Rapper Nicky Minaj at Level 4 Friday
By Lacy Matsumoto
Special to The Advertiser
Female rapper Nicki Minaj, who performs at Level 4 at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki on Friday, is known for her bad-girl lyrics, confidence and sex appeal - but her proud lyrics and boastful rhymes also have an underlying message: to empower women.
“My message to young women is to stay in school. You need to be educated to be a strong woman, and no matter how fun or sexy you want to be, you should always have being a businesswoman on your mind,” Minaj said.
The 25-year-old rapper, born Onika Maraj, was born in Queens, N.Y.
She has often been compared to rappers such as Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown — but she says she’s not trying to be like either emcee, who broke ground before her.
Since signing a label contract, she’s released a 2008 mixtape, “Sucka Free,” won best female artist of the year at the Underground Music Awards and began collaborating with artists such as Lil Wayne, T.I., Gucci Mane and Jay-Z.
Minaj also has a new, high-profile collaborator: Mariah Carey, with whom she appears in a music video.
The “Up Out My Face” video with Carey should be out “any day now,” Minaj says.
7:30 p.m. Friday
Level 4, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2233 Kaläkaua Ave.