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Nicki Minaj: “I Reintroduced Female Rappers To The Mainstream”

Published: Thursday 12th Oct 2017 by David

Nicki Minaj is determined to remind the world that she is to thank for its renewed interest in Hip-Hop’s ladies.

Ten years after she became an Urban household name, the now world-renowned rapper reflects on the period with XXL in an interview which offers exciting insight into her mind as she readies the release of her next musical era.

My role in hip-hop has been super unique because when my first album came out, there had been so much time where there wasn’t a female rap album out that went platinum. There wasn’t a big female rap presence right before I got in. So, my role was really reintroducing the female rapper to pop culture.

I don’t think [female rappers] got that much credit. I think female rappers have always been dope and influential, but I think I sort of came in at a time where big business was paying attention, so I was able to capitalize off of a lot of deals and business ventures. I aligned myself with a lot of brands, and I was able to show that a female rapper was able to sell products.

Minaj has sold more records (via pure sales) than any other female rapper in chart history but now finds herself tasked with ensuring the next steps she makes in her career ensure her impact on Pop culture is irrefutable.

How? Balance.

The balance between being a credible artist and one who is smart enough to play the industry’s game to ensure her material impacts her fans on a global scale.

Your thoughts?

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  1. SMH October 12, 2017

    She’s actually right. But this comment section will soon be filled with bitter haters & cardi b’s fake bandwagon hopping fans writing essays filled with Nicki hate lol.

    • Jay October 12, 2017

      The sad reality is that s** sells PERIOD she capitalized off her body only. Female rappers never went anywhere I’m an 80’s baby they just get put on the back burner because most of them are not sexual figures as they call it. No hate nicki is doing her thing all day but saying she reinvented something that never went anywhere is a stretch.

      • Cupid October 12, 2017

        Nicki’s music was far superior to her peers at the time. Her looks played a role but you’re reaching to say s** played the most part in it. 80s babe you should just keep up with the times and let go of “your days”. Nicki makes good music when she’s not so focus on rap beefs.

      • Cupid October 12, 2017

        And she didn’t say she reinvented anything. I believe the term was “reintroduced”.

    • 👧 + ✈ = 💀 October 12, 2017

      I agree with her but she jacked gagas shock factor style when she first started

      • ??? October 12, 2017

        lol but gaga jacked that shock style from david bowie, so….lol

  2. Jay October 12, 2017

    Sounds like shade to me.

    • BIGGESTAALIYAHFAN October 12, 2017

      I don’t think it’s shade. We have to give credit where it’s due and although I’m not a fan of hers, she is right. There was awhile there when there were no female rappers in the game and she came out at the perfect time when a void needed to be filled. This kills me to agree with her.

    • HokeyPokey October 12, 2017

      Is It Me Or Does Nicki Sound A Little Pushed Back About Her Claim To Reintroducing Female Rap To Pop Culture? I May Be Wrong, But I Think Nicki Didn’t Want To Be Known As A Hip-Pop Rapper. I Think She Wanted To Be Known As A Hardcore, S***, Lyrical Rap B**** From Queens. I Agree Though…Nicki Put Female Rap On The Map Through Pop Culture. I Wish Nicki Didn’t Come In The Game With A Bad Taste In Everyone’s Mouth By Sneak Dissin’ The Vets & New Female Rappers, Rip Off LiL’ Kim’s Enitre Image & Platform, Showin’ “Love & Mad Props” Then Sub Shots On Other Ppl’s Tracks, Etc. If Only She Came In Humble, Inviting, & Genuinely Show Mad Love To Other Female Rappers Like Like How LiL Kim & Missy Do It. Nicki Would’ve Been The Beyonce Of Female Rap

      • Your Name October 16, 2017

        Lil Kim did not come in showing mad love to anyone lmao. How old are you? She was very insecure and had beef with damn near every female rapper… even a few R&B singers lol.

