Nicki Minaj has blazed the trail for female musicians, specifically female rappers. She has built herself up from rags to riches, but not without causing some drama along the way. She is known for her physical features and one-of-a-kind style, from her tattoos to her wigs and so much more.
This star has been through the wringer more than a few times, though she has definitely put others through it too! She has feuded with just about every current celebrity that you can think of, and she prides herself on being no-nonsense. This is the story of how Nicki Minaj got to where she is now and the feuds that have come along the way!
Nicki Minaj was born Onika Tanya Maraj, though she is widely known by her stage name. She was born on December 8th, 1982, in Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago. Her parents, while both from Trinidad and Tobago, have different ethnic origins; her mother is Afro-Trinidadian, and her father is Indo-Trinidadian.
She later moved to the United States with her mother and older brother. It was here that she was able to channel her passion for music and entertainment, leading her to become one of the most accomplished female rappers of all time. Had her mother not brought her over when she was five, her story would have been totally different!
She was born in 1982, making her 38 at the time of this article. Granted, it’s hard to say that someone does or doesn’t “look their age,” but dang… she looks really good! She has a youthful energy that makes her seem like she’s in her 20s!
She’s been working her way up in the music industry since she was just a high school student, attending one of the best performing arts high schools in New York City’s five boroughs. She has proved that success knows no age, and neither does the rap game! She barely ages, it seems.
Nicki Minaj is not the tallest gal around. She stands at a tiny five-foot-two-inches, though she often wears huge, chunky heels that make her appear taller. She’s got some junk in the trunk that doesn’t quite have to do with her height, but since she’s already pretty tiny, it seems to make her seem shorter!
What she lacks in height, she makes up for in personality and stage presence. She is a fireball of a gal, and she’s actually not the shortest female rapper! Lil’ Kim is only around four-foot-nine. Fortunately, height has nothing to do with the level of success that you can accomplish. Good for you, Nicki Minaj!
Before the rap star moved with her brother and mother to Queens, New York, she was living in a home with her family that was packed to the max! In Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, she lived with her grandmother and 11 other cousins under one roof. That must have been cramped!
Her parents had a tumultuous relationship, though they had something in common. They were both gospel singers! This makes sense as to how Ms. Minaj got her musical talents! Her father, Robert Maraj, was a financial executive, and her mother, Carol, worked in payroll and accounting before getting a green card to come to the United States.
When Carol Maraj had the opportunity to come to the United States with a Green Card, she jumped at the opportunity. It was a dream of hers, and she was ecstatic to be able to make that move. She moved to the Bronx at first and studied at Monroe College before coming back for her children.
When Nicki Minaj was five years old, her mom got her first house on 147th Street in South Jamaica, Queens. It was then that Minaj and her brother, Jelani, left their life in Trinidad and Tobago behind. They were destined to do something great, and America was where they would do it!
Minaj lived with her brother and both of her parents, though not everything was easy when they got to the U.S.A. She reflected on the type of household she grew up in, stating, “I don’t think I had a lot of discipline in my household. My mom motivated me, but it wasn’t a strict household. I kind of wanted a strict household.”
Even if she didn’t have much discipline at home, it definitely did not show when she was reaching for the stars. She successfully auditioned for the prestigious New York City school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. That school pumped out award winners like it was their job… and it kind of was!
An acceptance to Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is no small accomplishment. Students had a lengthy audition process and were often stuck in their area of concentration after getting in. It is one of only nine specialized high schools in New York City that receives special funding from the New York State Legislature.
Students at LaGuardia would audition for their “studio,” or their area of expertise. The school sported instrumental, vocal, musicology, drama, dance, and technical theater programs. Other famous alumni include Freddie Prinze, Eagle Eye Cherry, Adrien Grenier, Al Pacino, and Timothée Chalamet, to name a few!
Before she jumped into an acting career – because, yes, she initially tried to become an actress after LaGuardia – Minaj dealt with a particularly hectic home life. Her parents had a rocky marriage, and her father had a particularly bad problem with alcohol. He also fell victim to the crack epidemic.
