Before Nicki Minaj shot to stardom as an artist on Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint, she was a young up-and-comer hailing from New York City under the tutelage of Big Fendi, founder of The Come Up DVD.
With the help of Fendi, the female rapper built a buzz that would ultimately gain the attention of Weezy, who signed her … and the rest is history.
Despite the success, he claims Nicki cut him out of the deal… and has been fighting the situation in court ever since. Fendi spoke to Power 105’s The Breakfast Club about the situation recently, breaking down how he initially met Nicki Minaj, where things began to go left, and where they’re at today.
The last he heard from Nicki is after she signed to Lil Wayne and offered him a finder’s fee of just $15,000. “I laughed at it, you can’t be serious,” Fendi said. In fact, he says she’s still under contract with his Dirty Money label.
On how he met Nicki: “Nicki’s a groupie. Nicki started with me in ’06/’07. I met her on Myspace — she had a flier page. I switched it around. Her name was Nicki Maraj when I met her, I changed the name to Nicki Minaj. I actually got into a big argument with her family, because they felt like Nicki didn’t like the name. She felt like I was degrading her, like ‘Oh, you trying to take me to a whole other situation.’ I was like, ‘Nah, we need it for marketing.’ ”
On getting a deal with Young Money: “I got the Young Money deal in like 70 days. It was a Young Money/Dirty Money deal. When I got the contract, Nicki started ducking me. [Lil Wayne] gave me one of those Cash Money contracts from the ’80s — there was no royalties on it, no advance, nothing. I told Nicki, ‘I ain’t signing this contract. I ain’t gonna let you do this to yourself.’ She started crying. I was like, ‘Ooohh, we ain’t gonna do this.’ She found a way [eventually].”
On their falling out: “Basically, [Nicki Minaj] tried to wait until my contract expired before she signed with Young Money. I got with my lawyers, they told me she can’t really go around that, because if she’s signed to Young Money, that’s still your deal. I still got that contract to this day. That’s what I’m in court with. We wait like a year, Wayne and them prolonged the situation for a while. I haven’t seen Wayne since then. Nicki prolonged the situation, and next thing you know, I get another phone call and she’s signed to Young Money. I’m like, ‘How she get rid of Dirty Money from the contract?’ ”