XXcLusive: Nicki Minaj Signs With Young Money/Universal

Nicki Minaj is officially the first lady of Young Money.

The Queens rapper—who attracted the attention of fans and industry heads alike with her third mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty—signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint just two months after Drake inked the dotted line.

“There’s so many people that kind of shut you down as a female before you even get your foot in the door,” Nicki Minaj told XXLMag.com. “So when you get moments like this it’s like ‘yes, finally’.”

According to a press release [see below], Minaj will retain and own all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.

While she’s focused on the Young Money compilation album, set for a year-end release, Minaj has began recording for her as-yet untitled debut album.

“A lot of things that could’ve been on Beam Me Up Scotty weren’t because they were quote-unquote too good to put on a mixtape,” she told XXL. “So I have an arsenal and very soon we’ll start releasing stuff.”

Nicki Minaj’s first LP is expected to drop early 2010, distributed by Universal Motown. –John Kennedy, with additional reporting by Vanessa Satten

Peep the official press release.

New York, NY–August 31st, 2009


Months after Drake signs with Universal Records, another intense bidding war ensues, resulting in Nicki Minaj signing with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label. During the last two years Minaj has emerged as one of the premiere rappers, choosing to fore go earlier label offers in order to establish a stronger fan base by way of the internet, promotional touring and a series of mixtapes.

After the release of Playtime is Over and Sucker Free, it was her third mixtape, the critically acclaimed Beam Me Up Scotty with featured appearances from Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Busta Rhymes, Bobby Valentino and Drake that caught the attention of music industry heavy weights.

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

The battle among labels to sign Minaj heightened this summer and finalized with Minaj signing an exceptional and very unique deal with Young Money/Universal, where she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.

Nicki Minaj asserts, “To say I’m excited would be an understatement. It’s validation. It’s proof. It’s empowerment. I represent every little girl in a hood near you. To everyone that supported me two years ago when I was on underground mix-tapes 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.”

Minaj’s debut album is anticipated to be released in early 2010 and will be distributed through Universal Motown. Minaj is currently appearing with Lil Wayne at sold-out arenas throughout the country on the America’s Most Wanted tour, which also features Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy and more. Minaj continues to be managed by Mizay Enertainment’s Debra Antney who also represents Gucci Mane.

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  • General

    This goes right up there with Drake’s signing as the biggest “who didn’t know this would happen already?”

    • Silly Willy


      My parrot told me about it last week……

  • Silly Willy

    “…where she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.”

    This is actually a good look. Aspiring rapsters, take note, word to Mexx.

  • http://xxlmag.com Goldie

    Bad move mama , u shuld stayed doing yo solo shit and just being aphilated with them , wayne is not going to feed all of them, there not going to be able to drop an album, she should have signed wit koch and collected her paper

    • David HussleSoft


      She is going to have to wait after the compilation album drakes album and another wayne album.
      If she does drop it will not be until like the end of next year at the earliest

    • me

      didn’t u read the article u dumb ass.

      “Minaj signing an exceptional and very unique deal with Young Money/Universal, where she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing”

      thats how u do business

  • http://pharaoh-kingofthepack.blogspot.com/ Pharaoh1983

    And for what bullshit reason is this news. This bitch is a wack lil kim , foxy brown spin off. Sorry bitch you are a decade and a half to late, and your shit sucks. Well atleast we know we can see this stupid broad showing her body off on tv cause that’s all she is good for. Silly slut go to grad school and better your life with knowledge not this bloody nonsense.

    • Juiicybabe1569

      Your mean i understand that its ur opinion but that shit is rude to call her a slut!You could think that she is garbage && a wack version of lil kim & foxy brown but u don’t have to be rude about it u lil BITCHH!

    • Niqua

      um have u heard her get you life in order she is the baddest bitch

    • http://twitter.com/vonna2much Vonna

      wow….. u seem like such a hater, she gettin money nigga if u like it or not. She wack to u but to everyone else shes that bitch!!! and u can’t stop her. So keep on hating smh it shouldn’t matter what shes doing shes making it so fall back and read a book

      • valdez

        in all honestly, everything i heard from her so far has been pretty wack. she is pretty nice to look at, nonetheless.

    • pairy

      yo i feel you on da lil kim shit cuz she did it to get attention and it worked but at da same time she is nikky she aint nobody else and what im not feelin is how she dont rap about shit dat matter. me i get it in and i rap bout shit you can feel she just b rymin about nuttin it was only 2 songs dat stood for something to me and she only been rapin for 2 years i been doin it since i was 12 im 22 and im happy she got on mayb a lil jelouse but she made it even if it was just looks and ya gatta give her props for dat im not a hater

  • Enlightened

    Now, for all the niggas who was on here yappin that Drake shit, like niggas be on some conspiracy theory hatin shit – now look at this…

    If you really study, read and try to understand things for yourself, you’ll understand that this is like my man said above, the same as the Drake “signing.”

    The shit is publicity stunts. I’m not mad at Young Money. That’s what everybody does, you need something to generate publicity.