In an interview, Minaj opened up about a traumatic experience from her childhood. She discussed an instance in which her mom had a premonition and warned her and her brother to stay out of their home. Not long after, her father set fire to their family home in Jamaica, Queens, while her mother was inside.
Her father, Robert, was an abusive alcoholic who abused other hard drugs. She recalled it as “a lot of arguing, lots of screaming – there were holes punched into the walls in anger and cops being called to the house all the time. I was afraid, very afraid that something would happen to my mother.”
It’s no wonder why she puts on such a tough persona all the time – she’s seen a lot and will not allow anyone to hurt her in the way her mother was hurt. She also recalled another traumatic experience, “one time he pulled my mother out of a car and dragged her two blocks… After that, I had a phobia about unlocked doors. Anywhere my mother and I were, I made sure the doors were locked because that was my only way to protect her.”
Minaj is finally married, though she has been engaged multiple times. She dated her fellow Hood stars rapper, Safaree Samuels, from 2000 until 2014. He was helpful in getting her first singles up and running. By the time their relationship was over, he felt she owed her career to him.
Samuels tried to sue his ex, Minaj, claiming that she didn’t credit him on her album, The Pinkprint. She was also formerly engaged to rapper Meek Mill, whom she was with for two years. Their relationship seemingly ended when he went to jail, and she confirmed the breakup on social media.
True to modern form, Minaj turned to Twitter to announce the end of her relationship with fellow rapper Meek Mill. “To confirm, yes, I am single. Focusing on my work & looking forward to sharing it with you guys really soon. Have a blessed New Year. Love u.”
She loved to dish on the drama surrounding her relationships, especially when it meant she could drag them afterward. Minaj had no problem airing her dirty laundry with Meek Mill on an appearance on The Ellen Show, calling herself single while still advertising her relationship with the rapper.
Recently, Nicki married Kenneth Petty, whom she has known since childhood. There isn’t a ton of public information available about him, but they were married pretty quickly. The two joined together in holy matrimony on October 22nd, 2019. Their relationship was many years in the making.
Nicki was ecstatic to add the name “Mrs. Petty” to her list of titles. Kenneth is referred to by his nickname, “Zoo,” which was a name he got during his childhood in Queens. The two were childhood sweethearts, dating when Minaj was just 16 years old; it was her first real relationship.
Growing up in the same rough neighborhood that Minaj did, Zoo had been involved in some crimes and has been accused of some other, truly horrifying things. The New York State Department listed him as a level-two sex offender, meaning that they see him as someone who might act on it again.
His alleged crimes include a 1995 rape conviction of a 16-year-old girl, on whom he used a knife to coerce her into sex. He also pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in 2006, after he shot gunfire that killed Lamont Robinson back in 2002. He served seven years behind bars before starting a supervised release program from 2013 to 2018.
Nicki Minaj is known for her clap-back attitude, which seems to be a lifelong mentality. She opened up on The Tonight Show, starring Jimmy Fallon, about how she was fired for her attitude frequently. She worked at Red Lobster and was fired from three or four different locations!
Luckily, Fallon took Minaj to The Red Lobster in Times Square, and she was able to redeem herself. She noted that she wasn’t bad at her job – her attitude was just a little too much for her bosses to handle! The two took her stretch Hummer bright pink limo just a few blocks to Red Lobster, and of course, the best kind of chaos ensued.
It started out with the pair ordering some of her favorite drinks from the restaurant she once worked at. Her favorite was no longer available, so they settled for Lobsteritas. Their drinks were followed by cheddar bay biscuits, which they toasted with. The two pretended to be on a blind date!
She showed Fallon how to properly crack his lobster and gave him the low-down on what else was tasty. Then, she opened up about getting fired; a woman and her boyfriend took her pen and walked out without tipping her, so she chased them outside and demanded her pen back, flipping them off. She was fired on the spot! Afterward, they served real customers at the restaurant!
Some stars are surrounded by drama, while others create it. It’s apparent that Nicki Minaj is both of those simultaneously! She is more than just the queen of the rap world – she’s the queen of celebrity feuds. Much like Mariah Carey, Minaj does not seem to be too keen on people comparing others to her.
