A Look Back At Nicki Minaj & Safaree Samuels' Relationship

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Safaree Samuels (L) and Nicki Minaj attend the Herve Leger By Max Azria fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014)

Their 14-year relationship at a glance.

Nicki Minaj and Safaree were once one of Hip Hop’s most notable couples. While they have since split and moved on, they were undoubtedly a huge part of each other’s lives, both personally and professionally. Minaj now has a husband and child, and Samuels has two children with his now ex-wife, Erica Mena.

Safaree Samuels is actually the Queen of Rap’s longest-known relationship with a long history dating back to 2000. Earlier this year, news surrounding the pair sprung up yet again when Safaree mentioned a mystery woman in an interview. Fans speculated he was referring to Nicki Minaj, but Safaree quickly denounced those claims. From the grassroots of their musical partnership to Nicki’s epic breakthrough and establishing an undeniable legacy, the pair have been through quite a lot.

Read More: Safaree Samuels Net Worth 2023: What Is The LHH Star Worth?

2000: Nicki Minaj & Safaree: The Come Up

Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels first met in Queens, New York, in 2000. They were aspiring rappers who both shared a mutual passion for Hip Hop. Prior to their professional journey together that kicked off a few years later, the pair started dating. Their partnership would eventually last for over a decade.

Before signing with Young Money Entertainment, Nicki Minaj was briefly a member of the rap group the Hoodstars, joining the collective in 2002. The group was made up of four rappers: Lou$tar, 7even Up, Nicki Minaj, and Scaff Beezy (Safaree Samuels). Minaj and Samuels soon left the group to pursue solo careers, but even while in Hoodstars, they were allegedly romantically involved. Even though they were both relatively unknown, they drew a line between their professional and personal relationship in public.

Read More: Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday 2": What We Know

2004: Post-Hoodstars

Following their departure from Hoodstars, Minaj, and Samuels began trying to secure solo record deals. Minaj subsequently secured a short-term deal with Dirty Money Entertainment and started achieving solo success soon after. Safaree Samuels had not gotten a deal of his own but he stood by Nicki Minaj as her hype man at every performance. The professional part of their relationship had also become more prominent than ever before. However, they didn’t seem to have any issues balancing it out with their personal relationship. 

Read More: A Timeline Of Nicki Minaj & Safaree Samuels’ Post-Breakup Drama

2009: Breakthrough With Young Money

MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 08: Birdman, Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj, Safaree and Fred Drust attend Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Album Release Party at LIV nightclub at Fontainebleau Miami on April 8, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/WireImage)

A pivotal point in Nicki Minaj’s career was when she signed with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment in 2009. Her popularity greatly increased, and she began to cement her place in the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame. Still, Safaree remained unsigned, but slowly began gaining prominence in the music industry. Safaree co-wrote on Minaj’s albums, Pink Friday (2010) and Pink Friday… Roman Reloaded (2012). He also contributed backup vocals on a handful of songs by Nicki Minaj, and he appeared in the music video for her song, “Stupid Hoe.” It was during this period that fans and the media started following Minaj and Samuels’ relationship closely.

Read More: Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday" LP Turns 13

2011: Signs Of Relationship Turmoil

Somewhere along the line, Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels’ relationship had started to sour. Nicki appeared to be constantly annoyed by Safaree in public, something many noticed almost instantaneously. There have been many speculations and theories about when, and why it started, but the first apparent sign was in July 2011. Nicki Minaj was reportedly involved in a scuffle with an unidentified man in a Dallas hotel. Allegedly, she was struck on her lower lip during the altercation. In the aftermath of the incident, when the police arrived, Minaj insisted on not pressing charges on her alleged attacker. While the person who attacked Minaj was unidentified, the public believes Safaree to be the one whom she had the scuffle with. The two strongly denied the claims on their respective social media pages.

Read More: Nicki Minaj's Best Songs

2014: Nicki Minaj & Safaree Samuels Break Up

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 30: (L-R) Nicki Minaj and Safaree "SB" Samuels attend the 2013 BET Awards Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

The rumors about tension in the couple’s relationship proved valid. While they still held things together for a while, it wasn’t long until their longstanding relationship came to an end. Although Safaree was actively involved in Minaj’s early mainstream success, her breakthrough was gargantuan and his career paled in comparison to hers. Consequently, the curtain was drawn on both their personal and professional relationship in 2014. In previous years, there had been rumors of the two breaking up, but in 2014, it was official. TMZ sources claimed that the reason the two broke up was because Safaree had grown uncontrollably jealous of Minaj’s success.

Read More: Why Hasn't Nicki Minaj Received A Grammy? 

Post-Breakup

In the years that followed, the two heavily beefed each other on social media. Safaree, at one point, claimed to have written most of Nicki Minaj’s songs. The rapper has vehemently disputed the claim. She fired back, claiming Safaree was simply trying to tear her down.

These days, things are a lot less heated between the two, and they barely speak about one another anymore. In December 2022, Safaree acknowledged Nicki ​Minaj on her 40th birthday by posting an old picture of the rapper on his social media accounts. Since their fallout, both stars have forged on in their respective careers. Safaree Samuels now stars in Love & Hip Hop: Miami, after appearing in several other reality TV shows. Nicki Minaj’s fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, is expected to drop later in 2023.

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About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.