Now that Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday has been certified platinum, it's only a matter of time before the underground rap scene is flooded with loads of Minaj sound-a-likes who aspire to be rap's next big thing.
Yet, as original as she is, there was a time when Nicki drew inspiration from her foremothers, namely Lil' Kim. Early in her career, Minaj, who also dubbed herself Nicki Lewinsky, flaunted a more sexualized image and content.
In fact, promotional images for her 2008 "Sucker Free" mixtape featured the edgy femcee licking a lolipop and squatting down with her crotch exposed as an homage to Lil' Kim's iconic debut album cover. In a recent King Magazine cover story, Nicki confessed that recreating the pose was a faux pas.
"It was too soon for that," Minaj told King editor-in-chief Sean Malcolm. "Not even too soon. It was unnecessary.”
Minaj, who studied theater at Laguardia High School, also told King about the day she found her calling.
“I wanted to do what the boys were doing,” Nicki recalled. “I always wanted to compete with the boys and I walked into the booth one day and said, ‘I’m a rapper,’ and everyone was looking at me like I had five heads.”