Happy Birthday, Nicki Minaj!
Nicki Minaj went from the mixtape circuit to one of the top rappers in the rap game. Minaj, or Queen Barbz as she is affectionately called by her fans, turns 33 years old today (Dec. 8).
Like fellow hip-hop heavyweight Drake, Minaj rose to prominence after Lil Wayne signed her to Young Money. It really wasn't that big of a risk: her memorable Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape is still one of the finest tapes in recent memory.
Her 2010 debut Pink Friday showed that Minaj knew how to make singles at a high clip. Songs like "Your Love," "Moment 4 Life" and "Super Bass" are unquestionably hit songs. Her follow-up, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, split fans because of the LP's hip-hop and pop sound. However, songs like "Beez in the Trap," "I Am Your Leader" and "Stupid Hoe" were bonafide hits.
Finally, her third effort, The Pinkprint, made her a rap superstar thanks to her singles, "Truffle Butter," "Buy a Heart" (with her boo Meek Mill) and the Beyonce-assisted "Feeling Myself."
Minaj is also a great featured player. On Kanye West's song "Monster," which also features Jay Z and Rick Ross, Minaj bodied Yeezy, Hov and Rozay on the track with her schizophrenic verse.
Minaj is also a multifaceted artist. The Queens, N.Y. native has her own clothing line with K-Mart, her own liquor brand called Myx Fusions and is developing a television show based on her life.
Overall, Nicki Minaj is at the top of her game.