Nicki Minaj slices the competition with her debut album.

Written by  Isoul H. Harris

“I am not the typical new artist,” declares Nicki Minaj, hip-hop’s newest feminine force. With her popular song “Your Love,” she became the first female artist to top Billboard’s Rap Songs Chart in almost a decade. However, in her eyes, her debut album Pink Friday is not her first. “People have seen me for the last three years. I feel like [it’s] my third album.”

Born in Trinidad and bred in Queens, N.Y., Minaj graduated from the famed LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and then hit the underground N.Y.C. rap scene for years before catching the attention of superstar Lil Wayne and joining the Young Money family, which also includes hip-hop phenom Drake. Her quest for success is not based in conceit but in love. “When I was little I [imagined] if I did everything perfectly, I could be rich and help my mother. I feel if I mess up there is a possibility that I won’t be able to fulfill that dream.”

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