xxlmag.com sat down with Producer J.Reid and talked about how he helped Nicki Minaj return to rap.
XXL: How did you first link up with Nicki Minaj to record “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz”?
J. Reid: One of my partners—Brinx Billions—was working with Nicki. He did a record with her and it was so crazy that she was like, “Who did the beat?” He told her that I did it and she was like, “We might need to fly him out here.” My first trip to meet her was Miami. I went out there so excited. She was just like, “I love your music. You’re talented, I’m just trying to put some stuff together.” So I was like, “I’m ready.” From that, it’s just been ballgame. Coming back and forth, going in and out of town, working at home and showing out.
When did that meeting happen in Miami?
It was probably late December. Everything came to fruition around that time. She was looking to start her project—she probably had already started it. But the certain sound she wanted, I was able to cater.
Nicki Minaj has revealed plans to “focus on rap” for her next studio album.
The singer has discussed plans for her third outing, explaining that she aims to avoid making pop songs for the new collection.
“I was thinking if I really wanted to, I could go back and make another pop song… but I’m choosing not to do it,” Minaj told US radio station Hot 97.
“I’m choosing to get back to my essence and feed the core hip-hop fan. I feel like I need this because it’s just a more powerful platform for me. Even when I’m on stage performing my rap songs, it’s more organic.”
She added: “I’ve been getting back to that place where I was before I dropped my first album which is ‘kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill everything’. I agree that Nicki Minaj should focus on rap… now.
However, the star insisted that she does not regret releasing pop tracks, saying: “I wanted to experiment. My whole career has been a playing field to try new things.
“I never put a limit on myself. You should be able to try whatever the hell you want, as long as you keep your integrity.”
Minaj’s new collection will serve as the follow-up to 2012’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which topped the US and UK charts.
Roman is getting his revenge this Valentine’s Day. Nicki Minaj has announced the title of her next album, Pink Friday: ROMAN RELOADED, due for release on February 14, 2012.
Barbz and Kenz a new Nicki Minaj album is closer than you think. Nicki’s Cash Money boss, Birdman, has revealed that the rapper is prepping the release of her Pink Friday follow-up for the first quarter in 2012, which presumably means that we’ll soon hear what the “Super Bass” songstress has been cooking up for the highly-anticipated release.There’s even some talk that Nicki, who is reportedly hard at work on her sophomore LP, could drop a new single by year’s end. Hold on to your pink wig.
“Nicki’s back in the studio, so we’re looking to drop Nicki in the first quarter,” Brian “Birdman” Williams said in an interview with Billboard.com. He went on to dish that Minaj could potentially drop new music sometime before year-end. “Maybe this year? I don’t know,” he added about releasing a single before 2012 strikes. “We’re really thinking it out. But she’s in the studio, and we’re looking real soon, because she’s ready to go and we’re ready to go with her.”
Earlier this month, BET reported that Minaj posted a blog post about how her alter-ego Roman would play a part in her new music. Although the post was later removed, the MC teased that Roman is out for revenge.
“Roman will be in rare form this time. You know why? Cuz he no longer gives a f—,” she wrote. “He has two more weeks in boarding school. We’re going to pick him up now. When he lands, he will address the nation in the form of music. He will also announce the date.”
Whether or not Roman will have anything to do with this record, Minaj’s Pink Friday producer Kane Beatz recently told MTV News, “We got one so far. She’s in L.A. goin’ crazy. … She just started, so she’s really picking her music and picking the songs. She’s real selective. She’ll pick all the beats before she even starts writing, so right now, we’re just getting music together, and it’s goin’ crazy right now.” [Source]
1. Tune This
2. Team Player – feat. Birdman
3. Fore Play
4. They Love Me – feat. Drake & Nicki Minaj
5. John (If I Die Today) – feat. Rick Ross
6. No Competition
7. Holy Grail (History) – feat. Kanye West
8. Carter Cash – feat. Jay-Z
9. 6 Foot 7 Foot – feat. Corey Gunz
10. Play My Game – feat. Tech N9ne
11. Anne – feat. Swizz Beatz
12. Street Life
13. Hard Talk – feat. Bon Iver & Game
14. Fall From Grace – feat. Eminem
15. Brain Dead – feat. Gucci Mane
16. No Trust
17. Maybe She Will – feat. Drake & Rick Ross
18. My Legacy
It’s taken 11 weeks, but Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday has finally hit No. 1. The Young Money rapper sits atop the Billboard 200, selling an additional 45,000 copies of her debut album to push her sales past the one million mark.
The Harajuku Barbie is one of the few artists to enter below the top spot and later claim it as their own, according to Billboard. Last year, Lil Wayne’s I Am Not a Human Being was the sole album to bow outside of No. 1 and then top the chart further on in time. Pink Friday debuted at No. 2 in November and has charted every week since inside the top 10.
“We finally did it! PINK FRIDAY is the #1 Album in the United States of America!!!!! *faints* thank u sooooo much for the continued support!” tweeted the humbled raptress, tickled pink.
Elsewhere on the chart, Bruno Mars rises from No. 5 to 4 with Doo-Wops & Hooligans, while Rihanna’s Loud moves 13-5. Eminem’s Recovery, nominated for Album of the Year at this Sunday’s Grammys, rests at No. 9.
Pink has turned platinum. Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday, has been certified platinum after shipping 1 million units in the U.S. since it dropped on November 22. According to the RIAA, it received the certification on December 17, less than one month after its release.
“Pink Friday remains the #2 Rap Album and the #4 Album in the country on Billboard’s 200. Thank you for your continued support,” wrote Nicki on Twitter after her album moved up from No. 8 to 4 on this week’s Billboard 200.
Additionally, her collabo with Trey Songz, “Bottoms Up,” crosses the double-platinum threshold this week. “And to top it all off, ‘Bottoms Up’ is double platinum. S/O 2 @TreySongz who woulda thought… *sings* all around the wooorld do ya hear me?” said the Harajuku Barbie.
Throughout the year, one of the biggest question marks was Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday.’ Her debut album had tons of buzz, but many questioned how a hip-hop record by a female would sell in this day and age. Would Nicki be able to steer her own ship to the big numbers demanded by record executives and expected by fans? Well, the answer is a resounding “yes” as ‘Pink Friday’ has gone gold and even outsold Kanye West’s monstrous ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ over the past week.
‘Pink Friday,’ which was officially released three weeks ago, pushed past 500,000 units by moving an additional 81,900 in the past week. With these steady sales numbers, the collection held down the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and beat Kanye’s weekly numbers by approximately 16,000 copies.
Minaj hasn’t been shy about the fact that her record outsold all female hip-hop artists other than Lauryn Hill in its first week, but sustained sales are what go beyond the hype and show if the public is truly connecting to the music beyond the usual first-week marketing.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Minaj talked about future expectations for herself. “There’s some songs I just won’t write because I’m afraid of it not meeting my expectation of what I know that song could be,” she said. “I don’t compete with other people, I compete with myself.”
With one of the only gold hip-hop albums of the year, Minaj has set the competition bar pretty high.