There’s no missing the fact that Nicki Minaj is an island gyal. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and raised in the heavily Caribbean community of Jamaica, Queens, NYC, she’s flavored her lyrics with Trini and yardie dialect and signifiers since her days hustling mixtapes.
Since breaking through to the mainstream circa 2010, her love of reggae and dancehall has manifested itself in collaborations with Gyptian and Mavado as well as with similarly bashment-minded Jamaican-American artists like Busta Rhymes and Sean Kingston. While we’ve yet to hear her on some soca, she’s waved her Trini flag in other ways, like the all-out Carnival vibes of her video for “Pound the Alarm” (seen above).
In celebration of her continued celebration of her roots—and in hopes she’ll continue—here’s a look at some of the “most Caribbean” moments in Nicki’s illustrious career.