Image: Instagram/nickiminaj
Image: Instagram/nickiminaj

Megastar rapper Nicki Minaj is on record as saying she “used to have a natural look.” But why did she change herself into a “Harajuku Barbie” before she hit the big time? And what did she look like before that? You may be surprised.

Image: via YouTube/RnBandHIPHOPworld WORLDWIDE
Image: YouTube/RnBandHIPHOPworld WORLDWIDE

One vintage clip in particular shows the future rapper in a very different light. “Hi, my name is Onika Maraj…” says the little schoolgirl on the video. Wait, she looks awfully familiar. Her name sounds awfully familiar too. Is she a pre-fame Nicki Minaj? Yep, you betcha.

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Image: via Rolling Stone
Image: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

So how did Nicki Minaj – born Onika Tanya Maraj – go from cute little kid to the raunchy, colorful hip-hop queen we know and love today? Well, it was a bit of a journey.

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