Nicki Minaj Signs With The Home Team

Nicki MinajJust months after Drake joined Young Money, followed by Bow Wow inking a deal with Cash Money, female rapper Nicki Minaj officially became YM’s first lady.

After a bidding way between several record labels, the New York rapper opted to sign with Weezy’s Young Money imprint, whom she’s had a close relationship with since her start.

“I am honored to have Nicki Minaj as Young Money’s First Lady. She is a star,” Lil Wayne said in a statement.

After the release of her popular mixtapes–Playtime is Over, Sucker Free and her third and most recent Beam Me Up Scotty –Nicki’s buzz grew, especially with a co-sign from Wayne. “To say I’m excited would be an understatement. It’s validation. It’s proof. It’s empowerment,” Nicki said of the signing. “I represent every little girl in a hood near you. To everyone that supported me two years ago when I was on underground mixtapes and DVDs and to the people that only caught on two weeks ago, I say thank you. Be proud of yourself. You’ve given girls all around the world the permission to change the face of female rap.”

According to a press release from her camp, Nicki’s deal allows her to own all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.

Her debut album is expected in early 2010 and will be distributed through Universal.