The early 2000s started off amazing for Nivea when she started off the decade featuring on one of the biggest records of that year with one of the biggest rappers. People all over the world would be singing the words “Been so long since he’s been on. So please, show me, what it is that you want to see!” from the clubs to the cars to the bedroom, and from there the platform was set.
In the year 2002, Nivea saw the release of her third single “Don’t Mess With My Man” hit the top ten on Billboard, bringing all sorts of opportunity. That year would also bring new love for the singer, as she would begin dating rapper Lil’ Wayne, whom she calls her “first love”. According to Nivea, the “Lollipop” rapper’s record label reached out to her people in attempts to get her as a feature on his record, however, it turned out he just wanted her phone number. The two dated for a few months before a Christmas proposal would change the direction of their relationship.
“Wayne said, ‘I got your Christmas present with me and you’re gonna love it. It’s gonna make you smile,’” she said in a 2003 interview with Sister-to-Sister Magazine. “He got down on his knee and he was like, ‘I know I’m young, but I’ve been through enough relationships to know and understand the meaning of what love is.’ He was just perfect.”
The young couple was very mum about their engagement, as many missed the fact that she was sporting the engagement ring in the video for her debut self-titled album’s fourth and final single, “Laundromat”, written and produced by R. Kelly. In the same interview, she revealed that March 9th of 2004 was the date the New Orleans rapper chose for them to be wed, in honor of the date that his mother and late father were married.
Nivea also spoke on wanting to have children with the rapper. “I want a little boy very much right now,” she confessed. “Wayne’s daughter is just wonderful. She’s a beautiful little girl.” However, the engagement wouldn’t last due to Wayne calling it off before they could walk down the aisle.
Love would come quickly again for the singer who, in 2004, married The-Dream and had three children together with the “Falsetto” singer. After three short years of marriage, it would be reported that the two would be divorcing, with The-Dream saying in an interview that he was changing into a bitter person and didn’t want it to affect the way he treated her. She, however, claimed the decision to end the marriage was not a mutual one. “He wanted to do it, I didn’t, but it’s done. I’m dealing with it,” she said.
Perhaps fate would bring Nivea and her ex-fiancee’ to reconnect following her divorce to Dream. “He reached back out like, ‘Where have you been?’ It had been five years,” Nivea recalled in an interview with VladTV. “He wanted to apologize for the way it ended before. And I needed a damn friend. I felt like the whole world was laughing at me.”
Things were different now for both of them, as she was now mother to three children, and he was expecting a child with ex-girlfriend Sarah Vivian. That didn’t stop her from accepting his proposal a second time around in 2009.
“When we reconnected, I had three [kids],” Nivea said. “I wasn’t pregnant. That’s not the reason he proposed to me or anything like that. I took it for, ‘You accepted mine.’ If this occurred before us and we’re just now getting back to it, why wouldn’t I accept that son if you’re telling me you want to marry me? So that was that.”
Her wishes to bear a son for Lil’ Wayne would soon come true after their reconciliation. Wayne made the vague announcement while accepting his award for Lyricist Of The Year at that year’s Bet Hip-Hop Awards. “I got a son about to be born any day now, so shout-out to him. Pray for me,” he said to the crowd.
Nivea reveals that it wasn’t the greatest of times, however, because the day she found out the two were expecting a brand new bundle of joy, she’d also be usurped with news actress Lauren London was also pregnant with his seed. “I found out the day I was confirmed pregnant with our son that he had another one that should be expected three months ahead of ours,” Nivea said. “I’m like ‘Wow.’ Then my mama died. So yeah, life!”
She added, “I ended our relationship while I was carrying our son was because I couldn’t take that. I thought I could. I’m a different type of woman. I was like, ‘You know what? You love me? F— it!’ But then I realized that’s not what I wanted. So I let it go.”
With all that was occurring in her life at the same time, the singer felt overwhelmed but revealed that she found comfort in a surprising ally. “It was very crushing, then she and I became very close, ironically, after he and I decided to let it go,” she said of London. “She was a real good friend to me during my mother’s death. I know that sounds weird, but we were two people going through something that was along the lines of humiliating. It felt like, who else could you share this oddly unique situation with?”
“We called each other to get information because she and I were both previous relationships of his in our younger years as well,” she continued, “but it was our first time ever talking. We talked about all kinds of stuff from the past and in that we connected as friends. It’s still a testament to the type of man he is because all of his baby mothers, we’re all cool with each other. We get now that the children are here, damn it! They’re here now. You can’t take nothing back. So we are the best mothers that I’ve ever seen in a group with the same baby father. I think it’s amazing.”