The Year of Nicki Minaj: Revisiting her record-shattering 2017
She returned and conquered — all without an album.
Story by Shaheem Reid & Ralph Bristout
As Nicki Minaj, her family and friends and her millions of fans celebrate the Queens born icon’s birthday, we take a look back at her stellar 2017.
No album, no tour, but Nick stayed sweltering as she celebrated milestones, broke the bank with business moves, tantalized followers on social media with pictures (especially her recent Paper magazine cover and photo shoot flix) and videos that went viral and was lauded for a specialty of hers, the monster cameo of huge songs.
Nicki stayed in the headlines. There was the breakup with Meek Mill and the subsequent kindling of a relationship with Nas. Her beef with Remy Ma was the most talked about rap feud since JAY-Z vs. Nas and although both MCs levied some heavy blows (a lot under the belt), neither one’s career was damaged.
Nicki stayed in high demand. Her three pack at the top of the year “No Frauds” with Drake and Lil Wayne, “Changed It” with Wayne and “Regret in your Tears,” fed her core fan base, while her peers kept her omnipresent on the charts and in the clubs.
Major Lazer, Jason Derulo, Fergie, Future were some of the pop superstars who benefitted from Minaj’s beloved brash bars, while on the hip-hop side, Yo Gotti, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert all have cashed in on monster dream collabos with the rap titan.
Here, REVOLT takes a look back some of Nicki’s most career and culturally impactful benchmarks of 2017.
Queen of the Billboard Hot 100
With Migos’ Culture II single “MotorSport” arriving last month, Nicki Minaj tallied her 81st entry on the Billboard Hot 100. This feat stretched the rap titan’s mark for the most entires among women. In March, she officially surpassed Aretha Franklin for the title, making history as the first woman to do so. Franklin is now tied with Taylor Swift at second place with 73 each. As for acts overall, Nicki is tied with Kanye West for the eighth-most Hot 100 appearances.
Most-Awarded female rapper in history
In June, the rapper announced that she was the most awarded female rapper in history. The news came after she scored an ASCAP award for her feature on Yo Gotti’s “Down In The DM’s” remix. “Since January, I’ve received 11 billboard entries, and yesterday with that ASCAP award, I became the most awarded female rapper in history,” she declared on Instagram. The announcement came after she won the year off of philanthropic endeavors such as shelling out cash to help settle her fans’ student debt and sending aid to a small Indian village.
The Pinkprint turns in 4 million copies
As one of the most praised projects in her catalogs, Nicki Minaj’s third studio album generated a quadruple platinum certification this year, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. This year alone, her album catalogue has sold a reported total of 325,000 units worldwide.
Receiving the Keys to Queens
Adding a new set of keys to her chain of feats, Nicki received the symbolic key to her native New York City borough in commemoration of her musical achievements. In June, Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President, awarded the Key to Queens to Nicki, who celebrated the occasion with an exclusive Tidal playlist to “all the Queens artists from every decade reppin!” In light of the honor, the rapper said the moment made her a “Proud Queens Girl.”
Notching five platinum RIAA plaques
Without an album, Nicki notched five multi-platinum awards for a guest appearances for songs with Ariana Grande (“Side to Side”), Chris Brown (“Love More”), Jessie J (“Bang Bang”), Yo Gotti (“Rake It Up”), and her own solo Pinkprint hit “Feeling Myself.”
10 years of captivating hip-hop audiences
Since 2007, she has become not just big time famous, but she is one of music’s iconic voices. Her reach has stretched far beyond hip-hop as she now stands as its bridge with pop culture. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Minaj’s first mixtape, Playtime Is Overand since then she’s released three sets of multi-platinum albums, spun heads with hip-hop greats like Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas, as well as carry on a streak of dominance as reigning rap royalty. 10 years later, the queen continues to conquer.