Nicki Minaj has once again made her mark on the Hot 100 chart with her latest single, “Pound Town 2,” which rockets up the rankings this week. The star rapper teamed up with original artists Sexyy Red and Tay Keith on a remix of the cut, propelling the track to new heights and proving it to be a real smash.
This release adds to Minaj’s extensive list of hits, which she has achieved in part by collaborating with lesser-known names in the hip-hop industry. While some may assume that Minaj would only choose to work with the top names in her field, she has opted for a different approach, and it’s paid off brilliantly for her.
By collaborating with up-and-coming acts in rap, Minaj positions herself as the elder statesman, the one in charge, the legend. Over the past few years, she has collaborated with artists such as Sexyy Red, Tay Keith, Kim Petras, Bia, Sada Baby, and many more. These rising artists have expressed immense gratitude for having Minaj contribute to their work, as it has elevated them to new heights, and her stamp of approval holds significant weight in the hip-hop community.
Minaj’s willingness to sign on to rising tracks by relatively unknown acts demonstrates her keen awareness of what’s happening in the industry. While she creates her own smash hits and dominates the charts, she also pays attention to the underground scene. This awareness is crucial in the world of hip-hop, and it undoubtedly inspired her as she continued to progress with her own music.
Often, when Minaj contributes a verse or sings the chorus of a rap song, she turns it from a rising tune or one gaining momentum into a bona fide hit. Adding her name to any track frequently propels it onto the Hot 100 chart. In fact, Minaj is one of a select few acts who have achieved over 100 placements on the charts, proving her status as one of the most successful artists of all time. With each new collaboration, she further asserts her dominance in the industry.
Of course, financial gain also plays a significant role. Artists like Minaj can command substantial sums of money for a featured appearance. She may earn tens of thousands of dollars for a verse, or even more. Sometimes, she accepts these collaborations only for the royalties that will follow, as Minaj consistently earns a writing credit on any track she contributes to. The fractions of a cent earned from streaming platforms and radio play add up, making her a very wealthy individual.
Minaj isn’t the only artist in hip-hop to work with lesser-known acts, but she is the female musician in her field who not only does the most, but who has made almost a second career out of all of her features . She doesn’t need to do these songs, but by choosing to spend the time and energy to help many acts secure their big break, she has also cemented her status as a superstar—one who can succeed with any type of track.