Prior to reaching fame, Nicki Minaj waitressed at Red Lobster while B.o.B was a certified sandwich artist at Subway.
Although the likes of Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar have garnered a great deal of fame thanks to their music careers, they weren’t always making money with their bars. With the release of XXL magazine’s “7 Rappers’ Jobs Before They Were Famous” list, the pre-fame gigs of the artists mentioned, and a handful of others have been revealed.
Before collaborating with adidas and Nike and releasing well over half a dozen albums, Chicago lyricist Kanye West was an employee at the clothing store, Gap. ‘Ye famously rapped about his gig at the clothier on The College Dropout record, “Spaceship.”
“Let’s go back, back to the Gap / Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch / So if I stole, wasn’t my fault / Yeah I stole, never got caught,” Kanye rapped on “Spaceship.”
Compton, California rapper Kendrick Lamar may not be the burliest of emcees, but according to XXL, the TDE wordsmith had a brief stint as a security guard at a local bank.
Another artist featured on the list is Young Money rapstress, Nicki Minaj. Minaj, who worked as a waitress at Red Lobster, spoke on her past job during a 2010 interview with Billboard.
“I worked at Red Lobster before that and I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could stick my middle finger up at her and demand that she give me my pen back. I swear to God I was bad,” she said.
The other rappers featured on the list include Kid Cudi, J. Cole, B.o.B, and the late Tupac Shakur. You can read the full “7 Rappers’ Jobs Before They Were Famous” list at XXL.