Young Money’s Nicki Minaj showed love to the female rap veterans that laid the groundwork for her to follow as a hip-hop rookie this week and even acknowledged one-time music rival Lil’ Kim.
While she primarily focused on New York-based emcees, Minaj also paid homage to regional artists like Missy Elliott and the late Left Eye for inspiring her.
“My favorite [female rappers?] Foxy [Brown], [Lil’] Kim, Lauryn [Hill] and then Remy [Ma],” Nicki revealed in an interview. “Like, when Remy came out, I was very, very excited about her. But, with the Foxy, Kim and Remy, they were all from New York too so, and it’s no disrespect to any other female rappers but those are the ones that I felt like, ‘Oh, okay, yeah. I could get into that.’ They sounded like me when I spoke and you know, I just thought they made an impact. But, I always loved Missy [Elliott] because she was playful and I always said, Missy and Left Eye, they weren’t afraid to be goofy at times and I loved that as well.” (“Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg Show”)
Back in 2010, Minaj acknowledged some other notable female vets like Miami’s Trina and rapper-turned-actress Queen Latifah.
“I think there are many female rappers that I get along with,” Minaj said in an interview with media personality Perez Hilton. “There have been so many female rappers that have congratulated me and given me genuine love. From Trina, who’s my darling, to Missy Elliott, to Queen Latifah to Foxy Brown to Remy Ma, I mean, it goes on and on. That’s what people don’t understand. They think I’m the hated female rapper but it’s like a lot of the girls have shown me love and come behind the scenes. Not even on the camera, just behind the scenes and have said, ‘Congrats and keep up the good work.'” (Perez TV)
A few years ago, Foxy Brown gushed over Nicki’s talent and what she brought to the rap game.
“There really isn’t any [female rappers] other than Nicki Minaj who I really like that’s new. That’s my little homegirl — I’ve always embraced her from the beginning, I’ve always showed her a lot of love — I absolutely think she’s the only person out there right now that’s just doing a little something…” (Power 99)
Back in 2011, Lil’ Kim spoke on her issues with the platinum-selling Young Money star.
“This is the thing: It’s just, it’s really, like, at the end of the day, I do what I have to do, and I’m gonna keep doing what I have to do,” Kim said in an interview. “I’m gonna do me. They’re the ones that brought this about. It could have been that simple. But what they did was underestimate me. They thought I was gonna sit back and let them do what they were doing. I’m gonna let everybody know: I’m on my Hollywood sophisticated, but I’ll bring it back if I have to. And that’s in life. I can’t help it. I’m G’d up from my feet up. If I have to handle my business, I’mma handle my business. And I have to fight for my fans.” (MTV)
Check out Nicki Minaj’s interview: