Nicki Minaj, less known as Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, made a bet on a solo album that broke the patterns of the rap genre and brought her recognition as the queen of rap. This year is the tenth anniversary of a debut album that marked a turning point in her career.
The young rapper spent the first five years of her life with her grandmother and one of her brothers in the St. James district of Trinidad and Tobago, where she was born. Later, she moved to the Queens neighborhood with her parents, where she will live part of her childhood and adolescence. Music has always been part of her life as her parents sang gospel and, in fact, she took clarinet lessons. Later, she auditioned for LaGuardia High School, an acting school located in Manhattan. However, when she turned nineteen she started working as a waitress in a restaurant where she took advantage of the breaks to write lyrics on napkins. Intuitively she began to develop what would lead her to be defined as the queen of rap.
After uploading songs to Myspace and causing a sensation, she was signed to Dirty Money Entertainment and, in 2007, launched her first mixtape Play Time is Over which included a collaboration with Lil Wayne who bet on her, so in 2009, she was allowed to sign a contract with Young Money Entertainment.
In 2010, she released Pink Friday, an album that marked a great leap in her artistic career. The name refers to a play on words with respect to the so-called Black Friday. He has collaborated with artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake, Will.i.am and Eminem.
It turned out to be a great album that managed to position itself at the top of the most important album list in the United States, Billboard 200, and more than 375,000 copies of the album were sold in its first week of release. The rapper made history with this work, as it became the best debut of an album made by a woman rapper in the whole journey of a genre until then very tight, in which women were quite invisible.
In addition, the album obtained two Grammy nominations and was recognised as a Platinum album in the United States three times. It has more than 2,000 million copies worldwide.
If one could choose an anthem for this album – released in the Deluxe version – it would be Super bass which snuck into third place on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, along with six other songs from the album, and its video clip has over 856 million views on You Tube as well as winning a prize at the VMA’s for best video clip of the year. A single that mixes pop, electronica and hip-hop fused into the singer’s rhymes.
Of course, it’s an album that shows the talent of a versatile Nicki Minaj, with some aggressive and combative rhymes that take us back to her beginnings, while at the same time she works on bases with a clear pop influence. An album that catapulted her into a genre in need of female faces.