Who could blame her, though? When you’ve worked your way to the top, you might want to keep all of the fame and fortune associated with your name and your name only. Well, Minaj has been known to drag others in her line of work – some for lesser reasons than others!
When Minaj got on stage at the 2015 BET Awards to accept her award as best female hip-hop artist, fans speculated that her acceptance speech was really a diss directed at rapper Iggy Azalea. Minaj, like many others, believed that Azalea used a ghostwriter for “Fancy,” amongst her other singles.
“What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,” the rapper explained in the third person. She was cool with bragging about her own abilities to create original content and was equally as cool dragging another rapper on a public stage!
Farrah Abraham first rose to fame after she was cast in the reality television series 16 and Pregnant. Abraham was later cast in a spinoff, Teen Mom. It was on this show that Minaj tore into Abraham, or at least tore into her behavior on the show. Every exchange happened on Twitter, as things often do in this day and age!
Minaj tweeted after watching an episode, and let’s just say she did not like how she spoke to her mother! Minaj and Abraham tweeted back and forth, with Nicki did not hold back for a second on any of her insults toward the Teen Mom star. Abraham had to learn the hard way – you don’t mess with Nicki!
Lovato and Minaj did not have a history of problems, but maybe Nicki just wasn’t going to give Demi the time of day. We all have those people, right? Well, things went awry on Instagram when Minaj didn’t mention or tag Lovato in a Met Gala photo. The pop sensation didn’t know what Minaj had against them.
On a Snapchat post just after the 2016 Met Gala, Lovato said, “When you aren’t mentioned in a post but didn’t do s— to the person.” The two were reportedly dressed in the same label by the same designer, and maybe Minaj didn’t want to share the stage – all we know is, she didn’t tag Lovato, and they were pretty annoyed about it!
Lovato took to their Instagram account to call out Minaj. They posted a photo of the rap star appearing to give Lovato a sharp, tough look. That was more than sending a message – that was calling her out once and for all. Lovato apparently had a tough night and left the gala early to go to an AA meeting – allegedly because of Minaj.
“This pretty much summed up my first and probably last Met,” Lovato captioned the Instagram post. “I’m obviously laughing at the fact that 1. I look incredibly awkward, and 2. That the shade being thrown in this picture actually gives me life.”
In a late-night Twitter rant, Lovato slammed critics about their speculation of what happened – even though they practically fed it to the press. They reportedly left the Met Gala to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, still wearing millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds on their ears.
“I had a terrible experience. This one celebrity was a complete b***h and was miserable to be around. It was very cliquey. I remember being so uncomfortable that I wanted to drink,” the pop sensation told Billboard. Minaj did not seem to have any response – but the original post was taken down!
If you don’t believe that Nicki Minaj never backs down, maybe this will convince you otherwise. When you hear what they did to add fuel to the fire, you will probably start to understand why they didn’t end up becoming the best of friends. This time, it seemed like Miley Cyrus started it!
Back when Cyrus hosted the Video Music Awards show, the singer told The New York Times that she didn’t like how Minaj had treated Taylor Swift. She called Minaj “not too kind,” and clearly, she didn’t know what she was in for. Cyrus messed with the bull, and now it was time to get the horns.
Cyrus probably regrets talking about Minaj in this case. “Now, back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press,” Minaj sassily stated after she took to the stage to receive the award for best hip-hop video: “Miley, what’s good?!”
Cyrus tried to defend herself, ultimately blaming the press for why she had been depicted saying something harsh about someone she barely knew. Her response was simple. She didn’t give much more than this: “We all do interviews. And we all know how they manipulate.”
Just a few months later, Minaj was the featured cover star for The New York Times Magazine’s Culture Issue the following October. She didn’t feel that everything was addressed as best as it could have been, so she discussed the still-unresolved feud in her cover story.
Minaj made a pretty significant observation, one that should not be ignored. “You’re in videos with Black men, and you’re bringing out Black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how Black women feel about something that’s so important?” Thanks for standing up for people, Nicki!
Nicki Minaj is worth more than most people could ever dream of having. She is reportedly worth more than $80 million, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. She has produced a ton of music, and she charges at least $50,000 for a feature verse on another artist’s track. That’s a lot of cheddar.
