Nicki Minaj opened up about her rap influences, giving Foxy Brown her flowers for the impact the Ill Na Na creator had on her career.
During a lengthy interview for i-D, City Girls rapper JT asked the “Super Freaky Girl” hitmaker to list the artists who influenced her rap style.
“Foxy Brown,” Nicki replied. “I still probably at times sound similar to her. I would listen to this woman non-stop. Finding out she was from Trinidad was so freaking amazing to me, because I never imagined that a rapper could be from my country.”
She went on to praise Foxy Brown’s “precise” and “clear” delivery, adding, “I really love clarity in raps.”
Nicki Minaj also named Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, and Slick Rick as other significant influences.
“The other ones that shaped my overall style a lot are Lil Wayne, especially in the beginning, I used to do a lot of things that were similar to him and JAY-Z,” she said. “One of my first faves actually was Slick Rick. I’ve always loved the British accent, I still do.”
When JT mentioned Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj admitted the legendary Fugees star is her “idol,” although they have distinct styles.
“I don’t think I rap or sing like Lauryn,” Nicki said. “But in terms of being my idol… oh my goodness. Two days ago when the blogs posted her singing ‘To Zion’, and she brought out her son Zion, and his two children, I was sitting there crying. I used to be listening to that song on my little CD player on the train going to high school all the way in Manhattan.”
Nicki Minaj On The State Of Female Rap
Nicki Minaj also expressed her thoughts regarding the state of female rap.
“I wanna hear girls rap again,” Nicki said after explaining that was the purpose of her “Super Freaky Girl (Queen Mix).”
She continued, “Like, just rap. When I did my BET Cypher years ago, I purposely didn’t wear revealing clothes,” Nicki said. “I wore a sweatsuit. So even though we were being super freaky girls on the song, and we all had fun, y’all really spit.”