Nicki Minaj Cites Foxy Brown As One Of Her Biggest Influences

By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Christina Garibaldi

Nicki Minaj has come a long way over the past couple of years, hitting unbelievable career highs, and now she has the chance to pay homage to those who paved the way for her. Minaj summoned Foxy Brown to the stage in New York City this week, calling her "one of my biggest influences in the game."

Foxy joined Nicki Minaj about an hour into her Tuesday night set at Roseland Ballroom, and she wasted no time telling her fellow Trinidad native that she was "ahead of her time" when she dropped her third solo album, 2001's Broken Silence. "I really wanna thank you for being one of my biggest influences in the game," Nicki said onstage, later admitting that the moment was equally special for her and Foxy.

"I never really told Foxy how much she has influenced me and how much she changed my life, and you've gotta tell people that when they're alive to even be able to take the compliment, instead of paying tribute to them when they're no longer here," Nicki explained, in a very honest moment. "I never really knew how she felt about me — in the industry, with women, you kinda just tread lightly — and I'm glad I was able to finally come out and say: 'You were the most influential female rapper to me.' "

As Minaj's career continued to skyrocket with the release of her two Pink Friday albums, fans of legendary Brooklyn rapper Lil Kim accused the Young Money artist of ripping off Kim's style, leading to an ongoing feud. But to hear Nicki tell it, it was Foxy who really connected with her on a different level, and she has no trouble paying homage.

"For her to be on my stage, it was emotional, and she was emotional," Nicki said. "This is what this is really about. When you get where you have arrived to, you give thanks to people who opened those doors and triggered something in your mind. When I found out Foxy Brown was from Trinidad, that did something to me. In my mind, I felt like I could be proud of where I'm from."