7 Things You Don't Know About: Nicki Minaj #1: Nicki was raised in Jamaica with her Grandmother. #2: Nicki is the first solo female artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 Chart. #3: Her influences include Jadakiss and Cyndi Lauper. #4: She hates her stage name, Nicki Minaj. Her producers made her change her last name from 'Maraj' to 'Minaj'. #5: She loved to read books because it could let her escape her own life. #6: Nicki helped raise $250 million for AIDS in 2012. #7: She's always been focused on women's empowerment because of the things her mother went through (abuse).