Nicki Minaj: Her Challenging Childhood and Changing Personalities

The Young Money Crew.
Nicki Minaj , born with the name Onika Maraj is a famous rapper with a special style, mysterious background, and multiple personalities. Her tremendous achievement in rapping has earned her a very popular reputation. But before becoming popular, she was singing mix tapes on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, N.Y. Then in 2009 she signed with the very popular Young Money crew. Ever since then, she worked with other well-known artists such as Jay-Z, Trey Songz, and Mariah Carey. "She came fully loaded: witty rhymes, superhero sex appeal, the ultimate come-up story and a tough exterior that morphs into a sassy, street-smart bombshell who calls herself the Harajuku Barbie."  In the wink of an eye, she is going down in history as the first female rapper to have seven songs in the Hot 100 in the same year.


Moving to Queens, New York

Nicki Minaj crying during her MTV interview called 'My Time Now.'
In the very beginning, before Nicki even moved to New York, she was bring raised in Trinidad and Tobago by her grandmother while her parents moved to America looking for a new life for the family. Since the family originally came from Trinidad, it would have been very hard for the mother to bring such a young child with her while she searched for places to live. She was only about 5 years old when her mother left. Eventually though, Nicki's mother came back for her.    
    "A lot of times when you're from the Islands, your parents leave and then send for you because it's easier when they have established themselves; when they have a place to stay; when they have a job. I thought it was going to be for a few days, it turned into two years without my mother...(When i went to New York) I thought it was gonna be like a castle. Like white picket fence, like a fairytale. I got off the plane and it was cold. I remember the smell. I could always remember the smell when i got out of the airport of the snow, and i had never seen snow. I remember the house. I remember that the furniture wasn't put down. It was, like, piled up on each other, and i didn't understand why, 'cause i thought it was gonna look like a big castle."
     Soon after Onika arrived in Queens New York, Her father would fall victim to crack.
    "All of my young and teenage years we lived in fear that my mother would be killed by my father. It was ridiculous. My father was violent- physically and verbally."
    One night, when Nicki was younger, her father burned her home to the ground. The night before the fire was set, her mother had a vision about it so she sent Nicki and her brother to sleep at a friend's house. That night, Onika’s mother would escape the house just in time. Nicki says, "He did burn the house down. It wasn't an attempt, he did! My mother was in the house and she had to run out at the last minute."
    A major turning point for this rap sensation was when her mother passed away in 2003.


Changing Personalities:

When Nicki Minaj was a child, she was continuously around her parents fighting. To get away from all the problems, she would create people or "characters" in her mind and live her life through them.   
     "(t)o get away from all their fighting, I would imagine being a new person. “Cookie" was my first identity--that stayed with me for a while. I went on to 'Harajuku Barbie', then 'Nicki Minaj'. Fantasy was my reality." So as you probably know by now, Nicki Minaj is her stage name and she portrays herself as a barbie to the public. That is also one of her personalities.
    "For her debut album, Minaj created another alter-ego named "Roman Zolanski".[45] She stated that in songs like "Bottoms Up" with Trey Songz it is not Nicki rapping, but instead Roman Zolanski, and claims that Roman is her "twin sister". She claims that she was born inside her, out of rage, and becomes her when she is angry. She has also said 'She is a demon inside her'. Roman has been compared to Eminem's alter ego Slim Shady, and on the song "Roman's Revenge" from Pink Friday, Minaj and Eminem collaborate, using these alter egos.[46] Roman also has a "mother" called "Martha Zolanski"[47], who also appeared on the song Roman's Revenge, with a British accent. [48] Martha appears in the video for "Moment 4 Life" where she appears to be Nicki's magical Godmother. In songs such as "All I Do Is Win (Remix)" it is Nicki rapping.[45] Minaj stated that on her debut album, fans will get to "meet" Nicki, Roman and Onika.[45]
    On November 18, 2010 Nicki Minaj assumed a different alter-ego named "Nicki Teresa".[49] Wearing a colorful scarf around her head, she went around as the "healer to her fans" as she visited them at The Garden of Dreams Foundation at Fuse studios in New York City.[49] Minaj made an appearance on Lopez Tonight on December 6, 2010 and presented a different alter-ego for the Spanish-inspired occasion, named "Rosa" (pronounced Rrrrrosa).[50]"
    When she is Onika (her original self) she is toned-down. Then, she switches to the energetic Nicki and then to her stormy alter ego, Roman Zolanski. She also talks in British and Jamaican accents, and makes animal-like growls. She calls herself Barbie because it is one of her multiple personalities along with Onika, Nicki, Roman and just invented the Vintage Nicki. 
    “What makes Minaj stand out, besides her supply of gaudy Lil Kim wigs and burlesque outfits, is her endless closet of characters: in one song alone, she’s Jamaican, then she’s Queens. Not to mention, childlike, gangster, valley girl.” 
    The  "Harajuku Barbie" is also one of her many personalities. Not only this, but i learned that she calls all of her fans "my Barbies". 
    "But with that cult following has come an equal share of non-believers who worry that her self-styled 'Harajuku Barbie' image and reliance on sex appeal only reinforce the hip-hop patriarchy. And as the former acting student keeps creating new characters in each song, many wonder who the real Nicki Minaj even is."

Additional Information

---She denies the rumor of ever dating Drake. I don’t know if that is true, but if she herself said that then I believe it. Even if it were to be true, I suppose she wouldn’t share it with the public, based on her response that they have more of a brother and sister relationship.
---The color pink is her signature color. To the public, she is known as the Harajuku Barbie and so she takes on that role by wearing outfits that you would see on a barbie doll.
---Nicki and 4 other writers created the song, "Right Thru Me." I believe that this is how it is for her other songs also: she writes ideas and writes her own verses, and then the song is edited and she gets help with getting the final song together.
                                               ---So far, Nicki has won 8 awards and was nominated for 9. 
                                               ---The people who inspired her musical style was Lil Wayne, Lauren Hill, Jadakiss, Natasha Bedingfield, Foxy Brown, and Missy Elliot.

Work Cited

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