Referring to Nicki Minaj as the “Queen of Rap” may seem bold, but most people are on board. When she burst on the scene with different accents, looks, and personalities, she made rap fun again. Minaj’s unique flow and penchant for drama highlights her unique ability to change her voice and even her personality. Her refreshing attitude and tremendous talents launched her from a top-notch rapper to a full-on pop star.
Minaj has enjoyed success as a rapper, pop artist, and actor. She has broken so many records if you could add them up, that might break another one. But how many hits does she have? Enough to put her name on a list few could even dream of. Keep reading to see why she keeps being called one of the most influential rap artists of all time.
Female rappers appear to be having a moment. Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat are climbing the charts and showcasing their talents. RapTV talks about what makes female rappers so popular. Also worth noting is the number of women on the latest ten rappers to sign a deal. But let’s bring the focus back Nicki Minaj, starting with her solo albums.
In 2010 Nicki Minaj dropped her first album “Pink Friday.” It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. The following year it reached number one in the U.S. The album had five singles, the fifth and most successful was “Super Bass.” The song eventually went octuple-platinum.
Pink Friday tracklist:
- “I’m the Best”
- “Roman’s Revenge” (Ft. Eminem)
- “Did It On’em”
- “Right Thru Me”
- “Fly” (Ft. Rihanna)
- “Save Me”
- “Moment 4 Life” (Ft. Drake)
- “Check It Out” (Ft. will.i.am)
- “Blazin” (Ft. Kanye West)
- “Here I Am”
- “Dear Old Nicki”
- “Your Love”
- “Last Chance” (Ft. Natasha Bedingfield)
- “Super Bass” (deluxe bonus track)
- “Blow Ya Mind” (deluxe bonus track)
- “Muny” (deluxe bonus track)
“Pink Friday Roman Reloaded” was Nicki Minaj’s second album, released in 2012. The album debuted at number one and went platinum. This marked a successful crossover into pop music. The first single “Starships” reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and ended up becoming the fifth best selling single of the year and one of the best of all time.
Pink Friday Roman Reloaded tracklist:
- “Roman Holiday”
- “Come on a Cone”
- ‘I Am Your Leader” (Ft. Cam’ron and Rick Ross)
- “Beez in the Trap” (Ft. 2 Chainz)
- “HOV Lane”
- “Roman Reloaded” (Ft. Lil Wayne)
- “Champion” (Ft. Nas, Drake and Young Jeezy)
- “Right by My Side” (Ft. Chris Brown)
- “Sex in the Lounge” (Ft. Lil Wayne and Bobby V)
- “Pound the Alarm”
- “Whip It”
- “Beautiful Sinner”
- “Marilyn Monroe”
- “Young Forever”
- “Fire Burns”
- “Gun Shot” (Ft. Beenie Man)
- “Stupid Hoe”
Not wasting any time, Nicki Minaj dropped her next album “The Pinkprint” in 2014, which debuted at number two. Her second single from the album “Anaconda” peaked at number two and became her highest-charting single in the U.S. The accompanying controversial and undeniably sexy video set a Vevo record, gaining 19.6 million views in just 24 hours.
Perhaps in a perfectionist headspace, Nicki Minaj pushed back the release date of her fourth album, “Queen,” several times. She was openly disappointed when her last album didn’t reach number one. It seems as though she thought if she got the timing just right it would ensure the number one spot.
When she finally released it in August of 2018 it debuted at number two. Apparently number two just wasn’t good enough for Minaj, she lashed out on social media and it was not a good look. Queens don’t tear others down just to build themselves up. She took it even further on her radio show “Queen Radio” accusing Travis Scott of using his relationship with Kylie Jenner to unfairly gain the number one spot. As my granny would say, “I wouldn’t cuss a dog the way she cussed him.”
Nicki Minaj was clearly putting a lot of pressure on herself. It’s easy to forgive a lapse in judgment here or a temper tantrum there. Whether she’s going by, Onika, Nicki, Harajuku Barbie, Marth, Roman, you don’t make it to rap royalty without cursing someone out along the way. If that made your head spin, check out RapTv’s full profile on Nicki Minaj for help piecing together the complex and extraordinary life of one of today’s true divas.
Minaj has been accused of beefing with stars ranging from fellow rappers Lil Kim and Cardi B to pop stars Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Most of these instances were rather mild, except that one time Cardi B threw a shoe at Nicki Minaj in an attempt to start a fight. Security!
Here are a few more of Nicki’s most infamous moments.
August 2011- Nip slip on Good Morning America
February 2012 – Offended some Catholics with an exorcism-themed performance at the Grammys, guest-starring a fake Pope.
February 2020- Minaj was criticized by some who found “Yikes” lyrics referring to Rosa Parks as disrespectful
July 2020- “Move Ya Hips” dropped 80 spots in the second week from #19 to 99, breaking a record for the largest fall in Hot 100 history.
Breaking records and being first</h3>
Selling an estimated 100 million records, Nicki Minaj is one of the best selling artists in the world. But as we’ve discovered “one of the best” is not good enough for Minaj. She has been the first and best so many times, it’s hard to keep track. Here’s a timeline of some of her most notable and interesting accomplishments.
September 2010 -Minaj became the first female rap artist to ever perform at Yankee Stadium
October 2010- She became the first female solo artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously
October 2010- Minaj became the first woman to ever land a spot on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List.
February 2012- She was the first solo female rapper to light up the stage at the Grammys
March 2017- Minaj broke the record for the most Billboard Hot 100 entries for a female artist
October 2018- She was featured on a remix of Tyga’s song “Dip,” when the track reached 63, it marked Minaj’s 100th entry on the Hot 100, pushing her previous entry record to fourth overall
May 2020- Minaj was featured on Doja Cat’s “Say So” remix which topped the chart and became Minaj’s first single to reach number one, the track is also the first by two female rapper to reach the top
Can you really blame Nicki Minaj for wanting to be the best? That drive and attitude is what got her to where she is, but can it get her where she wants to go? She has thrived in a male-dominated genre.
She has reflected women back to themselves in all their glory. She reminds them they can be smart and sexy, funny and dominant, strong and feminine, beautiful and utterly ruthless, talented and silly, a ho and a housewife. She doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone, except maybe herself.
She has taken on many roles and challenges in addition to music such as acting and even being a judge on “American Idol.” She proved to everyone that her work ethic and talent would eventually get her where she wanted to go. By reaching number one on “Say So,” her 109th charted title, Minaj broke another record. This one however was for the longest wait for a fist Hot 100 No. 1 by total career entries.
After a bit of a social media hiatus, Nicki announced plans for a new album in July of 2019. Then, in September of the same year, there was a bizarre retirement announcement. She later apologized for the announcement and promised the new album was definitely happening. Earlier this year, she started teasing her fans on twitter with hints to build hype but at this point, it’s all speculation. No release date has been announced.
Nicki Minaj has made her name in the rap game thanks to many incredible women helping to pave the way. The legendary Missy Elliot just became the first female rapper to be inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But Minaj, like the greats who came before her, continues to show the world that women not only belong in rap, but they improve it as well.
Whatever Nicki Minaj does and whenever she does it, watching her be the first and best is sure to entertain.