By Kevin McGarry
Nicki Minaj is the Cindy Sherman of rap. Since making a splash recreating Lil’ Kim’s infamous bikini-squat pose for the cover of her 2008 mixtape “Sucka Free,” Minaj — a 24-year-old, multiracial (she is of African, Trinidadian and Indo-Asian descent) Queens-born rapper — has assumed the roles of Marilyn Monroe, Chaka Khan, Mickey Mouse and even Harry Potter’s pal Hermione. Now Minaj, a protégée of the rap impresario Lil’ Wayne, is drawing attention for her searing new summer album, “Beam Me Up Scotty,” and her accompanying reinvention in Wonder Woman drag.
Female M.C.’s have traditionally had their choice of two routes up the charts: showboat their brutal expertise in all things streets and sheets (Foxy Brown, Remy Ma, Trina) or affect an unthreatening and palatable pop persona (Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Lil’ Mama). Minaj has hybridized a course all her own, blending keen pop culture whimsy with lyrical power trips fit for the boardroom, a sporadic and unexplained London accent and flourishes of gale-force girlishness that make Mariah Carey look like Miranda from “Sex and the City.” Plus she’s got a great ear for hits — in addition to her original material, she’s re-recorded verses over many of the year’s best tracks as if they were her own. Minaj, now the world is ready for you, and the wonders you can do.
Check out Nicki Minaj’s website and selections from her new mixtape “Beam Me Up Scotty” at myspace.com/nickiminaj.
Hey Boo Boo, what’s good? No we’ve never met, so this may seem awkward, but this is Rob the Music Ed. from XXL and I got something I just wanna put out there. I started hearing your name bubbling early 2008, but never really knew. Then DJ Sickamore showed up to the office with your Sucka Free mixtape. The cover was something else and the music was cool, you had a few joints on there. But I’m not the jump out the window type, feel me? I had to make sure you were here to stay. Instead I just kept my eye on you, admiring from a far.
Now my love for hip-hop femininity probably began with Lil’ Kim, but that was B.I.G.’s girl and you know how Brooklyn do; we don’t play disrespect. Then there was Lauryn. We started talkin’ to each other around the same time The Score came out and she became my official girl when The Miseducation… dropped, but then she left me for that Marley dude and has been M.I.A. ever since. Fuck it, her loss. I ain’t gonna lie ma, there were flings with Foxy, Shawnna, Trina; but not Remy though, she was dope but I heard too many lyrics about her beasting-out on dudes. (Hold your head Rem; we got stoopid love for you). Still, there was no single rap female that could completely hold me down. I got needs girl; your spit game gotta be crazy, flows gotta be wet and your sex appeal gotta be through the roof.
By Jenna Talavera
Last week, I tagged along with MTV News for the Mixtape Daily shoot with Nicki Minaj at Baisley Pond Park in Queens, New York (I live just a few minutes away). A lot of people in Queens have much respect for Nicki as a writer, singer and artist whose lyrical content is fun and playful — but don’t forget, she has a flow so crazy she can hurt your feelings. She’s been highly recognized after working with Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne and the Young Money Crew.
Waiting for her to arrive at the park, I didn’t know what to expect or even make of the day ahead of me. The only thing that came to mind was “Nicki Minaj is a bad bi—!” (in the best way possible!) She stepped out of the white SUV in a white tank top, glittery pink leggings, and strapped heels, complemented by gold earrings, big chains and bracelets. After going through the details of how the interview would get started, she had a few creative ideas of her own. She wanted to incorporate bikes into the shoot, and for her to take creative direction showed me that she has no problem voicing how she wanted her segment to look.
After meeting up with Atlanta’s DJ Holiday, the interview got started with Nicki sitting on a blue motorcycle while her girls stood next to her and the guys stood behind her wearing “I Wanna Minaj” T-shirts. A yellow Ferrari rolled up next to us, followed by a group of dirt bikes doing wheelies and other stunts around the park.
Yeah, you are going to hear a bunch of more-than-just-friendly shout-outs to the ladies — Nicki says she loves the girls and has no problem surrounding herself with “bad bitches.”
“A bad bitch is an exclusive, smart girlie-girl who holds her own,” she explained. Minaj is from the same Southside Queens neighborhood as Mixtape Daily co-founder and host Shaheem Reid.
“Seeing a lot of crackheads — a lot of drug dealers,” she said, describing the neighborhood when she was growing up. “I was on crack. I went to rehab. … No, I spit that crack. That’s what I meant.”
Minaj attended LaGuardia High School — the performing arts school on which the movie “Fame” was based — where she studied not music, but acting. She got into rapping after hanging around all her dudes who rhymed.
“I used to make stuff up and spit it and eventually just started getting dope — I think people just started taking me serious,” she said. Nicki was discovered by Lil Wayne a couple of years after the New Orleans MC saw her on the street DVD “On the Come Up.” “I was OK, but I wasn’t focusing on the music. I was doing pictures and stuff like that, so people knew me more for pictures than my music,” she continued. “But with the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape, they have to take me seriously as an artist. So, I would say maybe a year ago, I started sharpening my skills. Recently, I’ve been singing more. Now it’s official — it’s going down like ‘Town Julie Brown.”
