05 June 2010
Everyone's familiar with the newest female rapper whose Weezy-esque rhymes, Barbie doll obsession, and take-no-prisoners attitude has made her one of the most powerful forces in contemporary rap, Nicki Minaj. And this month, she's brought her infectious--and annoying to some--aesthetic to the cover of Vibe. The Queens, New York native, born Onika Tanya Maraj, got her start in 2004 when she was singing backup and hooks for rappers in the area. She was subsequently discovered by Dirty Money Records through MySpace and after she was featured in a DVD produced by Young Money, rapper veteran Lil' Wayne sought out Minaj and collaborated with her on several mixtape tracks. Nicki Minaj released her first mixtape in 2007 named Barbie Doll a motif that she would continue to use through her career. She released another mixtape in 2008, Sucka Free which earned her a spot in XXL magazine. She also ended up taking home the award for Female Artist of the Year at the Underground Music Awards. In 2009, she released another mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty which thrust her into the limelight further than any of her previous mixtapes had. Since then, she has been featured in singles with artists such as Mariah Carey, Gucci Mane, and Usher. Fans seem to love Minaj's lyrical cadence and flow, her avant-garde music videos, a trend rising in 2010, and may seem to like Minaj's sex appeal although Nicki Minaj once said that she did not want to be seen as a sex symbol yet more as an entertainer. Overall, Minaj appears to be skyrocketing through the charts with her strong female attitude blowing the covers on her male counterparts.