Trinidad-American rap sensation Nicki Minaj’s rise to superstardom was not an easy road but not surprising.

The Pink Friday raptress shares with E! her inspiring journey from working at Red Lobster to becoming the reigning queen of hip-hop in a special documentary.

Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, left Trinidad at the age of 5 and moved to New York where she studied theater at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art before pursuing a career in rap and eventually getting signed to Young Money by Lil Wayne.

Minaj speaks about growing up poor, seeing the struggles of her family and stealing her dad’s car before getting her license. In the documentary, she revealed how Lil Wayne almost cut her verse from the Young Money hit single Bedrock and the fifth grade teacher who “change her life.”

See below commentary from her parents, childhood friends, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, DJ Clue, and Laurieann Gibson.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3