One of the hottest rappers around, the work of Nicki Minaj may not be as easily quantifiable as artists like Jay-Z or her co-sign Lil’ Wayne, but as the bodacious battler drifts between mainstream pop and hardcore hip hop, she has always known which of her predecessors deserve respect. When asked to pick out her five favourite rappers of all time, she didn’t disappoint.
Nicki Minaj has become one of the most iconic rappers in history—regardless of gender—ever since she started her career. Her 2010 album, Pink Friday put her on the map from the very start, and from then on, she seemed to produce hit after hit.
Not only is Nicki Minaj an absolute master of flow and the technical side of rap, but her voice, style, and lyrics do the work of embracing her feminine qualities at the same time as she brings a balance of technical prowess. The two complement one another, making her style interesting and influential as well as completely captivating. When faced with the question of picking out her top five rappers of all time, it’s easy to see how those stars influenced her style.
The conversation arose when Nicki Minaj appeared on Joe Budden’s podcast a few years ago. Picking out a “top five, dead or alive” has always been a fun game for hip hop heads to pass the time, but got more serious around these months after host Budden was named in the top three of an influential list of the best rappers ever. Considering his standing among most rappers, it came as a huge shock. This led to Budden asking all of his guests for their five favourite rappers ever.
When Minaj was pressed, she responded: “Erm, definitely Wayne, Jay, Biggie. It’s weird for me, see, I’m one of those people who do like people who, may not be as big as Hov, but I can tell their skills, like Jadakiss, I always talk about, or Fab — you’re one of them as well.” While there may have been some needless appreciation sent Budden’s way, Minaj explained herself more clearly.
“Three people that I feel like may not be those type of rappers, or whatever, but lyrically, because I know how difficult it is to actually sit there and write raps and consistently have them shits be raps, it’s like ‘Oh, shit’, I am one of those people who will put people like that [on top]. But I definitely wouldn’t have a top-five without Wayne.”
Below, you can watch the full interview as nicki Minja picks out her five favourite rappers of all time.
Nicki Minja’s five favourite rappers:
- Lil Wayne
- Biggie Smalls