  3. Jc October 12, 2017

    If anyone says she’s lying you’re a hater. Nobody was talking about female rap when Nicki game out, the game and withered away and she revived it. Do we honestly think theyd have the VH1 female rap honours if Nicki hadn’t come out?

    • Jay October 12, 2017

      That’s been going on since 2004 tho

      • Slicc Loskii October 12, 2017

        thank you her fans so dumb lol

    • Teese October 12, 2017

      Uh yeah and I haven’t seen them honor her pop ass at all. She’s not rap sorry

  4. NT October 12, 2017

    Okay i’m glad i’m finally seeing the full quote because my first thought was what about Trina who consistently releases albums, however Nicki said ” a female rap album to go platinum” which there was a huge break in between platinum female rap albums. She’s not lying at all and the way it’s worded sounds very accepting.

  5. Abel Minaj October 12, 2017

    She’s not lying. I dare anybody to say different.

  6. Slicc Loskii October 12, 2017

    Girl Shut The F*** Up! B**** u wasnt the first person to sell products. Kim did mac, shoes, clothes, liquor, teamed with marc jacobs, versace, walked fashion shows, and yes b**** u were the only one out at the time which made it easy for u cause u had no competition. but reopened? b**** the doors were never closed. cause lets not forget dirty money nicki and hoodstar nicki. the nicki that went up to gucci and said why u put a brooklyn b**** on a track. u been a hater. and it took wayne to make u pop b**** u were trying for 7 years before your career finally took off. so b**** how did u reopen doors they were shut on you as well. b**** u had to go pop and act like u had Tourette Syndrome to get noticed… b**** f*** outta here.

    • NT October 12, 2017

      the key word here was REINTRODUCE though she never claimed to be the first.

      • Teese October 12, 2017

        And she couldn’t even sell her sh!t Kmart….sad

    • DanYiel Iman October 12, 2017

      EXACTLY SHE CAME OUT AS THE LATEST LIL’ Kim with pop-rap and now where’s her situation? 360 deal and she’s a FRAUD!! 🤦🏽‍♂️

      • Ronnie October 12, 2017

        Her situation is being the highest selling female rapper who is about to release her next album lol

      • ??? October 12, 2017

        lol exactly, she’s the highest selling female rapper out. now what about that bug fraud you stan? lmao

    • Teese October 12, 2017

      Lol damn so true. Idk why she think she started this sh!t revived it or whatever she wanna call it. U bit off Kim’s entire image to get noticed. Dag nicki wack asf

  7. Jay October 12, 2017

    Instead of saying she reinvented it maybe she could have said she set the bar higher because she indeed did do that.

    • Fran cisco October 14, 2017

      She said reintroduced not reinvent. Reading is fundamental…..

  8. Jay October 12, 2017

    But to be fair nicki is tech considered a pop artist now. Once you cross over you go plat we all know that. She started as hip hop and moved over to pop to sell those records we all know pop and country music is selling big time. She played them cards right

    • Ronnie October 13, 2017

      That’s dumb because let Drake do as many pop songs as he wants majority of you would still call him a rapper so why downplay Nicki because she successfully did something the other female rapper failed to?

  9. The Wig Snatcher October 12, 2017

    1. Nicki Minaj has not outsold Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill off pure sales or pure talent. 2. Nicki saying that she reintroduced female rappers into mainstream is negating the fact that Trina has been consistently releasing albums since 2000. 3. It was only a four year difference – when you are discounting Trina’s contributions- between Missy’s and Kim’s last studio albums and Nicki’s first. 4. Trina needs to stop acting all pvssy and diss the shït out of Nicki and her insecurities acting like she is the only female rapper who has been around.

    TGJ, stop dïck riding HOnika with the fake news.

    • SMH October 12, 2017

      Um, Trina is not, and never has been, mainstream. Your rant is rendered irrelevant.

