Trinidad-born Nicki Minaj is Big Winner at BET Hip-Hop Awards

Trinidad-born, U.S.-based rapper, Nicki Minaj, won in three categories at the BET Hip-Hop Awards: the People`s Champ Award, Rookie of the Year, and the Made-You-Look Style Award. reports that “perhaps forgetting the women who have come before her, such as Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, and Queen Latifah, Minaj said, ‘I’m paving the way for girls.’” However, she also stated that she wanted “to thank all the girls of hip hop.” Minaj’s “Your Love” was the first song by an unaccompanied female solo artist to top the Billboard Rap Songs chart in eight years.

Born Onika Maraj, the singer signed with Young Money Entertainment (with distribution from Universal Motown) last August.  Minaj lived in Trinidad with her grandmother until age 5 when she moved to Queens, New York. The performer has not had an easy life. According to Minaj, her father drank alcohol, took drugs, and once tried to kill her mother by setting the house on fire. She attended Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210 and graduated from LaGuardia High School. At LaGuardia, a school specializing in music and the visual and performing arts, Minaj participated in the drama program.

In related news, rumors have it that Rihanna marginalized and eventually had Nicki Minaj taken off her tour because she was afraid that the rapper would “upstage” her own performance. However, in other press pieces, Rihanna has only praise for her Caribbean sister and has spoken very highly of Minaj’s song-writing skills.

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