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New Music: Nicki Minaj album drops early 2012

Krystal Clark is a Los Angeles based entertainment writer who loves all things sci-fi, comic book and fantasy. When she's not consuming other worldly genres, she likes to soak up classic cinema. Krystal has a real soft spot for Frank Cap...

Nicki Minaj back in the studio

Nicki Minaj has had a great year. She broke into the mainstream, dominated the charts and became a pop culture icon. But now it's back to the drawing board as she readies her highly anticipated sophomore album.

Nicki Minaj

New Nicki Minaj music is heading our way. The First Lady of Young Money Records is on a roll. Following the release of her album Pink Friday, Minaj has become one of the most popular artists on the scene. Last Sunday, she walked away a big winner at the 2011 American Music Awards when she snagged the trophies for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album.

So what's next for the neon-haired star? According to The Hollywood Reporter, co-CEO of Young Money Records Brian "Baby" Williams says, "Nicki's back in the studio." And he claims that her sophomore album will hit shelves "in the first quarter" of 2012.

Williams is definite about the album, but unsure about the first single's release. He says, "Maybe this year? I don't know. We're really thinking it out. But she's in the studio, and we're looking real soon, because she's ready to go and we're ready to go with her."

Pink Friday was Minaj's debut studio album, which sold over a million copies in the U.S. It put the former underground rapper in the forefront, which brought her a slew of new fans. Next to Drake, Minaj is one of the highest-selling artists on the Young Money roster.

Aside from being labelmates, both Minaj and Drake have collaborated on several songs, including her chart-topper "Moment for Life" and his new single, "Make Me Proud" (from his sophomore album, Take Care). The duo also performed together last month on the Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live.

Photo credit: Dan Jackman./WENN.com

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