    • 🙄 October 12, 2017

      🙄 You’re so stupid it hurts. Nicki Minaj has outsold EVERY female artist that’s come before or after her. Trina? Of all people, you mean Trina that’s been out for this long and has nothing to show for it? No one cosiders her a legend period! She also was never mainstream as she doesn’t have one top 10 nor does she have a Platinum album. Also Nicki was selling before the industry moved to streams. All of this could be researched you’re just a bitter old hater.

      • Teese October 12, 2017

        Nicki is a legend?!?!

        Where?!??!! Gtfoh her sh!t dead and stinking!

        A legend sets trens ..creates their own lane. Nicki has done none of that. She’s a fraud. Her music will not be memorable n 20 years.
        #notupfordebate

  10. Ciah’s Turtle October 12, 2017

    where’s the lie ?

  11. Lawrence October 12, 2017

    I just live for Nikki , her style, she gives me life

  12. Jay October 12, 2017

    You’re biggest records are “Pop Records” B**** stop it. ARE YOU DUMB

    • Ciah’s Turtle October 12, 2017

      Is “pop” not MAINSTREAM?! U bxtches get dumber and dumber each post.

  13. MaxxieFoxx October 12, 2017

    She’s very much right ✊🏾

  14. Tough Talk October 12, 2017

    Girl bye, you asking for credit for something that was NEVER any goal of yours. You didn’t reintroduce anybody to anything, you just came out and were successful at something that not many have been for a long time. You were able to attach to a lot of brands and move a lot of things around BECAUSE PEOPLE BUY GIMMICKS. Not because you were doing anything special. Remember when Gaga was hot? Yes, nicki did come and slay but don’t come trying to take credit for something you NEVER stood up for. You just came out and you was HOT when everybody else was NOT. You didn’t reintroduce anything to anybody nobody forgot about the rap girls before you. Before Nicki, we USED to have MORE female rap categories. you came and took poops on all the other rap girls for not being as successful as you every chance you got. You came and occupied an island that was deserted for years. It’s not like after Nicki came out, all these other rap chicks started coming out the cut making hits, getting deals, umm no she was the only one winning for a looooonnnnnggg time. She just fell off and everybody’s interested in someone else.

    • NT October 12, 2017

      Dreezy,Dej Loaf, Angel Haze, Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks , Cardi B and Cupcakke were all brought more mainstream based off of Nicki’s success though …

      • B-B-B-B-BallNoTesticals October 12, 2017

        @NT You’re missing The Point. What Tough Talk Is Trying To Say Is Nicki Didn’t Come In The Game To Purposefully Change The Game. Nicki Is Trying To Make It Seem Like She Tried To Set The Bar To Pave The Way, When In Reality, You Just Showed Face.

  15. TRUTHHURTS October 12, 2017

    Never understood why the hell when there is an article about one person, people compare them to to other people or start hateful remarks. Regardless of who it is, if something is about that person alone, why bring up someone else that is completely unrelated. People always bring hate around. You can like Nicki, Trina, Cardi B, Azalea Banks, etc.. JUST because you like one doesn’t mean you have to hate the other. And if you DO not like the other, than keep it to yourself when its a not a blog about them!

  16. Mark111 October 12, 2017

    The issue is that the magazine is celebrating 20 years of hip hop and/or XXL. So, 2017 – 20 is 1997. How many female rappers were popping from 97 to 17. Missy, Kim, Eve, Trina, Hill, Left Eye and others. Those ladies each and different ways set the bar and trends in their own way. Left Eye was topping the charts with TLC, you don’t get more mainstream than Scrubs. Missy first solo album dropped in 97, with groundbreaking music videos that even to this day are unmatched, hip hop, pop or mainstream. Kim was in high fashion magazines, runways fashion shows and was still mainstream even when mainstream wouldn’t play her music because it was so sexual. That’s a feat by it self. Eve had her clothing line, TV show and was in films, don’t get more mainstream than Hollywood. Trina been active on an indie route for years. I see male rappers on there that are just as indie as she was. At least 3 of these women should have been on a cover over 3 males. But you know, Nicki loves to be the only and THAT’S the problem.

