Education and Early Career:
Nicki Minaj was born December 8, 1984 in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the borough of Queens in New York City at age 5. She attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, the school renowned for inspiring the movie Fame. Before long she attracted the attention of local producers and hip hop artists. Nicki Minaj embarked on a career as a female hip hop emcee in a heavily male dominated genre.
Nicki Minaj's Three Elements:
Nicki Minaj considers there to be three elements to her overall image. The first is Nicki the Ninja. This element is a sometimes naughty hip hop lyrical assassin. The second is Nicki the Harajuku Barbie. This element is a coquettish girly girl fashionista who loves everything pink. The final element is Nicki the Boss who is the businesswoman who is always thinking outside the box.
Mixtapes and Discovery:
Nicki Minaj first gained widespread attention through a critically acclaimed appearance on the DVD magazine The Come Up. She appeared on one volume along with rapper Lil Wayne who soon signed Nicki Minaj to a contract with his Cash Money record label. She soon began appearing on a range of mixtapes that spread her name among music fans.
Nicki Minaj's Pop Breakthrough:
Nicki Minaj's first single "Massive Attack" featuring Sean Garrett was released in April 2010. It created significant buzz and reached the top 20 on the Heatseekers chart. "Your Love" appeared in June 2010 and became the first top 20 pop hit from Nicki Minaj. She has also made appearences as a featured artist on hit songs such as "2012 (It Ain't the End)" by Jay Sean and "Letting Go (Dutty Love)" by Sean Kingston. In September she hit the charts again as part of a duo with will.i.am on "Check It Out."