How Nicki Minaj is still underrated

Strange but promising news on the TV comedy front: Nicki Minaj will produce and appear in an ABC Family comedy series about her life growing up in Queens.

The rapper has launched a search to find the actress who will play “young Nicki,” but before she does that, let's take a moment to remember something important: Nicki Minaj has given us so much dynamite entertainment over the years in addition to her magnificent solo work. Let's highlight some of those moments and remember why she might be the most essential (and certainly the most tenacious) superstar we have. 

1. Her acceptance speeches aren't just good — they're always the most memorable, fun, and provocative. 

Like Kanye West, Nicki Minaj believes in the spontaneous, uncorked fun of award shows. If she's picking up a statue, she never approaches the dais without a few good quips, sincere thank-yous, and memorable expressions planned. If she begins with an earnest shout-out to her fans, she makes sure to follow up with a saucy zinger for the ages. The best example may be the time she threw a little lyrical shade at Iggy Azalea (allegedly) during the 2014 BET Awards. Note that she physically makes a tea-sipping gesture. I'm still laughing.

2. She spots sexism and points it out expertly.

Regardless of what you think about the argument over what qualified for a Video of the Year nomination at this year's VMAs, Nicki Minaj makes sure to address sexism when she sees it, particularly as it pertains to women in the entertainment business. Check out that diatribe against perceptions of women who take control of their careers. The Donald Trump shade was well ahead of its time, turns out.

3. She loves “RuPaul's Drag Race” and would probably compete on it.

Check out Nicki as she flawlessly lip-syncs. She knows what pleases Ru. The singer was famously a supporter of drag queen Roxxxy Andrews during season five of “Drag Race,” and the fact that she cared to tweet about that show's delicious pageantry is evidence she respects raw starpower in all its forms. 

4. She's the only guest performer to be featured on two Madonna albums.

Strange but true: No featured guest vocalist has appeared on two Madonna studio albums except Nicki. She first appeared on 2012's “MDNA” and followed up on 2015's “Rebel Heart.” Since Madonna is notorious for switching up her entire sound when jumping from album to album and era to era, it's impressive that Minaj qualified for her discs twice. I think she has a third in her too. 

5. She was routinely the best judge during her season of “American Idol.” 

The twelfth season of “American Idol” had its major problems. The glorious Mariah Carey couldn't contain her performance criticisms to a strict time limit, Randy Jackson seemed more disinterested than ever before, and the competition didn't heat up until the final five contestants sparred. But one constantly great addition to the show was Nicki, who managed to be both heartfelt and unsparing as a member of the judges' panel. As she once said in an interview with The Advocate regarding her blunt style of commentary, “I can”t come up there and pretend. I just can”t do it. I can”t be someone I”m not. I can”t sit there with a phony smile on my face; I can”t do it. I”m happy that people are responding well to it. I mean if I”m polarizing, I”m polarizing.”

6. She is the most GIFable star alive.

And I don't see that changing.