They became known internationally after their appearance on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race where they placed sixth overall. Brown is known for their creative and unique make-up looks, often using unconventional materials such as paper in their drag looks. After winning the first main challenge of the season and being praised by Lady Gaga for her talent, Brown became a fan favourite through the seasons run. Despite this, Brown's habit of putting herself down and being her own worst enemy eventually got the better of her. Perhaps her most famous moment in the show is during the season's fifth episode where the queens are tasked with a "Rusical" focusing on the Kardashians. Brown was not given the role of Blac Chyna and voiced her thoughts openly. The moment has been called back in later seasons as well as being a meme online since.
Brown is also known for their popular YouTube channel with the series, Rawview where she reviews the latest episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race, giving unfiltered and sometimes controversial opinions. Brown has also appeared in advertising campaigns for MAC Cosmetics (for their Aaliyah collection) in 2018 as well as in Paper Magazine, dressed as a humanoid zebra.
Nina Bonina Brown provides examples of the below tropes:
- Costume Porn: Nina provided some epic examples of freaky and eccentric runways during RuPaul's Drag Race, including a metallic alien princess, a peach-headed woman and a faceless lace monster inspired by Lady Gaga.
- Despair Event Horizon: Has stated that if she didn't get onto RuPaul's Drag Race on the ninth season, she would have quit drag as the multiple rejections were exaggerating symptoms of anxiety and depression she was suffering from.
- Her Own Worst Enemy: Her self doubt eventually got the better of her on RuPaul's Drag Race and after eliminating a queen and feeling guilty about it, she lands in the bottom two the following week and is eliminated from the competition herself.
- Paper Master: Her trademark is using unconventional materials in her drag looks, including paper and clay.
- Running Gag: Adding in lots of names into her own name such as Nina Bonina Fofana Osama Bin Laden Brown.