Nicki Minaj's cousin murdered in Brooklyn
Published Tuesday, July 5, 2011 11:14AM EDT
Nicki Minaj's cousin has been murdered.
The 'Check It Out' rapper – who is currently supporting Britney Spears on tour – has been left devastated by the death of her relative Nicholas, who was killed in Brooklyn, New York City, on Sunday.
Alongside a picture of Nicholas, Nicki tweeted: "Lived in Brooklyn his whole life. My precious cousin. My baby. Killed last nite. (sic)"
The hip-hop star later added another snap, which was accompanied by the words: "My cousin Nicholas. Also goes by Juse… Murdered. Last nite. Near his home. Brooklyn, NY. (sic)"
No other details about the murder are yet known.
Family has always been important to Nicki and she recently revealed she is motivated by making a better life for her mother.
The 26-year-old rapper - who moved from Trinidad to the US at the age of five - admitted living in a three-bedroom home with 15 other people and then seeing her father fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse made her determined to "kick ass" with her music.
She said: "In Trinidad we didn't have much. Then my parents moved to the States and then they sent for me, and I thought everything was going to be great.
"But my father fell victim to drug and alcohol abuse, so it was an uphill battle for a very, very long time. He was really, really addicted. My mother had to make ends meet the best way she knew how.
"Really, when I talk about my life in records like 'I'm The Best' I'm just saying, 'Hey, after all of this, here's what I've accomplished.' "What motivated me was that I wanted to get my mother out of her situation, so I always wanted to kick ass at whatever I did."