    If anybody thinks Nikki Minaj OR Drake were really UNSIGNED FREE AGENTS, that could have walked away from Young Money/Cash Money/Universal, took all that publicity that was given to them and sign with somebody else, then you’re crazy.

    This was a done deal the second they started featuring her and making her (semi-)famous.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      Co-sign x10

    • blackrick

      Gotta agree with that.


    damn, they busy over @ Universal.

  • Trin

    who cares.

  • daydeezy

    Good Move , she getting what she want and owning some shit, its artist out right now wish they had a deal like her, Brains and Beauty what a combination…. so haters get off her clit..lol



  • capcobra

    shout out to fendi..hope he get a finder fee cause he got nikki popping…not young money.

  • Osiris

    Damn, Cash Money/Young Money is doing a good job of building these rappers up and generating buzz…they’re trying to be the new movement

  • http://www.twitter.com/merksmilez Merksmilez

    That’s a good look for her. That’s the type of deal artist should be looking for, the type where you own your creations.

  • darealest

    who didn’t see this one coming? i hope no one thought she gone up and leave weezy/YM like that.. lol.. like come on!! this was all part of the plan from the beginning.. the nigga put them ALL on the map!!!! (minus millz) hahahahahahahahahahaha

    gosh i cant wait for the revival of REAL hip hop.. not this watered down buffoonery =(

  • Pingback: Nicki Minaj Signs To Young Money / Universal Motown « Boardroom Gangster

  • AZ40

    It’s only a good look if you one: come out w/an album and two: sell the album…she won’t do either she can’t rap that good.

  • Rae Tha Great


  • Beast McCoy

    Now will she actually drop an album?


      “Now will she actually drop an album?”

      That’s the million dollar question. Currency was one of the most talented dudes they had on Young Money, he was WAY better than Brisco(I’m from Miami) and he dropped NO album…

  • Fireforreal

    i agree,it doesn’t mean shit to sign to a lable if your never gonna come out then your pissed at the world when you waste years waiting to come out.who cares about this bitch any way it’s not like she’s gonna give you more then that typical bitch shit about niggas can’t hit unless there paying pockets,blah,blah,blah.

  • mr. manaj


  • http://consumersdiscountsrx.com/instameds instameds

    i love a minaj/ but what if they got herpes, flu ? diahrrea ? acne. come see u s for free

  • Snugs4FirstLadyNeNe

    2 who it may concern!!! Why be a fuckin hater talkin bout bitch dis, hoe dat, dicks, and niggaz pockets??? Congratulate Nicki and see another Black Woman succeeding. Damn where’s da fuckin motivation??? Or is dis it? I like it so it is what it is shit dats da deal of a life time. Have we not learned anything? Nicki Minaj is da shit and I got it all. I’m a true fuckin Barbie. A yo Nicki I will be on twitter in a few to hit u up. And to da bitch dats dissin Nicki u done fucked up with a Barbie like me and I don’t even know u bitch. Next trending topic on twitter is how u a hoe ass bitch. Know what keep it up. U a low life and u hating. Fuckin Failures line up so I can smack all u pussy’s. Go eat a dick and then kill urself if u don’t like Nicki. She signed yayyyyy, she been out, and the best is yet to come. I feel so sorry 4 u fuckin haters who actually never took time to listen. She da fuckin best. She my motivation. I’m so pissed I can go on and on. I aint got 2 prove it cause Wayne gone see to it dat Nicki make u bitches eats dicks and shit bricks



  • Deuce53

    keep in mind she get errthing from wat she puts out, u kno she goin on tour with them, and even if she aint puttin out an album, shes still in a good spot to get paid off music, so shit thats wats up, i havent herd anything from her, but ill pay attention, shes fine lol

  • http://myspace.com/someloveandsomehate Slash

    this is all fine and dandy but…

    wasn’t she just on a xxl video talking about how all these labels are offering her “female rapper” deals, i.e. rape-u-record deals?

    so getting offered shitty deals is what they’re calling bidding wars now? was the “battle between labels” really that intense?

  • zonebx1160

    i thought shorty was already signed 2 em? o well if she gettin that kinda deal then thats waddup. i doubt she’ll put out an album anytime soon tho. shit jae millz been on young money 4 2 damn yrs & he still aint put shit out, shit it took dude like a year & a half just to put out that zone out season 2 mixtape. not 2 mention niggas just signed bow wow, she wont come 4 a while but if she does drop soon then i wish her the best, cuz she gon have to come out wit crazy songs 2 be able to sell cuz in rap nowadays sellin 90,000 copies will get u a #1 spot if she can push at least 100,000 when she drops that’ll be dope cuz aint no female artist gon sell at a time like this

    • BetRaiser

      Well zonebx1160 u wrong. Missy and Eve cld do those numbers easy. Anyway i like the way we all feed into this bullshit. Now really lets all be frank here. A contract always has a catch or that clause that fucks u up for the rest of your life and for someone to get a 360 deal like hers how big do you think the catch is. I mean seriously read into this it sounds too good to be true. I bet they own full creative control of her album or she has to make a certain amount of money for them or they keep all her profits. On the other hand maybe it is true and they are using her as a lab rat to see what would happen if they gave an artist such a deal.

