Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown breakout superstar NICKI MINAJ has hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Songs chart with “Your Love,” the sizzling new summer jam from her hotly anticipated forthcoming solo debut album, due out in the winter of 2010. The infectious love song jumps to No. 1 from No. 4 and boasts a catchy sing-along melody that’s buttressed by a sample of Annie Lennox’s classic 1995 hit “No More ‘I Love You’s.’”
NICKI MINAJ is the first female hip-hop artist to top Billboard’s Rap Songs chart since 2003. This extraordinary achievement comes just one week after NICKI MINAJ delivered no less than three outstanding performances and picked up two noteworthy solo wins for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the 2010 BET Awards, where her efforts as a member of the supergroup Young Money also earned the collective the top prize for Best Group. Those wins mark a significant victory not just for NICKI MINAJ, but for all women in hip-hop who have seen their voices become increasingly silenced at major award shows ever since a growing lack of submissions by female MCs forced the Recording Academy to nix its Grammy category for Best Female Rap Solo Performance in 2005, followed by the elimination of the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist category at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in 2008.
Indeed, NICKI MINAJ is a powerful force of nature who is leading the charge of a galvanizing new generation of female rappers and it’s possible she may be the lightning rod needed to persuade the upcoming 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards and the 2011 Grammys to reinstate their female rapper categories.
As hip-hop’s go-to golden girl with the Midas touch, NICKI MINAJ is one of the most in-demand guest artists in the game and she’s proven her capacity for hit-making with featured appearances alongside Lil Wayne (“Knockout”), Christina Aguilera (“Woo Hoo”), Usher (“Little Freak”), Robin Thicke (“Shakin’ It 4 Daddy”), Ludacris (“My Chick Bad”), Mariah Carey (“Up Out My Face”), and of course Young Money (“Bedrock”). As a testament to her remarkably broad mass appeal, she remains visible on the pages of a richly diverse multitude of publications — including People, Interview, Vibe, Details, Spin, XXL, The Fader, and Black Men, among others — while she continues working on her eagerly anticipated upcoming solo debut album, to be released in the winter of 2010.