Big Fendi, the former manager of Nicki Minaj, spoke in-depth about discovering the rapper, their falling out, and more, during a recent interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club. Fendi kicked off his interview by informing those listening that he still owns the trademark to Nicki Minaj, NickiMinaj.com, and more.
He also added that he was only offered a finder’s fee of $15,000 for the work he put in with Minaj prior to her deal with Young Money.
“I didn’t get nothing,” Big Fendi said. “Nah, Nicki tried to offer me a finder’s fee of 15,000. I laughed at it. Can’t be serious…Actually, I own the trademark to Nicki Minaj. I own NickiMinaj.com. I actually [own her trade]. So, in a minute you gon’ see a lot of things coming off those shelves.”
According to Fendi, he met Nicki Minaj through MySpace in either 2006 or 2007. He says that he encouraged the Jamaica, Queens lyricist to change her rap name from Nicki Maraj to Nicki Minaj for marketing purposes. He added that changing her name was a move cosigned by both Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes.
Big Fendi also recalled being taken aback by the contract initially offered to Nicki by Young Money. He says the contract didn’t include an advance or royalties.
“Nicki’s a groupie,” he said. “I mean, Nicki jumps from—Nicki started with me in ’06, ’07. I met her on MySpace…Her name was Nicki Maraj when I met her. I changed her name to Nicki Minaj. And I actually got into a big argument with her family because she felt like—Nicki didn’t like the name Minaj. She felt like I was degrading her. Like ‘Oh, you tryna take me to a whole ‘nother situation.’ I was like ‘Nah, they need it for marketing.’ I actually called Jadakiss up. I called Busta up. I was like ‘How y’all feel about Nicki Minaj?’ They was like ‘Oh, that’s hard.’ So, we started off like that. She’s actually still signed to my production company, which is Dirty Money…It took me 70 days to get the Young Money deal. It was the Young Money/Dirty Money deal. So, when I got the contract Nicki started ducking me. Because Wayne gave me one of those Cash Money contracts from the ‘80s. It was no royalties on it. No advance, nothing. So, I told Nicki ‘Yo, I ain’t signing this contract. I ain’t gonna let you do that to yourself.’ She started crying…Nicki might got a better contract now.”
Fendi later detailed the moment Debra Antney, mother to Waka Flocka Flame, came into the picture. He revealed that it was prior to Nicki Minaj signing to Young Money that she began working with Antney, a person he later said “brainwashed” Nicki.
“Debbie called me up two weeks later like ‘Oh, I like your artist,’” Big Fendi said. “Cause I gave her the mixtape. She was like ‘I like your artist. We need to set up a meeting’…Nicki went out there and then Debbie brainwashed her. Debbie got out there—Debbie got her little tactics. Debbie hit her with the ‘Nicki Minaj, I don’t know about that name. He’s trying to take you in the wrong direction.’ So, I’m like ‘Hold on, Debbie. You my homegirl. How you poisoning my artist after I put you on to her’…Meanwhile, my contract with Wayne/Young Money is still moving. So, basically she tried to wait til my contract expired before she signed with Young Money…I still got that contract to this day. That’s what I’m in court with.”