Hate or love it, one thing's for certain: Nicki Minaj is by far one of the most successful female artists the rap game has ever seen. From surpassing Aretha Franklin's title as holding the most singles to chart on the Hot 100 to creating an empire of fragrances, cosmetics and more, the Queens lyricist is iconic in her own right.
With all that in mind, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the 34-year-old reveres herself as playing a pivotal role for women in hip-hop, especially in regards to the pop culture lexicon.
During a recent sit-down with XXL for their 20th anniversary issue, Nicki spoke at great length about her distinctive brand and how she's helped bring female lyricists back to the forefront. “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,” the "Rake It Up" rapper explained. “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.”
Nicki, who cited Eminem, Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown and rumored flame Nas as some of her biggest influences, also said that she emerged onto the scene at the perfect time. “I aligned myself with a lot of brands, and I was able to show that a female rapper was able to sell products," she explained.
“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.”
In the words of the incomparable Jay-Z, you can't knock Nicki's hustle. Take a look at Nicki Minaj's full remarks in her in-depth XXL interview below.
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