Before she became Young Money's wig-wearing first lady, Nicki Minaj was a female emcee pushing mixtapes and freestyles from the ground up. As we prepare for the unveiling of Nicki's debut, 'Pink Friday,' on November 23, The BoomBox will be taking a trip down memory lane every Friday in anticipation of Barbie's big day. Check out Chapter One after the jump.

It all started with a DVD called 'The Come Up.' Well it didn't start there per se, but that's where the fate of Nicki Minaj's career took a dramatic turn for the better. On 'The Come Up', the Trini princess, who moved to Jamaica, Queens in her youth, found herself freestyling in a stairwell for one of the DVD's segments. Her not so subtle arrogance and hints of abstract delivery were pretty clear on the DVD, despite the fact that Nicki wasn't the Nicki we knew yet. Still, the raw talent was clear and a successful career for Minaj was inevitable. Nicki's skills caught the eye of one Lil Wayne, who quickly pursued the rising star as a welcomed addition to the Young Money roster he was slowly building. Had Lil Wayne never encountered Nicki on 'The Come Up,' who knows what would have happened?

Check out the video of Nicki Minaj on 'The Come Up':

Nicki had star power running through her veins as she spit lines like "You see me on the stoop, man, these birds just salute me; whether I'm in the coupe or the hoop-dee." It's no wonder why Wayne saw something in Nicki Minaj that separated her from other female rappers in the game. The BoomBox was fortunate enough to sit down with Nicki a while back and have her tell the story from her own mouth:

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Tune in next week for our next installment of Pink Friday: Mixtape Maven.