Retro Rewind: Nicki Minaj (The Formative Years)

Published: Saturday 14th Jul 2018 by David

It can be hard to imagine a world without the likes of Instagram and Twitter and how both established platforms can be used to propel new artists into superstardom.

So, in a world powered by streams, viral content and fleeting moments, we revisit Nicki Minaj‘s formative years and how she, with help from Safaree Samuels and a strategy many labels have tried (and failed) to emulate, became the icon she is today.

..and how, even in the face of adversity, became the highest-selling female rapper of all time on the wings of pure sales, a charismatic act and an unstoppable fan base.

The formative years below…

Minaj’s ‘Queen’ drops August 10th.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Meme July 14, 2018

    You can say what you want about Nicki But you can’t deny her talent. Sure, all of her music hasn’t been stellar, but either is Beyoncé. She’s been consistently killing and in my honest opinion, she has the best mix of ingredients in female rap history. I’m talking about overall talent, rap ability, mainstream appeal, “it” factor, image etc. She has the best mix followed by Lil Kim. But lil Kim talent level is no where close to Nicki.

    • RihNaj July 14, 2018

      Yeah there’s no one like her, her characterism was on another level yo! I just wish she never changed but I still love her….there will never be another Nicki Minaj.

      • Meme July 14, 2018

        It’s hard to become that massive and not Change. You can’t be mainstream doing hood level things. Even Cardi changes drastically in just the last 2 yrs.

    • RihNaj July 14, 2018

      I’m talking more musically though, she use to spit that hard fast sh*t, had melodies like “your love” etc her music was edgy, now it’s too mainstream and this is coming from a fan I love her! I just them old skool flow and raspiness back ?

    • Thatflopjuice July 14, 2018

      Lil Kim has the better discography and rap appeal than Gimmicky Minaj. I don’t know why y’all insist on comparing the two because it just adds fuel to the hate train. St Nick was always for the kids. And it shows because she has no growth all these years out of fear if she makes grown music it won’t sell. Take away the marketing schemes and gimmicks she really ain’t sh!t. ?

    • KillMonger Was Right (Tyler) July 14, 2018

      Im still confused on why y’all call Nicki Minaj the Queen of Rap ?. What groundbreaking has she done besides clone Lil Kim and reach success due to Young Money over saturation and the absence of other female rappers? The disappoint that everyone is feeling is the true essence behind her talent and personality. A true Queen would be able to reinvent herself like our legends. Please stop comparing her to Beyonce.

    • ROCK July 14, 2018

      Best selling?Maybe with streams and other gimmicks.
      She only has one platinum SELLING album.
      Missy elliot has about 6 of them or so.
      Lil Kim has three
      All three of them have at least one multi platinum album

    • ROCK July 14, 2018

      Even a pigeon will be talented if a whole village gathered to write your music for you.

    • Dev July 14, 2018

      For me personally, that would be Lauryn Hill. Not only did she hold her own in the Fugee’s she became a successful solo artist and has managed to have one classic album that she can still tour with 20 years later and be respected by the majority of cultures.
      No gimmicks, just pure talent.

  2. RihNaj July 14, 2018

    I legitimately miss this Nicki Minaj ? This is who I feel in love with ? I’ll never never forget her !!! Want her back?

  3. SNF July 14, 2018

    Talented but lost…

  4. IG @ mixedboy July 14, 2018

    ICON THO!!!! ??? TGS Y’all really TRIED it. ?? I cant breath. ??

  5. Just saying July 14, 2018

    It’s been 10 years and still no other female rapper being as successsful because of the glass ceiling nicki lowered and doors she closed. She made female rap about numbers and being petty instead of elevating it like a true artist. No female rap unity anthems. Came into a game a disrespectful ass gimmick and she’s still trying to prove something after all that success. It’s clear she’s insatiable and hasn’t set the bar. ? Nicki the worst thing to ever happen to female rap.

  6. KillMonger Was Right (Tyler) July 14, 2018

    This is the first time that Nicki stands alone.. No Wayne or Drake to stand beside her and constantly cosign. Not even a Meek Mill. She’s not used to that feeling. Having the pressure and spotlight on her without having the Young Money protection is making her feel insecure and vulnerable.

  7. ROCK July 14, 2018

    Best selling?Maybe with streams and other gimmicks.
    She only has one platinum SELLING album.
    Missy elliot has about 6 of them or so.
    Lil Kim has three
    All three of them have at least one multi platinum album

    • Caleb July 14, 2018

      Pink Friday sold 2,000,000 in pure sales and Roman Reloaded is at 1,000,000 most likely.

    • Caleb July 14, 2018

      But yea there’s no way that adds up to more than Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliot’s Sales.

  8. Achooo! July 14, 2018

    You all created that monster and now she will fade to black. New rapstress are coming

  9. Caleb July 14, 2018

    She was so loveable and fun back then.

  10. Caleb July 14, 2018

    “became the highest-selling female rapper of all time on the wings of pure sales”

    No not by pure sales. Lauryn Hill’s one album sold more than 9 million copies, not to mention the multiple Missy Elliot albums that were million sellers.

  11. Yolanda July 14, 2018

    It clear Nicki had work done on the tip of her nose.

  12. Caleb July 14, 2018

    That last interview is pretty funny to watch in 2018. She claims to be doing cardio because she wants her b*** to get smaller, implies she isn’t taking shots at anyone on ‘I Ain’t Thru’ with Keyshia Cole, and when asked if she is engaged or in a relationship she replies “absolutely not.” I feel so bad for Safaree. It was like he was her dirty little secret or something.

  13. Cons July 15, 2018

    Man when u look back u can see Nicki really is legendary i think she should drop the Queen album tour then start a family

    Then come back in 3years doing real rap like she did in the BET cypher she needs to start moving like beyonce people take talented artists for granted then when they leave people start begging for them to come back its insane she needs to rise above all the haterz she is an icon

  14. Iamme July 15, 2018


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