Nicki Minaj Remebers Skipping Class To Freestyle

Nicki Minaj is a 23-year-old rapper hand-picked by Lil Wayne to be the First Lady of Weezy's Young Money Entertainment. An accomplished MC with a great mixtape to her name, Minaj is also a trained actress, singer and dancer. Where did she learn all these skills? At LaGuardia Performing Arts High School, the notable institution that was the focus of TV's "Fame" and that boasts hip-hop alumni like Kelis, Slick Rick and MC Serch. Though she was given plenty of opportunities to express herself in school, she still felt the need to occasionally sneak away. "I was a drama major in high school, so we had a dressing room. It probably didn’t help me too much because it allowed us to cut class and go somewhere and be silly all day. But we would go and beat on the table and make up rhymes and freestyles."

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Minaj wants to remind the the current batch of high school graduates that the election of President Barack Obama has made their senior year a part of history. She also encourages new grads to go to college. "It's very very important to have some sort of higher learning. That's how you step your cookies up — so go to school and step it up!"

Welcome to Class of '09 Week on MTVNews.com, where we're celebrating a memorable time in the lives of more than 3 million high school seniors: graduation! We'll be rolling out articles and videos with graduation memories from your favorite celebrities and much more. Be sure to upload your own three-minute video for our Class of '09 Valedictory Search to Your.MTV.com — the winner will be flown to New York for lunch with MTV News' Sway and will attend a taping of MTV's new series "It's On With Alexa Chung."