The last few years were pretty barren in hip-hop for female rappers. The once-great spitfires seemed to have all disappeared, tried to become actresses, or wound up in jail, even, in the case of the great Queen Bee, Lil Kim.
Lil Kim's out now, but the successor to her throne seems to be rising Young Money starlet Nicki Minaj. Like Kim before her, Minaj can go from innocent to sexy to fierce in one line, and her distinctive voice and style as important as her lyrical substance.
Minaj has made a boring world of rap posturing colorful again with her distinctly feminine energy and sartorial outrageousness. It's clearly struck a chord with a grpwing contingent of diehard fans, who do themselves up in their best Nicki-style outfits and crowd her shows.
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Seriously, Minaj attracts some of the most entertaining fans in hip-hop today -- one of the best parts of her live videos is the opportunity to check out the front rows of her shows. (Possibly one of the best is this clip from Detroit, where a random skinny white guy takes the mic to spit one of her more obscure verses word for word. Skip ahead to 1:50.)
Nicki headlines the Best of the Best concert this Sunday night. In celebration of her unique style, here are six of our favorite Nicki Minaj video outfits.
Mariah Carey feat. Nicki Minaj - "Up Out My Face"
Both Mariah and Nicki get to live out their dreams of being real-life dolls in this video, in whose opening scene both appear in life-ize, cellophane-fronted toy boxes. That's cute, but wait for the sexy latex nurse outfits, which Nicki rocks with a short platinum-blonde wig.
Young Money - "Bed Rock"
Nicki Minaj - "Massive Attack"
For her own single and video, Nicki chooses here a signature pink-and-khaki-green outfit that's part geisha, part military, and part bondage. Later on, there's also a skintight, bedazzled camo jumpsuit, and further proof that Nicki makes a great platinum blonde.
Young Money - "Roger That"
Usher feat. Nicki Minaj - "Lil Freak"
Ludacris feat. Nicki Minaj - "My Chick Bad"