Nicki Minaj is a polarising figure, to say the least, and has a sharp tongue that she uses to scathe the industry, her competition and her critics. However, nowadays, Nicki does not even have to speak, merely call upon her legion of fans, nicknamed ‘The Barbs’ who happily take on the scathing.
Born in Trinidad and raised by her grandmother on the Caribbean island until the age of six, in 1989, Minaj left Trinidad and was flung into the cold and uncomfortable poverty of New York City public housing. Raised in South Jamaica, Queens, Minaj was exposed to all sorts of negative things growing up.
Minaj’s father fell victim to crack upon his move to the US from Trinidad in the mid-1980s. His substance abuse led to physical abuse, verbal abuse and domestic violence in the household. However, if we’re talking about verbal abuse, Nicki cannot hide the fact that she dishes out some herself.
Minaj has been accused of shady practices behind the scenes, such as paying off journalists to write bad reviews about her competition’s album sales, stealing record concepts and instrumentals from labelmates and blocking certain artists from appearing at award shows by blackmailing the organisers.
Beyond this, she has attacked a slew of celebrities, including, Safaree, Wendy Williams, Joe Budden, Cardi B, Meek Mills, Miley Cyrus and more. However, beef aside, years ago a video surfaced that made fans question Minaj’s legitimacy as an artist.
The video showed a clip of Minaj performing her iconic track ‘Super Bass’. However, when the track was slowed down (subsequently causing a change of pitch), Minaj began to sound awfully like billionaire Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z. Not only is the video eerie and beyond creepy but it made Nicki critics question if Nicki was an industry plant created by Jay-Z.
However, a lot of things disproved the conspiracy theory. For example, if Minaj were an industry plant created by Jay-Z, surely she would be signed to Roc Nation as opposed to Young Money because why would Jay-Z give all his money to Lil Wayne?
Another factor that quickly disproved the theory is the footage of Minaj freestyling in 2004 before Lil Wayne even knew who Minaj was, and the truth is she sounds the same. Also, unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, there are multiple tracks on which she sounds nothing like Jay-Z when slowed down.
A lot of people have claimed it is related to regional origins. If you look at hip hop and R’n’B, different artists have a lot of things in common because they are from the same region. Papoose has a very similar laugh to Jay-Z, they are both from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. Beyoncé sounds exactly the same as Kelly Rowland, and they are both from Houston, so the regional commonality would explain a lot.
You can watch the eerie video below and decide whether something shady is going on or whether it’s regional.