All hail Nicki Minaj. The rap queen has landed a coveted spot on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, the annual list of the world’s elite influencers. The 33-year-old appears on the cover in a black-and-white photo and inside the magazine, her mentor Lil Wayne explains why she’s worthy of the title.
“She’s so influential and doing all the right things,” writes the Young Money boss. “She’s an icon, a boss, and a role model to all these young girls out here on how to do it the right way. Her work ethic speaks volumes and has yielded these results. The scary thing is she’s still going. Ha! Nicki Minaj will go down as one of the best to do it in the history of music.”
The cover star also appears in a video interview with TIME, a clip that complements her impactful narrative. “I would tell women starting out in business, if you know you’re great at what you do, don’t ever be ashamed to ask for the top dollar in your field,” she says. “If I’m great at what I do, I can’t be denied. Some things may be overlooked but no one can deny my brand, and that’s the words of wisdom I would give to other young women.”
“Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda also earns a cover slot. Writer, producer, and director J.J. Abrams wrote his article, analyzing the rapper-playwright’s rise, calling him “one of the most miraculous creative minds of our time,” who “has redefined the musical and made us see anew the origins of the remarkable experiment called democracy.”
Although Nicki and Lin earned covers, Kendrick Lamar was also one of this year’s honorees. “Kendrick should be applauded for inviting us to face things that are uncomfortable, for celebrating our will to survive and for being audacious enough to grapple with the questions that we all need to answer if we ever hope to get free,” wrote activist and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza.
Non-rap musicians also made the list. Composer and playwright Jason Robert Brown celebrated Ariana Grande, for instance, saying that she will “make music” despite doubters who underestimate her. And Jennifer Lawrence wrote Adele’s dedication, calling her “a gift” and “an international treasure.”
Of course, other influential figures also appear in the TIME 100, including cover stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Christine Lagarde, and Priyanka Chopra. The full list can be viewed here.