      • zonebx1160

        u say missy & eve can do 100,000 easy? hell no, missy maybe but it not no damn 1st week sales, fuckin fab barley pushed 100,000 his 1st week he sold 99,000. as much as i think eve is dope she aint gonna push 100,00 her 1st week especially since her album is long over due & aint no1 really checkin 4 her. & missy aint put out shit in like 4 yrs, her slbum supposed to come out later this month & there aint even a single out yet (that i know of) & aint no really checkin 4 her neither. for her to get that kinda deal is waddup but she not gonna sell more 100,000 her 1st week probably 80,000 the most. & her album probably wont come out for like another 3 yrs, she wont sell cuz she aint got a buzz like drake, now drake will probably sell 90,000 maybe 100,000 maybe more his 1st week

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  • stoneyisland

    Lets see….a half naked ass sista rapping about how good her Na-Na is…….We’ve been there and done that. Boy do I miss the Lauryn Hills and Bahamdia’s, the Latifahs and Lyte. Rap is damn near dead and now here comes a new breed of sista’s with no self respect. Just what America needs. A over sexed, weave wearing chickenhead. 2 to 1 weezy knokcs the dumb broad up with in 6 months……………

    • http://thisismarlow.blogspot.com MarloW.

      I’m getting tired of people keep saying rap is dead man if you feel that way listen to something else and get over it and it’s not that it’s because times change so just shut the fuck up because if you really felt some animosity bout rap being reportedly dead then you would do something about it

  • Dirty Needles

    Nicki or any other rapper chick jus won’t sell in this climate unless she takes the Drake approach. RAPPER/R&B SINGER…I think that’s the only way she’ll survive…Female rappers jus don’t go as far as they used to…

    Funny because 90% of the Male Major Label Rappers today are SIMPIN’ like a muthaf*cka. LL Cool J should be chargin these niggaz…

  • rosaRoqxs

    i love this chick ; you might think shes wack but thats maybe cuz you dont understand her .
    the ones who understand what you rap about are your real fans . she has an artistic state of mind . like weezy she compares things to sense it out . “im a bad bitch , no muzzle” that was fire mama . hehe . love you nicki . this was DEFINATELY A GOOD MOVE . cant wait for that debut album !


    THIS BIG NEWS??? Minaj wack as hell & she got a BIG ASS FUCKING HEAD.

    Most annoying voice in years

  • D.Woods

    mmk soo yall some fuckin haters..Nicki Minaj is GREAT nah fxck that AMAZING at what she do and im laughing with her at the haters that just spent their useless lives on here to be negative…I LOVE U NICKI..KEEP DOIN YA THING GRL! ill be the first to get that album baliee dat. aha

  • BeerGangsta

    This shows you that a Heffer with a Fat Azz will come into the money all the time. The Heffer really can’t Rap that good. That don’t matter when it comes to a Fat Azz.

  • King Joffy Joe

    Watch how fast Lil Wayne gets her pregnant. lol.

    • Black Rick

      That was a funny line,no bullshit.

  • princesszjasmin

    that was so dumb.
    she not finna make no money signin with wayne.

    talent gon to waste.
    she still my bitch tho.

  • troop

    I Swear all you niggaz is some fuckin haters. nicki minaj is THE SHIT. dont NONE of yawl got a record deal to be sittin here hatin on her. yawl can eat ah dick.

  • Mrs.Jonez’s

    If you with Lil’ Wayne Your hot!! I love Nicki So i’m happy for her and i will be sure to get tha album..Young Mula Baby!!!!!!!!!!!

  • niggafrommemphis

    nothin personal, but i don’t give a fuck about her or drake. if her and drake are as talented as yall say they are, why are they on a subsidary on a subsidary (young money/cash money/universal.everybody is gonna get paid before they see one cent,not to mention promotinal expenses.this generation today don’t know what talent is,fuck em and who ever raised them

    • zonebx1160

      if u dont give a fuck about em why the fuck u waste your time readin this article or to even bother leaving a comment? u say this ganeration doesnt know talent? so does that mean u know talent? u sayin fuck whoever raised them wtf kinda immature hater shit is that? get a fuckin life

      • niggafrommemphis

        fuck you bitch.

  • TROY


  • stoneyisland

    She must be from the Remy Ma school of hair design, that Rick James weave looks all fucked up.

  • BarbiesAreTrapStarz**

    Nicki Deserves 2hoo Bee Onn Young Money.,.Itsz Amaziin Hw Uh Few Years Ago She Wahhs Uh Underground Rappa &nd Nw She Isz N Almst Ere Video Dat Kumez Outt. Dhu Yo Thanq Mz. Minaj &nd I Knw 4 Uh Fact Dat Ur Here 2hoo Staii Lyke Lil’ Wayne. I LOVE Yhu Nicki Minaj<33

    -Shazam P Dizzle

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    To erase debt getting money is just not the only thing .You have to build LOTS of money
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  • http://youngmoney young ben

    i love nicky minaj,she is a good artiste,