In August of 2009 Nicki Minaj signed with Young Money and became the solo female rapper of the label.

During a recent interview with Birdman about Nicki Minaj for their “Ladies First: 31 Female Rappers Who Changed Hip-Hop,” Billboard talked with the YMCMB boss about his artist and how she was originally signed to Young Money.

“We were in LA and Wayne came into my room and played me a DVD that she was on,” he said when describing how he and Wayne first met Nicki. “He was so hyped about it. We were just in awe of her delivery, her swag and her confidence. He flew her in the next day to meet us. When we first saw her, we knew she’d be the female rapper of Young Money. Wayne had been looking for a female rapper to be a part of the team and when he’d seen that it was a wrap. It was how she was saying what she was saying. It inspired me.”

Birdman also talked about Nicki Minaj’s upcoming third album under the YMCMB imprint and says they’re pretty hands off when it comes to creative control. He also says there’s a lot of growth in the project and that it will definitely be released this year.

“For the new album, she’s doing what she feels like doing and we’re supporting her,” Birdman said when describing The Pink Print. “You hear a lot of growth in her music.  She’s coming confident and hard. We expect for this to be one of the biggest [albums] from her. It’s more rap. This album is going to have a little bit of everything but more rap. I am sure some of the team will be on it. She’s still doing her thing, then getting features on it. She’s definitely coming this year. She hasn’t picked a date yet. What she did for Young Money is totally different then what she’s doing for her album. She’s more girly-er. ‘Tha Carter V’ will definitely come before Nicki’s [album].”

In a recent interview with MTV, Lil Wayne said Nicki Minaj “never fails to amaze” him and his interaction with her both as a fan and her boss.

“Nicki never fails to amaze me with anything she does,” he said. “Honestly, I’m a tough judge and I’m a boss. So, I kinda tell her, ‘That’s nice, but you could do better.’ But that’s what I tell myself everyday, too.”

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