Nicki Minaj has been outperforming and exceeding all of her predecessors and potential rivals for years. On a consistent level, Nicki has sold more records than the likes of all the great female rappers that were around before her, including Lil Kim, Eve, Trina, Foxy Brown, Erykah Badu and MC Lyte. Factor in the prevalence of music piracy in this era and her sales numbers are even more impressive. If Lauryn Hill wasn't enslaved to the prison system and if Missy Elliot didn't get Grave's disease (which are two huge, unfortunate setbacks to the entirety of music), hip hop would be completely different and those two women would be right at Nicki's side as a trifecta of queens reigning over hip hop. Instead, Nicki has learned how to adapt from these women and they all inspire her to continue and stand on her own in the previously male-dominated world of hip hop.
Without any other contemporaries in her zone anymore, her music is starting to evolve on its own. In her songs, she takes her sexuality and makes it her own. Instead of subjugating herself to the pleasures of other men, she turns it around (and we're willing to subjugate ourselves to Nicki anytime). With such a tremendous following and having only two major studio albums in her repertoire, we can't wait to see how much the scene will change yet again once her third album, The Other Woman, releases later this year. But until then, we can still listen to her classic albums and keep checking her Instagram for the tremendously hot photos she keeps posting for us to see. Nicki Minaj has beaten all the girls on this list and the thousands of others who didn't make the cut. Whether its with pasties and handcuffs on or with her music, Nicki will keep us memorized during the year of the Minaj-a-trois.