Nicki Minaj is known for her animated rapping style, her flow in particular. She often combines metaphors, punch lines and word play into her work, which has been compared to her mentor Lil Wayne. The New York Times called Minaj “a sparkling rapper with a gift for comic accents and unexpected turns of phrase. She’s a walking exaggeration, outsize in sound, personality and look. And she’s a rapid evolver, discarding old modes as easily as adopting new ones.”
Although many critics describe her technique as bubblegum rap, Minaj said: “What people don’t know is that before I was doing that craziness I was doing me, I was just doing regular sounding rap that anyone could hear and identify with. But once I started doing all that weird shit—I’m not mad at it because it got everyone’s attention.” Noted as a rap artist, she lends herself to electronic music genres (especially electropop).
Pink Friday marked her exploration of the genres, spawning electro songs including the pop-laden “Super Bass”. Also combining rap with synthesizer music, Minaj’s second album had a number of electropop songs: “HOV Lane”, “Whip It”, “Automatic”, “Come On A Cone”, “Young Forever”, “Fire Burns”, “Roman Holiday” and “Beez in the Trap”; while “Starships” is an europop and dance song. She collaborated with other artists, producing more electronic songs: “The Boys” with “Me & U” singer Cassie and “Beauty and a Beat” with Justin Bieber.
Her verse in Kanye West’s “Monster” was appreciated by critics, who said she had the best verse in the song. Her alter egos are incorporated with her lyrics in British accents (Roman Zolanski) or soft-spokenness (Harajuku Barbie). Ice-T said about Minaj’s rapping style, “[Minaj] does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill [sic] vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions.”