    • Teese October 12, 2017

      Agreed 💯

  17. Ari October 12, 2017

    No matter what people find some way to hate Nicki. She told no lies.

  18. Lake Erie October 12, 2017

    IDK why she keep saying “female rappers”. Her team made her out to be the only one and that’s exactly what SHE wanted. Now had she said she put HERSELF on then yea. Absolutely. She’s broken records for herself. No hate at all for that. Salute to her. But it’s funny to read about or hear her say that she did something for female (s). Her track record is evident. All for one and one for all in her case. And unfortunately, that will be her downfall this time. People really aren’t rocking with her like that for some reason. And I like the stuff she’s been putting out. Please don’t blame it on the climate because according to this speech she just gave, what she’s done for female’s and her name alone should help her persevere “consistently” lol back to the top. Again no hate but she hasn’t done anything for females. Had she done it, it wouldn’t be so hard for the girls after her to reach a top 10 or 20… not to even mention collaborations… Kudos to her for doing it alone though…… I guess..

    • Teese October 12, 2017

      Exactly. I wanna know what female rappers she’s ever worked with. She doesn’t want unity at all she likes being the only one. Females before her they have all done dogs together.

  19. I speaks the truth October 12, 2017

    She changed the game when she released massive attack…

  20. 🙄 October 12, 2017

    I’m honestly starting to think some people who frequent this site are just slow.
    In 2006-2010 what female rapper was making the upper region of the hot 100 or even selling?
    Lil Kim was starting to become a joke. Plus the Naked Truth Flopped.
    Missy all but retired
    Eve was having label problems due to the low sells of her previous album. The album she was supposed to come out with in 2007 was shelved.
    Foxy Brown’s career was all but over, especially after Mary J Blige called her out for needing Jay-Z to write her verse for “Enough Crying”
    Trina released albums but outside of the Kelly Rowland Top 20 hit, no one outside her base was checking for her.
    Lauryn Hill had been on her crazy, a full plus during this time period.
    Salt N Pepper we’re considered legends but has beens at that point.
    Remy Ma wasn’t even a factor, she was simply a male HipHop group tag along, who found herself in prison.

    Nicki came out of nowhere and people reacted to her. They brought her mixtapes first then, her singles, then her album. Stop hating and give credit where it is due. Had Nicki not showed up, it’s no telling where Female mainstream HipHop would be at this point.

    • Caleb October 12, 2017

      “In 2006-2010 what female rapper was making the upper region of the hot 100 or even selling”

      For the record Lil’ Mama did have one top 10 hit in that period in 2008 lol.

    • Keep it 100 October 14, 2017

      How did naked truth flop when it’s 2-3x platinum and has 5 Mics lmao she the only female rapper with 5 mics FOH LEARN HIPHOP HISTORY

  21. Dev October 12, 2017

    She needs to use the tern rapper loosely and singer even looser. Her position was unique because she basically wore bright colours and had songs like Starship that catapulted her into the spotlight like a ghetto musical version of I.T! She gives herself too many props

  22. Gee October 12, 2017

    With all due respect I applaud Nicki for her hustle but Kim, and Missy were endorsing products before a Nicki came along. Also Missy Elliott is still the best selling female rapper according to soundscan. But I will give her credit for breaking through the mainstream for female rappers who are coming up now. Let’s not forget Missy is also a successful writer and producer as well.

