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The CAB blog includes articles providing tricks of the trade and best practices for artists, as well as news, interviews, artist showcases and recommended products/services.

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6 Things the Black Barbie Nicki Minaj Can Teach Emerging Artists About Success in the Music Industry

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Nicki Minaj was born on December 8, 1982, in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, and moved with her family to Queens, New York, when she was five years old. Nobody expected much out of Nicki Minaj. For her to end up a high-school dropout or a pregnant teenager would have been normal in her world. Minaj's father was a severe drug addict with a history of violence and even tried to kill her mom. Because of Nicki's rough upbringing, nobody expected her to go out in the world and become worth over 70 million dollars as an artist and actress.

Here Are 6 Things This Black Barbie Can Teach Emerging Artists About Success!

1. You Have To Be A Beast!

It may be hard to believe, but as of 2018, Nicki Minaj has never won a Grammy.  Although she’s been nominated for over 400 different awards and titles since she hit the scene. You could say she hasn't won a Grammy because her music is ghetto trash, or just too fabulous for tradition. Say what you want about Nicki Minaj, but even Beyonce has appeared in her videos and that is worth more clout than any Grammy. Beyonce is not like Drake. She doesn't just collaborate with everyone under the sun. Beyonce has standards, high standards. The only way Beyonce was going to work with Nicki Minaj is if Nicki Minaj is a beast in the rap game.

"You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer." — Nicki Minaj

2. Have Wild Sex Appeal

"Anaconda" was one of Nicki Minaj's wildest and sexiest videos featuring an enormous and juicy butt and tons of sexual innuendos. The song samples "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot and almost seems to mock his butt fetish. None the less both Sir Mix A Lot and now Nicki Minaj are iconic butt symbols around the world.

You could say, “Anaconda" is the song that made Nicki Minaj's career. "Anaconda" was from her third studio album, "The Pinkprint". It was released on August 4, 2014 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, and Republic Records. The song peaked at number two on the US Billboard HOT 1OO, consequently becoming Nicki Minaj's highest charting single in the United States to date. The song also peaked within the top ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, proving sex sells.

I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares? That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be graduating from college.” – Nicki Minaj

3: Be An Underground Artist

Sometimes when you only have ten likes on YouTube, and 300 followers on Instagram, it can be discouraging. It's easy to think you will never be discovered when the market is already saturated and dominated by other artists. Here is the thing though, you don't have to have a million views on YouTube, you just have to have the right person see you. The reality is, it doesn't matter if 12,000 people like your YouTube channel if those people aren't in the business. After hustling her music, the right set of ears finally discovered Nicki Minaj. Dirty Money CEO Fendi, came across her MySpace page, loved what he heard, and signed her to his label. That connection led Minaj to Lil Wayne, who collaborated with her on a series of mixtapes, the first of which, "Playtime Is Over", was released in April 2007.

People face difficulties, no matter who you are. I faced difficulties with a lot of things. I face opposition every day, but I didn’t kill myself and now, thank God, I’m here.” -Nicki Minaj

4. Be Ridiculous In Your Sound!

Nicki Minaj's rapping is distinctive for its fast flow and the use of weird accents, primarily cocky British accents. Many critics have said, Minaj's style is like Barbie doll rap. Minaj said: "What people don't know is that before I was doing that craziness I was doing me, I was just doing regular sounding rap that anyone could hear and identify with. But once I started doing all that weird shit—I'm not mad at it because it got everyone's attention." For Minaj, being ridiculous, comical and innovative, helped her standout in a saturated market. Don't do what everyone else is doing if you want to get noticed.

 5. Be Flashy And Visually Psychedelic

Early in her career, Minaj was known for her colorful costumes and wigs. There is even a video where she is riding a gigantic unicorn and their is something oddly erotic about it. She's become an icon for style and a walking exaggeration of a black Barbie-doll, in personality and appearance. Nicki Minaj's fashion sense is very much addictive like a drug. A lot of people like psychedelics because of the colorful and crazy visuals it gives them. Though we don't know exactly where Nicki Minaj got her fashion sense, we could guess that fans love her for a similar reason they love drugs, watching her on stage or in her music videos is like taking a trip down the rabbit hole, very colorful, exciting, and crazy.

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"Dressing up should be fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make a statement. You don’t know how something looks until you try it on". -Nicki Minaj

6. Change Your Moniker

Honestly, most celebrities don't go by their real name and Nicki Minaj, is no exception. Her real name is, Onika Tanya Maraj. In 2012, The Guardian asked her about the genesis of the name change. “Somebody changed my name,” she said. “One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I’ve always hated it.” Around close family, she added, she prefers not to go by her stage name, however. “My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now, because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj. To me I’m not Nicki Minaj when I’m with them.