From New York Times: Perhaps it was the brightly colored surgical mask that covered Nicki Minaj’s pout at the MTV Video Music Awards last August. Or maybe it was the neon puffball tunic, which made her look as if she’d fallen into a bowl of Dippin’ Dots, that she wore to Carolina Herrera’s spring 2012 show in September. But few in 2011 could take their eyes off Ms. Minaj, the Technicolor Barbie with the big voice and an elastic smile.

Part sweet Lolita, part street-smart punk from Queens, Ms. Minaj has been the most talked-about young rapper to settle into the front row at New York Fashion Week since Marc Jacobs embraced Lil’ Kim as his muse in 2005. She is a sought-after cover girl, with spreads in Elle, Cosmopolitan and W magazine. Ms. Minaj sang hits from her debut album, “Pink Friday,” at recent shows for Victoria’s Secret and H&M. She could even claim Halloween last fall, judging from the scores of tutorials on YouTube for fans seeking her fluorescent look and ice cream swirl tresses.

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