Were Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels Married?

Nicki Minaj has been a hip-hop royalty for over a decade now. The Queens-bred rapper has been in a handful of public relationships throughout her time in the spotlight, including with producer and Love & Hip Hop: New York star Safaree Samuels.

Safaree Samuels (L) and Nicki Minaj at Herve Leger
Safaree Samuels (L) and Nicki Minaj | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

Inside Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels’ relationship

Minaj and Samuels’ relationship dates back to the very early days of Minaj’s career. In 2002, she joined the Hood$tars, a New York rap group consisting of Loustar, Svn-Up, and Safaree “SB” Samuels.

In 2017, Svn-Up said in an interview with DJ Vlad that Samuels and Minaj started dating about two years into the group’s existence in early 2004. Hood$tars split up in 2005, and Samuels and Minaj went and did their own thing. They remained together while Minaj started her rap career with the mixtapes Playtime Is Over, Sucka Free, and Beam Me Up Scotty (which was re-released in 2021).

Nicki explained in a 2015 interview with GQ that keeping quiet about her relationship was a business decision.

“When I came in the business, you couldn’t tell people you were in a relationship, because record company and management said that doesn’t make you appealing to men. So don’t tell people you’re in a relationship,” she said.

Rumors began to fly in the early 2010s that the two were engaged. In 2014, they celebrated their 10th anniversary with a trip to Cabo San Lucas. But by the end of the year, TMZ reported that they were no longer a couple because he was jealous of her success.

Safaree Samuels and Nicki Minaj attend Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2013
Safaree Samuels and Nicki Minaj | Johnny Nuñez/Getty Images for Clear Channel

Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels’ beef after their breakup

Soon after breakup rumors started swirling, Minaj released “Bed of Lies,” an emotional song where she alluded to being lied to and deceived.

Minaj gave an interview with Angie Martinez about her breakup in late 2014, and soon afterward jumped on Twitter and revealed the depth of Samuels’ betrayal. She accused him of “blackmail” and claims he is “selling vids” (though she never specified of what).

Samuels responded with Twitter fingers of his own. “Speaking to some1 about pub and splits isn’t blackmail,” he said. “Stop looking for pitty [sic].” Minaj deleted the tweets and replaced them with an apology to her fans. “I’m sorry. My fans know this isn’t me. Hate this. But I’m human,” she said. “I do so much. Too much. No man would have stayed loyal in this game like me.”

Nicki Minaj (R) and singer Safaree Samuels arrive for Nicki Minaj birthday party at the Tao Nightclub
Nicki Minaj (R) and singer Safaree Samuels | Steven Lawton/FilmMagic

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Nicki Minaj married Kenneth ‘Zoo’ Petty

Minaj started dating rapper Meek Mill in 2015, just a few months after her breakup with Samuels. They broke up in 2017. The following year, Minaj began dating her high school sweetheart, Kenneth “Zoo” Petty.

Minaj and Petty grew up together in Queens, New York and dated when they were teenagers. But they eventually parted ways, and Minaj, of course, went on to become a world-famous rapper.

Petty and Minaj got married in 2019, and she gave birth to her first child, a son, in September 2020. Throughout their relationship, Minaj has been criticized for Petty’s history as a convicted sex offender. In August 2021, the couple was slapped with a lawsuit alleging witness intimidation and other offenses on Minaj’s part as an effort to clear her husband’s name.