Nicki Minaj is the HB of ubiquity. In February, the black Barbie explained to MTV how important it was that she re-accustom people to accepting a female rapper again before dropping her debut album. And by “people” she doesn’t just mean those who could ace a Young Money quiz; Nicki’s looking for rainbow success. Hence the armful of features. Now that Nick’s first single, “Massive Attack,” steps us closer to her major label debut, VIBE takes a quick look back at the omnipresent route that brought her here. Barbie’s been around the block. —Tracy Garraud
Robin Thicke ft. Nicki Minaj, “Shakin’ It For Daddy”
BARBIE BARS: “You was sleepin on me thinkin it was slumber time/Now I’m a trending topic little mama, numba sign.”
VIBES: A milk-faced soulster and a potty-mouthed femcee? Hov believed in it. Plus it was jingly enough for a Gossip Girl to recite.
Teairra Marie ft. Nicki Minaj, “Automatic”
BARBIE BARS: “Now you the pussy cop/Cause I make this pussy pop/If you throw some ice up on it/You can have a pussy pop”
VIBES: The black Harajuko eased up on her animated androgyny for some straight shooter nympho talk that sounded like Weezy on estrogen.