Splash News
1.15.2016

First Look: Nicki Minaj Comedy Begins Shooting in New York

Nicki Minaj is bringing her life story to television in her own scripted comedy “Nicki.” After revealing the cast last year, production got underway this week in New York.

The ensemble, including Nicki, was spotted filming scenes for the pilot in her hometown of Jamaica, Queens. Supermodel-actress Selita Ebanks, who plays Minaj’s mother, donned a fur and Timberlands in the first photos from the set.

Selita Ebanks and Ariana Neal

Meet the Cast of ‘Nicki’

“Fruitvale Station” actress Ariana Neal stepped into her role as a young Nicki. She was seen with a bucket and rags in hand cleaning graffiti off a wall. Nicki, who serves as executive producer, also wrote some rhymes for the young star.

“I literally cried watching her taped audition,” she gushed. “I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat! Lol. Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She’s tough! And so sweet & cute.”

Wesley Jonathan (“The Soul Man”) plays Minaj’s father, Vincent, while McCarrie McCausland (“Army Wives”) was cast as her older brother, Jaylen.

“Orange Is the New Black” star Adrienne C. Moore was also seen making a cameo. It was previously announced that Whoopi Goldberg will guest star as Minaj’s neighbor, Miss Martha.

“Nicki” is set to air this year on the Freeform network (formerly ABC Family). The show will document the rapper’s childhood growing up in Queens, chronicling her life in an immigrant family from Trinidad, and her evolution into a superstar.