Just when you thought she was already on Young Money, the official announcement comes today that Nicki Minaj has indeed signed to Lil Wayne’s label after an intense bidding war.
The femcee, who has been making noise on the underground circuit with her mixtapes Playtime Is Over, Sucka Free, and Beam Me Up Scotty, has joined the Young Money roster, also home to Drake.
“I am honored to have Nicki Minaj as Young Money’s First Lady. She is a star,” Lil Wayne said in a statement.
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.
“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,” stated Minaj. “To everyone that supported me two years ago when I was on underground mixtapes 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 scheduled for an early 2010 release and will be distributed through Universal Motown.