Inside Nicki Minaj's sad real-life story

Nick Minaj is currently the wealthiest female rapper to ever live with a net worth of $100 million, according to HypeBeast. If that's not enough to impress you, consider that she's received ten Grammy nominations. Minaj is clearly a superstar. But her life hasn't always been glitz, glam, and glory. Her upbringing was difficult, and in many ways tragic but not to be ignored. 

The rapper's parents named her Onika Tanya Maraj when she was born in St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, but she now goes by nicknames like Nicki Lewinski, Nicki the Harajuku Barbie, Nicki The Ninja, Roman, Trinidadian Dolly Parton, Barbie, and Nicki Minaj, of course (via IMbd). The artist came to live in the states in the '90s, settling in Queens, New York. Once the family got to the U.S., it wasn't exactly the American dream. 

Nicki Minaj's sad childhood

Minaj told Rolling Stone, "When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother. Because I always felt like if I took care of my mother, my mother wouldn't have to stay with my father, and he was the one at the time, that was bringing us pain. We didn't want him around at all, and so I always felt like being rich would cure everything, and that was always what drove me."

According to the singer, her father had issues with drugs and alcohol and he was abusing her mother, selling their items for drug money, and once, even set their house on fire while her mom was still inside. Minaj said cops were a constant around the house, and she lived in constant fear for her mother.

Nicki Minaj has forgiven her father

In an interview with Nightline, Minaj admitted that she was afraid for her mother's life, and that her father would threaten to kill her. When her dad found out she was letting the whole world in on his abuse he was crushed. Sources from the Minaj family claim that Nicki's stories are grossly exaggerated. Her father admits to his tendencies toward angry outbursts but he admittedly insists it was not nearly as bad as the artist recalled in her interview with Nightline (via TMZ). Either way, the superstar says she has since forgiven her father and her father insists he loves her now just as much as he always has.

Nicki Minaj is healing

Minaj has healed immensely since childhood thanks to her sense of independence and strong moral compass. She often tells fans "know your worth" (via Goalcast). Need proof? Minaj tweets messages like this: "know your worth. I've been proposed to 3 times; asked by 4 boyfriends to have their child. Being emotionally, mentally, or physically abused just to crack a fake smile on the gram & show off a ring is not happiness. Being cheated on, humiliated, belittled... for the gram?"

It certainly takes a special person to share their trauma, grow from it, and then uplift others. We could all use a little more independence and self-respect! Luckily, superstars like Minaj show no matter what your background is, there's always space to love yourself.

Nicki Minaj has major goals

In a 2011 interview with NY Daily News, Minaj said before she got her big break she "kept having doors slammed on my face, I felt like nothing was working. I had moved out on my own, and here I was thinking I'd have to go home. It was one dead end after another. At one point, I was, like, 'What would happen if I just didn't wake up?' That's how I felt. Like maybe I should just take my life?" 

Some doors began to open for the singer when she got gigs backup singing for local rappers in New York (via Republic Records). Shortly after, she started writing her own songs. Dirty Money CEO Fendi came across the rapper's Myspace page and signed her. After that the doors began flying open. Minaj collaborated on a series of projects with Lil Wayne, and by 2010 she released her first single "Massive Attack." Just a couple of months later, she won Best Hip-Hop Female at the BET awards. The successes kept coming, and the star has been growing exponentially ever since. 

She has a much sunnier outlook on life these days because she's making it. Minaj had big dreams not so long ago, and those dreams keep becoming a reality. Here's to strong female icons like Nicki Minaj!