Standing on top of the world, Nicki Minaj covers TIME's annual 100 Most Influential People issue. Nicki is the first female rapper to be on the cover since Lauryn Hill, who graced the cover in 1999.
TIME's 2016 Influential issue also feature covers from other people in entertainment, sports, politics, and philanthropy which include Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Zuckerberg, Priyanka Chopra and more.
For Nicki's cover story, her mentor Lil Wayne pens a touching letter for his artists, who he discovered seven years ago. Read Wayne's words below and don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments.
You know, in New York they used to have these street DVDs. It just so happened that I appeared in one, and when I looked at the finished product, Nicki Minaj was on a part of the DVD. I was like, “Woooooow!” She was just being Nicki without the glitz and glamour. When I heard the first two and four bars, it wasn’t even about her rapping better than any female rapper. It was about, man, she’s rapping better than other rappers—period.
I always wanted more for my artists and saw Nicki’s potential from the first moment I laid eyes on her. She’s reached far beyond everything I would have imagined. Man, she’s so influential and doing all the right things. She’s an icon, a boss and a role model to all these young girls out here on how to do it the right way. Her work ethic speaks volumes and has yielded these results. The scary thing is she’s still going. Ha! Nicki Minaj will go down as one of the best to do it in the history of music.