Nicki Minaj Onika Tanya Maraj is the real name of the rapper, who said she had many alter egos to avoid a chaotic home life. "I would imagine being a new person. 'Cookie' was my first identity -- that stayed with me for a while. I went on to 'Harajuku Barbie,' then Nicki Minaj.' Fantasy was my reality." Minaj performed at last year's halftime show with Madonna.