Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj's Cultural Impact: Beyond the Albums


Oct. 24 2023, Published 3:40 p.m. ET

Nicki Minaj is the true baddie of hip-hop. Over 100 million career album sales, 134 single releases, five album releases, and four albums certified platinum or higher. She is the undisputed queen of hip-hop. Onika has changed hip-hop forever since her debut as a Young Money heiress. And this is not just from the point of her albums and plaques…

Nicki Minaj’s Influence Beyond Music

Beyond the albums and musical success, Barbie has impacted rap culture. Here's how she's changed the face of female-created music, empowered women, and brought a change to the fashion industry, where, like in music when she came, had no black culture presence.

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Giving Back and Impact on Black Culture in Fashion

Nicki took a long break from music after she dropped Pink Print. At some point, she even announced she was retiring. Heck! But that was partly because of her other areas of focus.

Aside from her family, the actress was busy with philanthropy and other missions. In 2017, she offered student grants and repaid student loans, donated money to villages in India, responded to calls for help after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, and more.

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We've also seen her trying to propagate the black culture in fashion. After all, fashion and music go hand-in-hand. In 2017, the rapper called on the fashion industry, using Philipp Plein's fashion show and his attempt to make Black culture visible as a reference.

The reference to the Philip Plein fashion show was not the first time Nicki Minaj exalted the need for cultural diversity and acted as a standard-bearer for Black culture.

The rapper has already been involved, on previous occasions, in disputes with other artists, such as Miley Cyrus, whom she accused of cultural and racial appropriation.

Now, Nicki is addressing the fashion industry to make that claim for diversity and multiculturalism on the catwalks, in which white models and very stereotyped beauty standards continue to predominate.

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Influencing a New Generation of Female Rappers

Nicki Minaj's impact is so immense that it is difficult to measure. She inspired an entire generation of female rappers. And you can still measure the legacy of her influence today with the wave of emerging artists who are establishing themselves. The original bad b—h knew how to create her style to reach the top. No one can debate that.

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Thanks to her considerable impact on hip-hop culture, the rapper has paved the way for many other artists, such as Cardi B, Saweetie, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion.

She arrived at a time when she was the only one. But today… She is approaching the level of Eminem or Jay Z. She has earned her place in the Rap Pantheon. Now, there's a generation of female hip-hop artists armed with self-belief.

And she's not left them out to survive in the cold, too. Nicki Minaj continues to inspire new generations, like the rising star Ice Spice, who is even offered a duet on the soundtrack of the film Barbie by Greta Gerwig.

Democratizing the Global Rap Industry for Women

Her influence is seen globally, not just in America. When we look at the new generation of rappers like Flo Milli, Shay, Sexyy Red, or Little Simz, there is a very Nicki Minaj side in their way of speaking, of rapping, in their style...

Two decades ago, before Nicki burst into the scene and found the path to female success in rap, the industry wasn't as democratized for women as it is now! It's hard to argue Nicki has had nothing to do with that shift.

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