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Countdown to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday’: 2009 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher

Jeffrey Ufberg, WireImage

While everyone is spiraling over this year’s G.O.O.D. Music cypher at the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards, it’s still hard to forget what happened last year when Nicki Minaj jumped in the ring to spit her bars for her designated cypher. Nicki was joined by Buckshot, Crown Royyal, and Joe Budden. As always it’s ladies first, so Nicki got to open the cypher. Check out what happened next after the jump.

Rocking a gigantic Barbie logo chain, with a velour jumpsuit and her Cleopatra ‘do, Nicki earned her respect on the platform. “Call me Dracula, ’cause all I do is Count chips. Your money’s mini I ain’t talkin’ bout the mouse, trick,” she hissed in what has become one of her many signature voices. With snarky giggles and lines like “I be up in learjets, make a left at the cloud,” Nicki stood as the only female in the cypher, lightening up the mood among several very serious male rappers. Symbolic in a way, Nicki’s presence there reflects her place in hip-hop now. She’s here to have fun; why so serious?

BET’s ‘The Cypher’ unintentionally branded the female emcee in many ways. As Nicki proudly lifted her Barbie chain in the freestyle and declared “You ain’t a Barbie, it’s none of your freakin’ beeswax” like a Mean Girl, she was declaring a movement that has consistently grown since that moment. Also, it was the first time in a very long time that the hip-hop audience was divided in deciding who had the best verse in that cypher. Arguably Lil’ Kim‘s verse on Mobb Deep‘s ‘Quiet Storm’ remix was the last time a female was in the running for the best verse on a male-driven track. Nicki’s track record has only gotten better, and her verses since then have been debated as the best among some of the greatest male emcees in the game.

Check out the video of the freestyle below:

Here’s some bonus behind the scenes footage of Nicki after the freestyle arguing with Joe Budden and Wale about her number of Twitter followers. Back then she was at 200,000 and now she’s close to 1.5 million. My how times have changed.

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