Between Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, they have a combined net worth of $105 million. She is the world’s richest female rapper today, which makes sense – she’s been a giant in the rap world for more than a decade. She’s come a long way from working at Red Lobster, and she’s only going up from there!
Minaj has left her “pinkprint” (get it?) across the world on several different avenues. She has expanded her brand as much as she possibly could across numerous products. It appears that attaching her own “Barbie” image to products has really done well in the business world!
Minaj is a partial owner of Myx Fusions after creating her own line of Myx Moscato drinks. She’s not afraid to plug her own products in her songs, having given shoutouts to the brand while rapping on her albums. She’s also released her own nail polish with OPI and her own makeup with MAC.
Lil’ Kim, while short in stature, makes up for it in attitude. The “Queen Bee” and the Barbie Queen have been at odds since the early days of Minaj’s career. No, this doesn’t seem to be a battle of the boroughs – with Minaj hailing from Jamaica, Queens, and Lil’ Kim coming from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn – this was something more.
Kim took it upon herself to claim that Minaj wasn’t truly an original – she did it first! Kim told New York radio show The Breakfast Club 105.1 that Minaj stole both her sound and her style and made it clear that blood would be drawn in retaliation. OK, maybe not “blood” exactly… but she wanted Minaj to know that she had to pay.
The feud between Minaj and Kim would not be put to rest for a while – if ever. Their feud made headlines as Minaj belittled Kim in tracks on her Pink Friday album. Kim bit back as best as she could by responding with diss tracks of her own on a mixtape entitled Black Friday. Ouch!
Lil’ Kim is maybe a little bit too confident about how popular she is these days because she certainly thought she was making more of a stir than she was when she dissed Minaj in yet another track. In 2013, Kim released her own remix of the already-remixed version of Beyoncé’s hit, “Flawless.” Minaj appeared in Bey’s remix, so Kim thought she could one-up her. She was definitely wrong there!
Mariah Carey is the perfect example of someone who pushes a bit too far in feuds. Seriously, she hates being compared to people and especially hates when people compare their level of success to hers. Who could blame her? No one… until she just takes it a bit too far.
When Minaj and Carey were both judges on American Idol, the two had many spats that would make them seem like less than the best of friends. An Idol insider told People magazine that she didn’t think Minaj could really sing. She also said that she “doesn’t think she should be judging folks.”
“Mariah has been saying little things to jab at Nicki from day one of shooting,” a source told People magazine. Any fan of American Idol could see that the two were close to tearing each other limb from limb, and frequently! They didn’t really seem to be interested in patching things up then…
…They still seem less than interested in getting over it all. A video from behind-the-scenes of the show made it seem like the girls were at odds, with Minaj shouting profanities at Carey. This suggested that Minaj had something to be annoyed with Carey about, though sources said it was unprovoked.
What started as the two being cordial and even collaborating on the song “Up Out My Face” from Carey’s 12th studio album turned into much more. When appearing on Ellen after their spat at the Idol auditions, Minaj reflected, “I don’t know. It was just two big old divas, I guess. I was just like sitting there, and I guess before I went in there, I heard all the stuff that was being said, but I didn’t believe it.”
“I heard them saying, ‘Mariah doesn’t want you on the panel,’ but I was like, ‘No. I am friends with Mariah.’ I was like arguing people down. Like, ‘Don’t believe everything you read. You’re crazy.’ And so, I went there, and I started to feel a bit of the shade. And I just kind of overcompensated by being crazier.”
Just as many other problems that arise in this day and age, their feud started on Instagram. The tension began after Minaj appeared to “like” a comment from a fan dismissing a Cardi B rap verse. It appeared that things only got more intense and heated after Cardi B released her breakout single, “Bodak Yellow.”
Both rap stars were constantly appearing as featured artists on different new tracks. This led to rumors that they were not cool with each other, though they both denied any bad blood. “I mean, I don’t really want problems with anybody,” Cardi told Billboard back in August 2017. “I don’t really got to do that whole industry beef.”
In October 2017, both Cardi B and Nicki Minaj teamed up with the rap group Migos for their hit song, “Motorsport.” Cardi B shared in an interview that some of the lines from the song were changed last minute – unfortunately, it seems that Cardi B did not have the privilege of changing her verse as Nicki Minaj did.
