8 Things Nicki Fans Can Look Forward To In 2016

by Maitri Suhas

2015 was the official year of Nicki Minaj. Let me amend that to say: It was the year that the 33-year old rapper finally got her due, because she's been a force since the beginning of her career. And 2016 is shaping up to be another fine year for Nicki Minaj and her fans.

In 2015, the hip-hop mogul was the first female rapper on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings List. She was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year. She has three Grammy nominations. She gave some mind blowing and inspirational interviews. And that's just a very abbreviated list of her accomplishments in the last 12 months.

So, if you're feeling anxious about the new year to come and its uncertainty, at least take comfort in knowing that whatever 2016 brings, it will definitely be another year full of Minaj magic (and hopefully lots of Minaj music). I know I sound like a fervent fangirl, and that's because I am. Whether it's a new album, more powerful takedowns of discrimination in the music industry, or even a wedding, I think Minaj is just getting started. Here are eight reasons her fans can look forward to 2016.

1. The Grammys

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Minaj is maybe the most notorious artist whose genius records that always make millions have been continuously snubbed year after year. And the 2016 Grammys made the same mistake: Minaj's album The Pinkprint, which was her most critically-acclaimed album yet, was barely nominated, conspicuously absent from the Album of the Year category even though it was on plenty of Best Albums Of 2014 lists, including the rankings from Rolling Stone and Complex. Not to mention the snub of "Feeling Myself" with Beyoncé.

But fans can still look forward to the February 2016 ceremony, because Minaj always sets the tone. And she is nominated for her singles "Truffle Butter" (Best Rap Performance) and "Only" (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration), and for Best Rap Album. If she doesn't win, you know she is gonna put the show on blast.

2. Nicki On TV

In September Minaj signed a deal with ABC Family to executive produce her own sitcom based on her childhood, following her family's move from her home country of Trinidad to New York and her experience growing up in Queens. She even teased fans by letting them know she'd be on the show every once in a while.

And just in time to give fans something to tide us over til 2016, Minaj revealed the cast members on her Instagram who she "literally hand-picked" for their roles on the show, which now has a simple but perfect and elegant title: Nicki. Ariana Neal from Fruitvale Station will play young Nicki.

3. More Amazing Style

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Minaj always looks so good I want to cry. And as her star power increases, she's featured in more and more editorials, so we can marvel at her beauty and grace, not to mention her flawless style at awards shows and during performances. More of this is sure to come in 2016.

4. More Schoolin'

What makes Minaj such an electric force is not only her matchless talent but her strong voice and stance on the problems with the hip hop world, including sexism, racism, the expectations of young women, appropriation... the list goes on. 2015 was Minaj's most vocally political year ever, and in an interview with Billboard to cap the year on Dec. 10, she spoke about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Sandra Bland, President Obama, and drug sentences, which she said has "become slavery, or something crazier."

The rapper's political passion is not surprising considering the way she has made her career in hip hop — always calling the industry out for its failings of black women. There were so many Minaj moments this year where she exposed BS, and like many others, my favorite was when she confronted Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards. Second was her Twitter "feud" with Taylor Swift when Minaj schooled the pop star about intersectional feminism. She's my icon, and it doesn't look like she'll be sitting down or shutting up in 2016, which is probably how her critics want her to behave.

5. More Music

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Though I can't get too selfish in hoping that Minaj will release a full-length album this year, there are rumors that she's working on a mixtape — rumors hinted at by the rapper herself in an interview with Billboard. Talking about why she wants to release new music soon, Minaj laid it out in the realest way: "I have to set an example for female rappers. I’m at the top of that food chain, and it’s important to lead by example," she said.

And even if there's no mixtape in 2016, Minaj always does her fans good by releasing singles. 2015's breakout was "Truffle Butter," which was a bonus track on The Pinkprint. She was also featured on Madonna's "B*tch I'm Madonna" and her beau Meek Mill's "All Eyes On You." Expect more heart-attack inducing verses in 2016 one way or another.

6. A Nicki Wedding?!

Minaj and Meek Mill's relationship is a strange phenomenon: Meek got into that famed feud with Minaj's forever friend Drake, and no offense but, does he even deserve her? Doesn't matter, because I love the idea of a Minaj wedding, if only because I dream of what that would look like IRL.

Minaj has been crowdsourcing wedding ideas on Twitter, so does that mean a ceremony is in the near future? She already has two enormous diamond rings from Meek, even though they're not engaged yet and has said that a third will make the engagement real.

7. More Selfies

We don't deserve you, Nicki!

8. More Inspiration & Domination

Whatever comes from Minaj in 2016, it's a sure bet to say that she will continue to evolve, inspire, and grow. She has carved a formidable figure for herself, and in 2015 she became more and more of an icon and inspiration. She kicked a New York Times reporter out of an interview for calling her dramatic, saying, "Please do not speak to me like I am stupid or beneath you in any way." She asked Cyrus, "What's good?" to which the signer still didn't have an answer.

My favorite Minaj moment from 2015, though, was when the rapper read Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise" on the A&E special Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America. What a powerful and perfect moment to lead into the New Year. Minaj has made history and the stage is set in 2016 for her to make even more.

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