Nicki Minaj Becomes Second Female Rapper to Receive Video Vanguard Award

Nicki Minaj Becomes Second Female Rapper to Receive Video Vanguard Award

by Kenna McCafferty

"I’m in my own lane/ You ain’t in my category" became even more true when the Video Music Awards announced this week that Nicki Minaj will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2022 VMAs, becoming the second female rapper, after Missy Elliott, to accept the recognition.

"Nicki has broken barriers for women in hip-hop with her versatility and creative artistry," said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events, Paramount+. "She has shifted the music industry and cemented her status as a global superstar with her crossover appeal, genre-defying style, and continuing to be unapologetically ‘Nicki.'"

Minaj, whose past VMAs appearances have been nothing short of unapologetic — from wardrobe malfunctions to “Miley What’s Good?” — will also be performing at this year's VMAs, marking her first VMAs performance since 2018.

Her history with the VMAs has been deserving of recognition for quite some time. Now a 17-time nominee and five-time winner, Minaj’s first Moon Person came home with her in 2011 for Best Hip Hop Video ("Super Bass") and, most recently, for Best Power Anthem ("Hot Girl Summer").

Elliott was quick to congratulate Minaj on the achievement, tweeting, “Congratulations to @NICKIMINAJ on this achievement,” in response to a Pop Crave post. Minaj replied as only she could, saying, "Mumbling & cackling??? nah omg thank you Missy. You kicked down this [door]. Nothing but Love & Respect for your iconic artistry."

Between the two of them, the door has been blown to bits, making way for up-and-coming female artists to explore all facets of their creative vision, like Latto whose "Big Energy" was nominated for Best Hip Hop alongside Minaj’s Lil Baby-assisted, "Do We Have A Problem?"

Charting her meteoric rise, Minaj recently announced a six-part docu-series cataloging the pride and pitfalls throughout her career and delving into her role in the industry as a woman. Her next single, “Super Freaky Girl,” will be released on Friday, August 12.

Photo via Getty