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'I remember our dream was just to meet Jay,' Minaj says of childhood friends' love for Hov.
By Mawuse Ziegbe (@mawuseziegbe
(MTV.COM) I have a friend ... I was like, 'Do you realize you cannot have a conversation without quoting Jay Z?' " Minaj said. Apparently, the budding lyricist's homegirl knew she had the chops to go bar-for-bar with the hip-hop titan. "I remember our dream was just to meet Jay. I remember she would tell me, 'He'll work with you one day,' and I was like, 'No he won't, Viola, no he won't.' "

Of course, nowadays Minaj's saucy verse on Kanye West's track "Monster," which features Jay, is one of her more memorable turns on the mic. However, coming up as an aspiring MC in Queens, Minaj feared the hip-hop greats she looked up to would already be over the rap thing if she ever got major, and she wouldn't have the chance to jump on a track with some of her favorite artists. Luckily for her, the rap masters she admires — including Eminem, who recently jumped on a collabo with Nicki — are not only still kicking, they're welcoming the plucky spitter, and her unique swagger, with open arms.

"I kept thinking that all the people in the game at that time when I was little was gonna be out of the game by the time, if I did get into the game," she said. "I remember I used to be like, 'Dag, I'll never get to work with this one, I'll never get to work with that one,' and just to know that Jay is even saying something or knows me is crazy."

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