Nicki Minaj is paying homage to one of Hip Hop’s pioneers. After Slick Rick shouted out Nicki as part of Women’s History Month, the Barbz leader returned the favor and gave the London-born MC his flowers on Tuesday (March 15).
The Young Money Queen took to Twitter to salute The Ruler while revealing his 1988 track “Mona Lisa” — taken from his landmark album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick — was the first rap song she learned growing up.
“Slicker than the guy w|da thing on his eye,” she wrote, referencing her Slick Rick bar on “Super Bass.” “If you only knew how much I love you. the 1st rap I ever learned was #MonaLisa. 1 day I rapped it to my mthr & when I got to the part about ‘a virgin?’ My mthr looked @ me like I lost my damn mind. I didn’t know what that meant.”
Slicker than the guy w|da thing on his eye. ~ If you only knew how much I love you. 🎀 the 1st rap I ever learned was #MonaLisa. 1 day I rapped it to my mthr & when I got to the part about “a virgin?” My mthr looked @ me like I lost my damn mind. I didn’t know what that meant 🤯 https://t.co/AxJSdjW1ae
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) March 15, 2022
Slick Rick replied, “Keep shining sis. One love Queen.” He also honored fellow female rap pioneers Lil Kim, Missy Elliott and Eve in his original tweet.
“These ladies are the truth,” he wrote while linking to an International Women’s Day 2022 YouTube playlist featuring hits from all four MCs. “Paying homage to their impeccable pen game, artistry and legacies. #WomensHistoryMonth.”
Keep shining sis. One love Queen! ?
— Slick Rick (@therulernyc) March 15, 2022
This isn’t the first time Nicki Minaj has publicly given props to Slick Rick for inspiring her. She actually recalled this exact story during a 2018 interview with Genius‘ Rob Markman while promoting her Queen album in New York City.
“I remember, I used to be walking with my mother singing that song and I didn’t know that I was a little kid talking about a virgin,” she recalled. “I needed a slap and I don’t know why my mother was letting me say that, but she would let me say the whole entire rap.”
With Nicki Minaj gearing up to release her fifth studio album later this year, maybe Slick Rick will receive a call to make a guest appearance for their first official collaboration.