Prior to signing with Young Money, Minaj was part of The Hood$tars. The collective, comprised of Safaree, Lou$tar and Nicki Minaj, was somewhat successful, but the female lyricist rose to the top when she came under the management of Atlanta icon Deb Antney of Mizzay Entertainment.
Before Nicki Minaj exploded into the mainstream in 2009, she recorded and performed under Lil Wayne (Dwayne Carter) as part of his label and crew, Young Money. Carter noticed Minaj (real name Onika Maraj) after her appearance on the popular DVD ‘The Come Up DVD’. Noticing Minaj, Lil Wayne contacted Minaj’s management, and in 2007, Nicki signed a record deal with Young Money.
Releasing several mixtapes between 2007 and 2009, such as Scotty Beam Me Up and Playtime Is Over, in 2009 Minaj featured on the smash-hit Young Money record ‘Bedrock’ alongside Lil Wayne, Lloyd, Drake, Tyga and Gudda. This exposed Minaj to the world, and the rest is history.
Minaj praises Lil Wayne on a regular basis for helping her gain the exposure she needed to go global and has lots of funny stories about the Louisiana emcee from when she was around him.
Before the release of her debut album, Pink Friday and the worldwide tour which accompanied it, Minaj was performing at medium-sized venues across the US. However, aside from medium-sized clubs, the ‘Curious George’ emcee also performed alongside Lil Wayne and her other Young Money counterparts.
That said, in a 2010 interview with 247HH, Nicki Minaj once recalled a story of how she made Lil Wayne faint. Detailing the situation, Minaj explained, “I’m gonna tell you what happened the other night with the president, Lil Wayne. I call him the president. The other night in Chicago, on stage, I decided to add something new to my routine, which was like a booty dance.”
She concluded, “He passed out on stage. It was hilarious! But yeah, he literally passed out, and Dream Hampton was there, and she was like, ‘I officially love Lil Wayne now.'” You can watch Minaj’s interview with 247HH in the video below.