10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicki Minaj
8. Real Name
Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj. Of course, she doesn’t go by this name at all. She’s better known by her stage name, Nicki Minaj. When she first started out as a rapper her name was Cookie, then Harajuku Barbie. But once she was swept up in the industry, her name changed once again to Nicki Minaj, but she doesn’t like it, especially if her friends or family call her by that name. “My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now, because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj. To me I’m not Nicki Minaj when I’m with them. Somebody changed my name. One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I’ve always hated it,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.
7. Rap Career
She wrote her first rap song when she was only 12-years-old, but she didn’t take it seriously until she was 17 which is when she truly started pursuing a rap career. Before her solo career, she sang as a backup singer for the New York Rappers group. She was discovered by the CEO of Dirty Money, Fendi, who had stumbled across her MySpace page. He listened to a clip of her singing and immediately signed her to his label. Her first single was called “Playtime is Over” which was released in 2007. She was “discovered” once again by Lil Wayne after he saw her rap on the DVD The Come Up: The Carter Edition. In 2009 she was signed to Cash Money Records which is when her career really blew up.