As Nicki Minaj continues to settle into life as a new mom with Kenneth Petty, we’re taking a look back at her other high-profile romances over the years.
Nicki Minaj has been through a lot in the romance department over the years. The rapper has dealt with some messy public breakups, while also enjoying some fun flings and feeding into the narrative of fake relationships throughout her career. These days, she’s very settled down in her marriage to Kenneth Petty, but there’s been plenty of ups and downs that have led to this point!
Nicki dated Safaree Samuels for more than a decade before they called it quits in the fall of 2011. Their relationship was kept very out of the public eye, but after the breakup, their drama was very front and center. The tension started with a Twitter war in 2014, when Nicki called out Safaree for using her for “fame” and “blackmailing” her after the relationship ended. Safaree fired back and slammed Nicki for airing out their issues on social media. He also claimed that he helped Nicki write her raps, which set her off on multiple occasions in the future.
After more back-and-forth on Twitter at the beginning of 2015, Safaree dropped a Nicki diss track that summer. “No one will love you like I did, 12 years up in flames, I thought you woulda had my kid,” he rapped. He followed that up with a another diss song, “Lifeline”, in July. That fall, Nicki went off on Safaree on Twitter (again) for trying to sue her, and also claimed that he was consistently “hitting [her] up” when she didn’t respond and more. It’s safe to say that things did NOT end well between these two.
Although Nicki was quietly dating Safaree for the beginning years of her career, fans were invested in a potential relationship between her and Drake. Drake made no secret of the fact that he was crushing on Nicki, and there were rumors of a romance between them for years. In 2014, Drake starred in Nicki’s music video for “Anaconda,” and she famously gave him a sexy lap dance.
Both rappers have denied that they were ever involved romantically, though. Despite a brief falling out in 2015 and 2016, Drake and Nicki are on friendly terms again. They’ve both even said that they want to get their sons together for a playdate soon!
Nicki started dating another rapper, Meek Mill, at the beginning of 2015. The two were extremely public about their romance, and even sparked engagement rumors when she shared a photo of herself wearing a giant, heart-shaped, diamond ring.Their relationship lasted for two years, but by Jan. 2017, Nicki confirmed that she was single. This came after weeks of speculation that she and Meek had broken up.
In the spring of 2017, reports began surfacing that something was going on between Nicki and Nas. That May, she fed into the buzz by posting an Instagram photo of them cuddling on a dinner date together. During an interview with Ellen DeGenres that same month, Nicki admitted to having sleepovers at Nas’ place, and said that she thought he was “cute.”
In June, Nicki and Nas posed together for a photo at the NBA Awards, and in September, she was in attendance for his birthday party. A video from the bash even showed her leaning in to give the rapper a hug as he was presented with his cake! By the beginning of 2018, though, news broke that Nicki and Nas had split, with long distance reportedly taking a toll on the relationship.
Rumors that Nicki and Eminem were dating began in May 2018, when she rapped about Eminem on a song and told a fan on Instagram that they were an item. At the time, though, many people were convinced that she was just trolling with her comment. Later that month, Eminem fed into the buzz by giving Nicki a shoutout onstage during one of his concerts. “How many people in Boston want me to date Nicki Minaj?” he asked. “Well, damn it, me too! Nicki, if you get this message, just text me later. We’ll talk about it.”
The next month, Em took things a step further by begging Nicki to date him again. “Nicki, let’s do this!” he said onstage at another concert. “I’mma tell you something about Nicki that you don’t even know — we go together!” She re-posted a video of the shoutout on social media and agreed, “If he say we go together then b***h, we go [together],” she wrote. However, this playful back and forth ended there, and it doesn’t appear that anything actually happened between the two.
Nicki reunited with her high school sweetheart, Kenneth Petty, while back in New York for Thanksgiving in 2018. Although some fans were concerned about Kenneth’s criminal history — he’s been arrested several times — Nicki fiercely defended their love when the romance began. For the most part, Nicki has kept her relationship with Kenneth out of the public eye, but she’s made no secret of the fact that she’s deeply in love with him.
During the summer of 2019, Nicki and Kenneth got their marriage license, and fans anxiously waited for them to tie the knot. At this point, she had already been referring to him as her “husband” for months. They finally got married with a super secret, low-key ceremony that October. In July 2020, Nicki confirmed that she was pregnant, and she gave birth to her and Kenneth’s baby boy on Sept. 30.