Who Was Nicki Minaj Influenced By?

Who Was Nicki Minaj Influenced By?

Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj on December 8, 1982, is a highly influential and successful rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress. Throughout her career, she has been known for her unique style and versatility. While Nicki Minaj has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the music industry herself, it is important to acknowledge the artists who have influenced her along the way.

Mixing It Up with Lil Wayne

One of the most prominent figures who influenced Nicki Minaj is Lil Wayne. She was signed to his record label Young Money Entertainment in 2009. Under his mentorship, she honed her skills and developed her distinctive rap style that combines various flows and clever wordplay.

The Queen Bee: Lil’ Kim

Nicki Minaj has often cited Lil’ Kim as one of her biggest influences. Lil’ Kim was one of the first female rappers to achieve mainstream success in the male-dominated rap industry. With her bold personality, explicit lyrics, and fearless fashion choices, she paved the way for artists like Nicki Minaj to express themselves authentically.

The Multifaceted Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott is another artist who greatly influenced Nicki Minaj’s career. Known for her innovative sound and music videos that pushed boundaries creatively, Missy Elliott inspired Nicki’s approach to music production and visual storytelling. Both artists share a knack for creating catchy hooks and memorable melodies.

Empowering Females: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah’s impact on hip-hop culture cannot be overlooked when discussing Nicki Minaj’s influences. As one of the pioneers of female empowerment in rap, Queen Latifah showed Nicki the importance of using her platform to empower and uplift women. Her confident and unapologetic demeanor resonated with Nicki, inspiring her to embrace her own strength and femininity.

Embracing Eccentricity: Lady Gaga

Although not a rapper, Lady Gaga has been a significant influence on Nicki Minaj’s artistic expression. Lady Gaga’s flamboyant fashion choices and boundary-pushing performances encouraged Nicki Minaj to embrace her own eccentricity. Both artists share a desire to challenge societal norms through their music and visuals.


Nicki Minaj’s journey as an artist has been shaped by a variety of influences from both within and outside the hip-hop genre. From Lil Wayne’s mentorship to Lil’ Kim’s fearlessness, Missy Elliott’s innovation, Queen Latifah’s empowerment, and Lady Gaga’s eccentricity, each artist has contributed to the development of Nicki Minaj as a multifaceted performer.

By acknowledging these influential figures, we gain a deeper understanding of the layers that make up Nicki Minaj’s artistry. Her ability to combine different elements from various sources is what sets her apart as an artist who continues to push boundaries in the music industry.