"I am honored and excited to announce that I've literally hand picked the main characters of my scripted series," Minaj said Friday on Instagram
ABC Family confirmed in a news release that Ariana Neal will portray Minaj in her early years, before she became internationally known.
"Nicki," a single-camera comedy, will be based on the 33-year-old rapper's childhood, her family's migration from Trinidad in the 1990s, and her upbringing in Queens, New York.
Minaj said she became emotional after watching Neal perform.
Whoopi Goldberg to guest star
"I literally cried watching her taped audition. I demanded to meet her!" Minaj wrote.
Other cast members: Selita Ebanks ("Real Husbands of Hollywood") will play the role of Grace, Nicki's mother; Wesley Jonathan ("The Soul Man") will play Vincent, Nicki and Jaylen's father; and McCarrie McCausland ("Army Wives," "The Originals") has been cast as Jaylen, Nicki's older brother.
Whoopi Goldberg will guest star as Nicki's neighbor, Miss Martha.
Minaj is no stranger to acting. She has had roles in "Barbershop: The Next Cut" and "The Other Woman," and she voiced a character in "Ice Age: Continental Drift."
She will appear in the show and also be executive producer. The network confirmed in October its commitment to the development of the series.
The show will begin shooting in January with an air date to be determined, according to a network spokesperson.
ABC Family will rebrand itself to Freeform in January.