Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne have sustained a beautiful relationship through the years, forging a bond deeper than the ordinary friendship. While these two never dated, they hold special places in each other’s lives.
Born Onika Tanya Maraj, to two gospel singers, Minaj always knew she was destined for the spotlight. However, the star, who grew up wanting to become an actress never expected that stardom to come from music.
When it did happen, the singer suddenly found herself the queen of her own world, having plunged into a genre only a few women before her dared to tread. She owes this dramatic rise to fame mostly to hip-hop mogul Lil Wayne.
Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne dominated the world of rap in the 2010s, becoming the fan-proclaimed Queen and King of rap. Their music style opened doors for new generations of male and female artists, giving them a chance at a career in showbiz.
In addition to promoting diversity and excellence in the rap genre, Minaj and Wayne’s collaboration gave way to a beautiful friendship that has prevailed for decades.
How Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj Met
The two landed on each other’s radars in the late 2000s. At the time, Minaj, who began her music career in 2002 as part of the band Hood$tars was struggling to make headway as a solo singer following her band’s split.
After years of posting her works on her Myspace profile and sending them out to entertainment top-guns, she eventually clinched a 180-day contract with Dirty Money Entertainment, appearing in The Come Up hip-hop DVD series, which earned her the attention of music bigshots including rapper Lil Wayne.
Recounting how the hip-hop artist discovered her and took her in, Minaj revealed that he found her on the Come Up DVD and resolved to meet her. Moments later they spoke on the phone and arranged a meeting.
The icon found herself on the next flight to Louisiana to meet up with him. Thus, Lil Wayne signed Nicki to his record company, Young Money Entertainment, paving her way to stardom.
Signing With YME and The Beginning of A Beautiful Friendship with Wayne
Soon after signing with Young Money Entertainment, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne began recording songs together. The next Come Up DVD she appeared in, “Wayne’s World,” featured her and Lil Wayne dishing out powerful lines and rapping their way into people’s hearts.
She soon released her first mixtape, “Playtime is Over,” in July 2007. The songstress followed it up with two more mixtapes, “Sucka Free,” 2008, and “Beam Me Up Scotty,” 2009. These works received impressive coverage on BET and MTV.
Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne went on to release a series of hit songs together, including “High School,” “Truffle Butter,” “Seeing Green,” “No Frauds” and “Good Form,” under Young Money Entertainment.
Over the years, the 39-year-old has not shied away from acknowledging the contribution of Wayne and his record label to her success. She famously includes lines like “Young Money raise me” to her songs as a nod at her mentor.
Working together over time further strengthened the mentor-mentee relationship between the two music icons, growing it into a beautiful friendship.
What Is the Nature Of Their Relationship?
Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj’s relationship certainly goes beyond friendship. Their mutual love and respect have only deepened with time, so much that they have become family. During an interview ahead of the release of her “High school” music video, Nicki Minaj explained just how deep their relationship went.
The “Anaconda” crooner noted that the father of four was not only her boss but was also like a brother to her, even availing her creative freedom despite being signed to his label.
She also gushed about how much he respected her and refrained from touching her no matter how much they teased each other. The star described the Young Money Entertainment founder as a Southern gentleman.
Minaj has also been open about Wayne’s influence on her career and how much he inspired her to keep striving to step up her game no matter how successful she became. She once shared:
“Because he works so [expletive] hard, he shows me that no matter how hot you think you are, you can’t stop. You have to keep that chokehold on the game because there’s always somebody itching and ready to take your spot. He works like it’s his first day on the job and I love that about him.”
Having Lil Wayne as a mentor, friend and inspiration has helped the icon attain her status as the world-renowned Queen of rap. Yet, she keeps pushing.
Their Admiration For Each Other Is Boundless
Nicki Minaj’s admiration for her mentor is no secret to her loyal fans as she gushes about it on multiple occasions and brings him out on stage in a show of honor during significant moments.
She has also made no secret of the fact that she believes her mentor to be the best rapper alive, reiterating it on multiple occasions. And Wayne reciprocates that admiration, acknowledging Minaj’s impressive rap skills and her part in pushing Young Money Entertainment to its royalty status.
Notably, they’ve passed on this love, respect, and admiration to their kids. Wayne’s oldest daughter, Reginae Carter and Nicki Minaj have grown impressively close, with the 23-year-old once appearing on Minaj’s Livestream.
Interestingly, the star turned up for Reginae during her sweet sixteen birthday bash in 2014 and did a live performance. The YMCMB founder got the chance to return the favor about seven years later, sending tons of wrapped Givenchy gifts to Minaj’s son on his first birthday.
Nicki Calls Lil Wayne Her Everything
Nicki Minaj might be a married woman and a mother now, but she never denies the place of Lil Wayne in her life. Commemorating his 39th birthday in September 2021, the “High School” crooner posted a sweet tribute to her friend and mentor on her Instagram stories, referring to him as her everything.
She accompanied the tribute with the first photo they ever took together, admitting that moment from 2009 changed her life. She couldn’t be more right about that.
Thanks to their fated meeting, Minaj got the career boost she needed, Wayne landed himself the best female in the game, redefining his brand in the process, the world got the Queen they so much yearned for and the pair discovered something more beautiful than friendship.
In fact, their closeness has given rise to questions like “are Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne dating?” Many have even rooted for the two to become an item. Yet, they remained committed to keeping things platonic between them. Several years down the line, they are as strong as ever.