Being a celebrity is tough and demanding. It is even more so when you have a relationship with problematic people who drag your name and reputation through the mud with their actions. Nicki Minaj and her family have been dealing with a particularly dark and turbulent period in their lives since her brother, Jelani Maraj, was accused and tried for raping a child.
The case has gained a lot of attention because of the high-profile name attached to the offender. So far, Nicki Minaj has avoided talking about her brother’s rape conviction, preferring to keep her distance from the case so she doesn’t face any more backlash for his crimes. The popularity of the case has, however, drawn further questions about the Minaj family and the relationship they have with each other.
Nicki Minaj Has Four Siblings
While members of Young Money Records may have become Nicki Minaj’s adopted family, the New York rapper still has a full roster of biological siblings. She has two younger siblings – a brother named Micaiah and a sister named Ming, and two older siblings – a sister named Maya and her now infamous older brother, Jelani. She also has a half-brother named Brandon Lamar.
All five children had a difficult upbringing. They had an alcoholic and drug-addicted father, Robert Maraj, who was a financial executive and a part-time gospel singer. Their mother, Carol Maraj, was also a gospel singer but had a day job as an administrative staff who worked in the payroll and accounting department.
What We Know About Each Sibling
The Chun-Li singer is not known for sharing details of her family. But through careful research, we have learned a few details about each sibling of the music superstar.
In the Maraj household, Micaiah goes by Caiah. He was born on March 29, 1998, and unlike his older siblings, was born in the United States, specifically, Baldwin, New York. As a person, there is still plenty to learn about Micaiah, but it might take a minute as he prefers to live outside of media attention.
However, we know that like his parents and older sister, he has an affinity for music. While he is probably not going to release any music anytime soon, he is an avid drummer. Will he join a band someday? We will have to see. In the meantime, he is expectedly a massive fan of his sister’s music and also of Rihanna’s.
On the personal front, Nicki Minaj’s younger sibling has been in a relationship with a woman identified as Ilissa Kemper. The duo, however, appear to have called it quits.
One cursory look is all it takes to know that Ming Maraj is related to Nicki Minaj. The two of them are spitting images of each other. Interestingly, no one knew the rapper had a younger sister until 2013 when Nicki took a rare move by sharing photos of her.
Despite that rare public acknowledgment of her existence, we still have little details about her. So far, all we know is she graduated high school in 2017 and has intentions of becoming a lawyer.
Maya Maraj and Brandon Lamar
The belief is one of Nicki Minaj’s siblings is Maya Maraj. Unfortunately, there is zero information about her to date. Such is the dearth of information about her that most outlets do not recognize her existence.
One sibling they recognize, however, is Brandon Lamar who is her half-brother. It is not clear which parent of Nicki is responsible for him. Brandon, who is also a rapper and singer, came into the limelight in 2007 after he released a music video. Since then, he has released additional songs like Raw, Dismissed, and Control. He was once reported to be signed to his sister’s label, Young Money.
Jelani Maraj is Nicki Minaj’s most popular sibling. He was born in Trinidad in 1979. He and Nicki Minaj spent their early childhood years in the country where life was far from breezy or healthy for them. They immigrated to Queens, New York when Jelani was 10 to join their mother who had moved there two years earlier.
There is little information available regarding Jelani’s academic history or what schools he attended. However, he owns a daycare institution in Queens called Ozone Park and had intentions of opening another one in New Jersey before his infamous arrest threw a wrench in his plans.
A few months before his legal troubles began, Jelani Maraj married his longtime girlfriend, Jacqueline Robinson in a lavish ceremony held at Coral Houses in Baldwin, New York. Nicki doled out over $30,000 to pay for the wedding.
Sadly, the marriage did not last. The couple parted ways after news broke that Jelani had been raping Jacqueline’s daughter since she was 11. After a lengthy trial, he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in January 2020.
The Relationship Nicki Minaj Has With Her Siblings
Not everyone has the luck of a beautiful and harmonious relationship with their siblings. But there is enough evidence to suggest Nicki Minaj is one of the lucky ones. While she keeps most of their interactions away from the media spotlight, the few that have made it onto her social media pages show siblings who love each other.
Their love has been forged over the years with their shared struggles. The family grew up poor and had an alcoholic father. One defining moment of their trouble-forged bond was when their father burned their house down in December 1987, forcing Nicki and a sibling to live with their grandmother.
This strong bond has manifested in different ways. Such as the time Nicki arranged a party for her youngest sibling’s birthday. She also once jokingly tweeted about finding a girlfriend for him.
Perhaps the most significant sign of their sibling bond was when Nicki paid Jelani’s $100,000 bail bond after he was arrested for raping a minor. She also employed a lawyer to defend him, further proving her loyalty and love to her siblings.