Carol Maraj, mother of famed female rapper Nicki Minaj, has taken her vocal talents to the gospel arena. She wants to offer praise to God while helping domestic violence victims. By early fall Carol plans to have completed her first gospel album. She is not giving up on the possibility that one day she might be able may collaborate with her famous daughter musically. Carol says Nicki, born Onika Maraj, was exposed to the Christian lifestyle of her mother long ago.
Onika, as her mom still refers to her, knew how much her mother believed in the power of prayer and as her career continued to thrive so did the rapper’s concern about life issues. She continually called her mom and their pastor for prayer; Carol believes by Nicki acknowledging the power prayer along with her strong desire to tithe contributed greatly to her success.
Carol says even though her daughter has been named the most influential female rapper of all time it was her prayers and Christian faith that helped propel Onika to international stardom. The rapper’s mother knows that people, both Christians and non-Christians, have been very critical of her daughter’s lyrics and outfits but maintains Nicki has never been shy about her faith. Carol said she does not give any energy to the criticism, instead she holds fast to the belief that one day Onika will use her voice to sing for God.
The Bible says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old would not depart from it. I trust that one day Onika will sing unto the Father, because a seed has already been planted. Nothing is too big for God.
Nicki has been on top of her game for years now. She has successfully released two number one albums and has risen to become the most charted female rap artist in the history of Billboard Hot 100. Nicki has always said her mom was her personal hero and has been very transparent about the church rescuing her family from domestic violence. Nicki used her music as a way expose and release the pain of the intense violence she and her family suffered. There were times the 31-year-old rapper feared her father would actually take her mother’s life.
A broken Tobago-bred Trinidadian woman moved to New York City and ultimately closer to God as a result of those frightening times. Carol said,
My husband was a drug user, and would usually come home to sleep or steal. Seeking guidance in my life, I went to a church revival service with a neighbor who invited me. During service, the preacher made an altar call. My neighbor then turned and whispered, ‘God is waiting for you, Carol. He wants to restore your life.’
Carol ended up joining the church and later became a youth leader. Her faith remained strong even as her husband continued to abuse her. Carol decided not to leave her abusive spouse, instead she trusted God to heal her family. Carol said she watched God transform her husband.
As I grew closer to the Lord, on my spiritual journey, I started drawing my strength from Him. The scriptures gave me hope and grace to cope with my situation. Pastors took my husband under their wings and mentored him through life and our marriage. Eventually, our marriage became less challenging because of our love for the Lord.
Carol was fortunate to overcome the serious abuse she suffered and plans to showcase her own musical talents in the Gospel arena while helping victims of domestic violence along the way. After speaking to a group of women in a domestic violence shelter Carol realized the depth of her calling and decided to start a foundation to help women who have been abused. As a result the Carol Maraj Foundation was born. The foundation provides emotional support, encouragement, programs offering financial empowerment and a mobile beauty spa.
The goal of Carol’s foundation is to help women who reach out to the organization, whether in a shelter or not. The mother of the infamous, Nicki Minaj, hopes to have her own facility one day where she can house victims of domestic violence in emergency situations, offer job-readiness programs and rehabilitation training.
This mentality has helped Carol get rid of her own pain and started singing praises to God. She released her first song, God’s Been Good, earlier this year and is working on a full album.
I have continuously been working on new songs in the studio, and plan to continue writing and singing. I intend to release at least five full gospel albums during my career. I also want to write a book based on overcoming the storms.
Carol Maraj wants to praise God while helping victims of domestic abuse. Carol plans to have her first gospel album completed by early fall; a portion of the earnings from the song’s sales and future albums will be donated toward domestic violence awareness. Carol said her daughter Nicki, born Onika Maraj, was exposed to the Christian lifestyle long ago and she hopes one day to collaborate with her famous daughter musically.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)