2. I Get Crazy ft. Lil Wayne
3. Itty Bitty Piggy
4. Slumber Party ft. Gucci Mane
5. Kill Da Dj
6. Mind On My Money ft. Brinx & Busta Rhymes
8. Still I Rise
9. Go Hard ft. Lil Wayne
10. Nicki Minaj Speaks
11. Best I Ever Had ft. Drake
12. Handstand ft. Shannell
13. Keys Under Palm Trees
14. Get Silly
15. Easy ft. Gucci Mane & Rocko
16. Five-O ft. Jae Millz & Gudda Gudda
17. Nicki Minaj Speaks
18. I Feel Free ft. Ron Browz, Red Cafe, Ricki Blaze
19. Can Anybody Hear Me
20. Girls Kissing Girls ft. Gucci Mane
This is only the rumored tracklisting for the new mixtape.
By Marisa Mendez
The hip-hop industry has had quite a drought in estrogen as of late. Remy Martin is locked up, Foxy Brown has had her fair share of issues, Eve crossed over into acting and never came back, and Kim is busy dancin’ with the “stars.” But Southside Jamaica, Queens looks like it has a cloudy forecast, and just may be providing us with the rain to end the drought….in the form of Young Money Entertainment’s Nicki Minaj.
At 23, this female emcee already holds the coveted “first lady” position on the label of one of the music industry’s biggest stars, Lil Wayne. So what’s all the hype about? Minaj has been honing her skills for years. An alumnus of the famous performing arts high school of FAME notoriety, Nicki is actually not only a skilled rapper, but trained in writing, acting and singing as well. Lending vocals to local acts in her Queens neighborhood garnered the attention of popular DVD magazine The Come Up, providing Nicki with the now infamous segment that caught Lil Wayne’s attention. He quickly courted her to be the only female representer of his Young Money imprint in 2007, and two whirl-wind years later, nearly every record company now has a bid in to this femcee.
With a brand new mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, just released, a successful run on Wayne’s I AM Music tour under her belt, and two critically acclaimed mixtapes, Playtime is Over and Sucka Free in the bag…is it safe to say Nicki Minaj is hip-hop’s next big thing? You decide. And while you do, you can read the influences behind the raptress that has the industry buzzing.
“His creativity is I just think really unmatched. I think his ability to stand out in a crowd is unmatched. And I think that he’s one of the only people that still have fun. You know Wayne can say the hottest lines but he’s still having fun with those lines. He’ll make you laugh; he can make you angry wit his raps, he can make you cry. But he’s very versatile I feel. He does the singing and all that stuff and he’s the only one that’s not afraid to venture out and try new things. I think that’s dope.”
“His swag. I don’t think anyone in the WORLD has more swag than Jay. He also is another one that I felt is really, really creative. But I think with Jay he kind of always played his role. Never tried to be someone else, never tried to do anything else but just be Jay-Z…and it works really well for him. His lyrics are incredible and you know I think he did a great job to put New York on the map.”
“Famous on The Internet”, With Hip-Hop’s Rising Stars
Monday, March 30, 2009, New York, NY- Freelance media correspondent, Jabari, is set to release a digital compilation album featuring artists such as Pusha-T (The Clipse), Wale, Nicki Minaj, Raheem Devaughn, Max B, Young Chris, Curren$y, Charles Hamilton and many more.
The album, entitled Famous on The Internet, “represents the future of music and pop culture. Today’s technology is allowing me to put together the greatest independent hip-hop compilation ever while giving fans from all over the world an opportunity to participate in the process every step of the way,” says Jabari. “Hip-Hop is beginning to shift back to lyricism, but at the same time people still want to party and dance. This project is going to fuse the two worlds, and there’s no doubt that people will be surprised with the features I have in store”.
Looks like Nicki stays gettin it in! She will be featured in the remix video for “Make The Trap Say Aye” by OJ Da Juiceman.
“Cam’ron has a crazy style,” Gucci said. “He killed the verse. It’s one of the hottest verses I heard from Cam in a minute.”
Cam’ron was supposed to be in the video, shot Tuesday, but he had a problem with his flight and didn’t make it down to the A. In the clip, Gucci, DJ Holiday and Nicki Minaj are being chased through the ‘hood by the feds, and evade the authorities by fleeing from different locations.
“The concept is just coming from being a street artist and making street music,” OJ explained. “[It] was right up my alley, the best concept I could have ever come up with.”
That’s right. You can say that you heard it here first, that Nicki Minaj has worked with Tearri Mari on her second studio album, “At That Point”, which is due to drop April 7th.
At That Point is the upcoming second studio album by American R&B singer Teairra Marí, scheduled to be released under a joint venture between Warner Bros./Fo’Reel Ent The first single from the album is “Hunt 4 U”, featuring R&B artist Pleasure P. During an interview with Timothy Hodge via radio confirmed that she has worked with serveral other artists including, Pleasure P, Flo Rida, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West.
Go Nicki! Can’t wait to see what they did together. And as soon as it drops, you will find it here.
In addition to Rebirth, Wayne is still working on Tha Carter IV, the Hot Boys reunion LP and an album featuring all the artists on his Young Money label, including Mack Maine, Jae Millz, Kid Kid and Nicki Minaj.
Wayne and friends start touring again March 17 in Providence, Rhode Island, and finally end on March 31 in Salt Lake City.
I Am Music’s new set of tour dates, according to Lil Wayne’s camp:
· 3/17 – Providence @ Dunkin Donuts Center
· 3/18 – Wallingford @ Chevrolet Theatre
· 3/19 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
· 3/20 – Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena
· 3/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Concesco Fieldhouse
· 3/23 – San Antonio, TX @ ATT Center
· 3/25 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Ford Center
· 3/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Amphitheatre
· 3/31 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Energy Solution Arena