Minaj opened up about how hurt she felt after Cardi’s first interview after the song came out. “The first interview she did after ‘MotorSport’ came out, it just really hurt me. She looked so aggravated and angry, and the only thing she said was, ‘Oh, I didn’t hear that. I didn’t hear that verse.’ I was like, what?”
Even after everything seemed OK between the two rappers at the Met Gala in 2018, their problems were reignited again after Cardi told Howard Stern about their issues. “I never was feuding with anybody; there was a misunderstanding. It’s just something that had to be talked about because it was an issue.”
Well, Minaj did not appreciate that comment in the slightest. “I didn’t know Cardi, and I had an issue. To me, she may have taken an issue with things that I’ve said, but I’m not going to bite my tongue,” Minaj said. “You gotta have thick skin. People talk s— about me all the time. I don’t go around and tell people to stop posting me because I see one bad thing about myself.” Oh no, that’s not all…
Somehow, a spark was lit, and the two go into a physical altercation at the Harper’s Bazaar’s ICONS party. Sources said they looked like they might have gone to hug it out, but that’s not what happened. “Cardi walked towards Nicki, and all of a sudden, Cardi started screaming something about her child. She was yelling, ‘B***h, you feisty. B***h don’t talk s*** about my child’ at Nicki,” a source said.
The incident ended with Cardi being escorted out by security as Minaj stayed inside. Cardi was seen leaving with no shoes and a big lump on her forehead, with sources saying, “she left barefoot with her dress ripped and butt out.” No surprise, Minaj has blocked Cardi on Twitter and probably on other platforms as well!
Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma, a rapper from the Terror Squad, have gone head-to-head multiple times. They’ve been dissing each other on and off since at least 2007, in Minaj’s track “Dirty Money.” She sampled a Terror Squad song on her track, which had the line, “Tell that b***h with the crown to run it like Chris Brown.”
Remy Ma responded with “SheTHER,” which was pretty much seven straight minutes of Remy Ma shooting verbal bullets at Minaj. She snapped right back with not one but three tracks dissing her right back. One of these Minaj masterpieces included a song entitled “No Frauds,” where she teamed up with Young Money rappers Lil Wayne and Drake.
Her lyrics on “No Frauds” went as follows; “You can’t be Pablo if your work ain’t sellin’ / What the f*** is this b***h inhalin’? / Tried to drop ‘Another One,’ you was itchin’ to scrap / You exposed your ghostwriter / Now you wish it was scrapped.” All we can say to that is OUCH! She wasn’t even done there…
“Queens shut down Paris, then drop hits on #QueenTime… Been writing my own raps since I was 11. God knows. Next week I’ll beat Aretha [Franklin] for the most Hot 100 hits on Billboard by ANY woman in the world EVER in the history of music. Stay in your bum ass place. Jealousy gets you nowhere.” It looks like Remy Ma got the message!
Nicki Minaj and Tiffany Haddish started having problems when the comedian reportedly shaded the rapper on a Clubhouse app chat. They had a tiff in 2018 at the MTV Music Awards, and the former girl-group, Fifth Harmony, was also involved. In this chat, a fan referred to Haddish as “the Nicki Minaj of comedy right now.”
Some fans started comparing the two, saying that at least Haddish “shows up on time,” and the comic thought she deserved more credit than that. She responded, “And unlike Nicki, I treat everybody with respect and dignity.” Minaj never formally responded to this situation.
After collaborating with the musical sensation Rihanna on the hit single, “Fly,” on Minaj’s 2010 debut album, “Pink Friday,” they appeared to be on good terms; maybe even pals. Somehow, though, despite being involved in multiple business ventures together (such as the music platform Tidal), it might have just been a rumor. However, fans think something else is at play.
Though these island girls have collaborated on each other’s albums, they might have had a falling out after Minaj’s ex, Meek Mill, and Rihanna’s man at the time, Drake, had their own spat. Somewhere along the line, the two unfollowed each other on social media. Many believe it was Nicki’s feud with Remy Ma that changed everything for RiRi, but it’s hard to say for sure!