Nicki Minaj: The Many Voices Of Barbie

By Kathy Iandoli

Even when she’s the only person on a track, Nicki Minaj can turn a song into a posse cut with her personalities. Her role-playing delivery transforms the female MC into a one-woman show. While some rappers struggle with finding one voice, Nicki Minaj aka Nicki Lewinski aka Nicki the Boss aka Nicki the Ninja aka Nicki the Harajuku Barbie has many to work with.

Yesterday, MTV News announced the Ms. Minaj will deliver her first-ever televised solo performance during the 2010 VMA pre-show on Sunday, September 12, she taken another huge step.

We’ve compiled our own dictionary of five signature Nicki voices that we’ve grown to know and love. We know that Nicki slides through all of these personalities in most songs these days, but we’ve grabbed the moments where each Barbie style is magnified.

Harajuku Barbie: A combination of the New York City gum-snapping slick-talking Nicki and the hair-twirling lollipop licking Barbie with multicolored wigs. Check out Nicki’s collab with Mariah Carey “Up Out My Face”, including the video where Nicki gives a pageant wave to the camera and twirls her hair as she demands, “Elevator, press P for the Penthouse.”

Dutty Wine Barbie: Nicki grabs hold of her Trini roots to free flow with an urbane patois like she came from Rasta royalty. In her duet with Gyptian for the “Hold Yuh” remix, Nicki could pass for Lady Saw while she glides over lines like “Body smokin’…cigarette” and “All I do is sign boobs and be takin’ pics. Got the new Benz the color of bacon bits.”

Hit the jump to see the other voices of Barbie...

Small Wonder Barbie: That girlish flow that still sounds somewhat robotic (like Vicky the Robot from the 80s sitcom “Small Wonder”). The pinnacle of Nicki’s robotics are on the Rihanna reference track “Saxon”, where she sounds like a fembot returning to outer space as she says, “I am ga-going home. I am ga-going home.”

Posh Barbie: When Nicki rhymes in an aristocratic British accent. All she needs is to marry a footballer (read: soccer player) from the UK and she’s well on her way to lyrical London. On J. Holiday’s “Take It Off” with Lloyd, Nicki rhymes like she’s sipping tea and eating crumpets stating, “You need a feature, daddy. Give me my Peter Pen. When I hit the club it’ll be me and my conceited friend.”

Godzilla Barbie: One moment she’s being cheeky and giggling and then erupts into a monster growl. Big voice for a little Barbie. Nicki’s had two big Godzilla moments: on Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad” where she goes from a Mean Girl snapping “Now all these bitches wanna try and be my besty” to comparing herself to Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Then on the aptly titled “Monster”, Nicki rhymes through all of her voices and ends with shriek and a growl that she’s a “motherf*ckin’ monster”. Indeed she is.