Nicki Minaj said she cried when she watched the audition of the little girl set to play her, Ariana Neal

By Char Adams
Updated December 20, 2015 03:55 PM
Credit: Paul Morigi/WireImage

Nicki Minaj’s childhood will be chronicled in a new television series – and the cast has already been selected!

The 33-year-old rapper took to Instagram over the weekend to gush about Ariana Neal, the 11-year-old selected to play a young Minaj in the upcoming ABC Family series Nicki.

“I literally cried watching her taped audition. I demanded to meet her!” Minaj captioned a photo of the little girl.

“Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat! Lol. Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She’s tough And so sweet & cute #ArianaNeal #LilNicki Welcome to the family lil lady bug!”

Both Minaj and ABC Family posted an Instagram photo announcing the cast, including model/actress Selita Ebanks, Wesley Jonathan and Whoopi Goldberg.

The half-hour series is based on Minaj’s childhood in Queens, New York, after she and her family migrated from Trinidad in the ’90s, according to ABC Family.

The 33-year-old rapper will executive-produce and appear in the series, CNN reports. Filming is set to being in January.

ABC Family will rebrand itself as Freeform in January, the company announced in October.