Racialicious had a really interesting article about kpop a few days ago. See here.
It’s especially relevant because 2ne1 recently won the “Best New Band” on MTV Iggy, and the post in racialicious also deals with their hypothesized debut in the US.
There are many seemingly similar concepts between the two stars, but I don’t know if Nicki Minaj specifically broke down any doors for 2ne1. They actually have very different music styles, and images, but one can get confused because both artists both dress in wild colors/patterns, “urban” style, etc. I don’t know if Nicki Minaj’s image being accepted so well here in the US will play a role for 2ne1 because honestly, I don’t think that US fans would associate 2ne1 with Nicki, thereby decreasing any chance of acceptance though that mode. I think 2ne1 will be accepted here on their own, most likely because of the unique-ness of being a KOREAN band.