Nicki Minaj, Billboard's Rising Star of 2011, has set a new record: most-followed hip hop artist on Twitter. The rapper's reach -- 8,276,598 followers as of Monday afternoon -- outranks that of fellow superstar Eminem, who's got 8,254,664 for the second slot.
Minaj achieved this milestone Jan. 4, edging out the emcee for No. 1, according to BET.com. At the time, Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) had 8,175,598 followers and Eminem (@Eminem) had 8,160,476. Are the extra followers for both artists indicative of some sort of unspoken Twitter war launched by Eminem fans attempting to reclaim his title? (Perhaps we're overthinking.)
Minaj, whose debut album Pink Friday was recently certified double platinum, will release her sophomore record, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on Valentine's Day. Last month, the rapper -- or rather, her alter ego Roman Zolanski -- dropped the first single off the album, "Stupid Hoe," appearing to take not-so-subtle potshots at Lil Kim.
Roman is one of the many creative alter ego's used by Minaj in the studio and on stage. The rapper's male second self is prominently featured on the Pink Friday track "Roman's Revenge" featuring Eminem.