minaj was chosen to be one of the judges for the 12th season of American Idol along with Randy Jackson, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey.A leaked YouTube video showed a massive fracas between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, with Nicki even threatening to shoot Mariah Carey. Mariah increased her security because of the threat and later revealed it was her words on Live TV about Nicki Minaj not having a single No.1 song that aggravated Nicki.
Both the celebrities quit American Idol at the end of the season never to be seen again.While Nicki Minaj launched her perfume Pink Friday and Minajesty, Mariah went on a holiday abroad.By the end of April 2013, Nicki would have 44 numbers on the Billboard Hot 100 making her the most-charted female rapper ever.
Meanwhile Nicki starting working on her movie, The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz and realized her childhood dream of becoming an actress. As soon as she was done shooting for the movie, she would release her third album The Pinkprint in August 2014, which has the number “Anaconda”, her highest ranked single in the Billboard
“Anaconda” would reach 19.7 million unique views on YouTube within 24 hours of it’s release, setting a world record only to be broken by Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” mid 2015.
Mid 2015 Nicki would launch her own fashion collection for women and will join hands with Republic Records and Young Money Records to release new single “Lookin Ass” to be featured in Young Money’s second compilation, called Young Money: Rise Of An Empire.