When Nicki Minaj first exploded into the mainstream in 2009, the emcee arrived with a particular image. Most commonly known for labelling herself as ‘Barbie’, Minaj boasted colourful hair, vibrant outfits and a doll-like body. Since the inception of her brand, the musician’s curvacious form has always been an integral part of how she mass-markets herself. More specifically, her rear.
Nicki Minaj (real name Onika Maraj) is known for her large behind, and it has provided the lyricist with much publicity over the years. She has referenced it in countless songs, most notably in her 2014 hit single ‘Anaconda’.
For years before and after, pictures of Minaj have circulated the internet, and countless cultural figures have called her out for her lack of transparency. However, only recently has the Queens musician opened up about her body and confirmed what many knew about her behind.
During an in-depth sit-down interview with Joe Budden, the Pink Friday artist unveiled what led her to seek out cosmetic procedures to enhance her backside and her current thoughts about the decision.
Taking fans back to 2007, when she first signed to Young Money, and MySpace was the primary social media platform, Maraj explained, “Social media was just beginning when I started, so I was a lot of people’s guinea pigs. I was one of the first people to be sh*tted on on the internet.”
She continued, “It wasn’t acceptable to have surgery at all or anything and at that time, I had never had surgery. I had ass shots, which, to this day, I realise, even with me not consulting with anyone to do something like that, how insane that was.”
The ‘Chun-Li’ artist explained how her involvement with Young money and exposure to strip culture in the South opened her eyes to many things, disclosing “What happened when I kept on being around [Lil] Wayne and them. At that time, you know Wayne, he’s always talking about big booties. Wayne would have a new chick in the studio every session. [I thought] this is what you’re supposed to look like in the rap culture, and I don’t look like that.”
Although at first Minaj denied someone told her to get cosmetic surgery, she admitted Lil Wayne sometimes made her feel insecure about her body with jokes, divulging, “I think with Wayne, they said stuff sometimes jokingly but to a young girl or up-and-coming rapper, when it’s from someone like Lil Wayne, it matters. Even if they’re joking, they don’t know that the person that is there in that room with them is not finding it funny.”
Photos of Maraj, when she was a member of The Hood$tars in the early 2000s, have been on the web for decades, and the emcee’s behind was far smaller and body less doll-like. However, she chose never to address them during the height of her career in the 2010s.
You can listen to Nicki Minaj speak about her body dysmorphia in the video below.