  23. WRTW? October 12, 2017

    Why is it so hard for yall to give Nicki her credit. If her looks made her win, why do people like Cassie or Christina Millian never make up. Nicki Minaj has raw talent, smarts an business acumen. Give this black girl her credit. She’s the reason azaelia Banks, cardi B, and these new rap girls have a platform. Nicki stood on the shoulders of other female rappers in a time where she basically had to remind the world why they should care about a female rapper. Bitter Betty’s are in denial

  24. Caleb October 12, 2017

    “Minaj has sold more records (via pure sales) than any other female rapper in chart history”

    Why would you say that when that is clearly not the case. She has not sold more albums than Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliot, “pure sales” or SPS.

    • Caleb October 12, 2017

      Or $1 songs on iTunes are given the same weight as buying a full album in this methodology?

      • Teese October 12, 2017

        Hell no albums have way more songs. Selling albums has more weight than singles

      • Abel Minaj October 12, 2017

        They both albums and singles count as records. That’s how Rihanna record sales are only behind Madonna’s.

    • I speaks the truth October 12, 2017

      What does a wigger know, hip hop is for the black people not some wannabe wigger.

  25. carlenciaga October 12, 2017

    the article misleads her statement. she’s saying she had a goal to reintroduce female rap. and that she did. big ups to you nicki.

  26. October 12, 2017

    so true, nuff respect to queen Nicki M.

  27. Leo7 October 12, 2017

    Ok so its night time and I am going to reintroduce the Sun in the morning😒… What bothers me with Nicki is not the stats but the methods . Over exposing yourself producing heavy volume but no quality very little timeless music you . You outsold lauryn an she barely put out to albums but the miseducation is “Legend”( you NO.)The Grammy winning woman who paved way for you to copy and still get a coin you disrespect. (Nicki the nominee) REMY BODIED YOU IN ONE OF THE MEANEST DISTRACKS EVER AND BROKE YOUR BET STREAK . (Hood cred dead) THEN 😑CARDI B did what you couldn’t do in ten years on her first time out 😳#1 with her only coin. (Pop flop nicki) #mariahnoliar .Think about it if ANYBODY stayed that pressed to be on everyones sound BUT MAKE NO CHART INFLUENCE due to your actual feature they would be able to make the same clams . An honey all these slow burn records need a shot of penicillin 😕. You have the highest record with the least respect Thats why YOU’RE bigging your own self up an not your peers its kinda sad. All your reintroduced was division amongst woman in your field , horrible stripper clothes an a played kandi burruss pony tail on occasion. Popularity is easy come easy go lets talk nicki in 10 more years 😚

    • B-B-B-B-BallNoTesticals October 12, 2017

      “Ok so its night time and I am going to reintroduce the Sun in the morning”

      “CARDI B did what you couldn’t do in ten years on her first time out 😳#1 with her only coin.”

      “You have the highest record with the least respect Thats why YOU’RE bigging your own self up an not your peers its kinda sad”

      I’m Getting My Life @ Your Comments!!!!!!!!!!! What you Forgot To Mention On Your Last Comment Was This Reintroduction Was Build Up By PR, Following Orders, & Falling For What Sells. For Example: Super Bass Was Not Gonna Be Her Next Single Until Taylor Swift Said Something. Pop Was Her Next Direction Not Because She Enjoys It, But Because It’s A Business Move To Branch Out.

  28. Junior in Jamaica October 12, 2017

    Right on sis!

  29. Mark October 12, 2017

    I wish she would go back to the beginning when she was humble

  30. Justafan October 12, 2017

    I didn’t know Nicki was a rapper

  31. Jason October 13, 2017

    This is actually true! 🤷🏽‍♂️ …haters are seething! 😂 I’m not even a Stan and I see only facts.

  32. alix lerner October 14, 2017

    I mean she did! but its just tacky when your the one that has to be constantly reminding us about it! we know girl! like we get it! We give you the credit but relax its not the only thing going on in Female Hip Hop!

  33. India Colleges October 15, 2017

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole
    lot and never manage to get anything done.

  34. Ropeburn October 16, 2017

    She’s right but your headline was misleading. You distorted her actual quote to make it seem like she was taking credit for other female rappers’ success.

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