While I Am Not a Human Being drops on Wayne’s birthday, Tha Carter IV may not arrive in November after all. “Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know yet,” revealed Baby, who also spoke about the next player to bat, Nicki Minaj, and her debut album Pink Friday. “We ain’t never had a woman looked upon like that,” he said of Young Money’s First Lady.
Shanell took the blogosphere hostage with her Nicki Minaj-assisted single “Cupid’s Got a Gun.” Young Money’s femme fatale tells Rap-Up TV that the version that leaked is not the final one (“The other version is a lot more fun and upbeat”) and describes how the empowering song came to fruition one late night in the studio with her labelmate.
Plans are already underway for the video, which she will co-direct. “Mix Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal,’ Kill Bill, and Sin City, [and] stir that on up,” says Shanell of the concept.
SnL also drops knowledge on her 2011 debut album, a second mixtape coming this fall, and her newest role as the face of Married to the Mob’s Fall 2 collection.
Rick Ross breaks down how his “Monster” collaboration with Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj came about. “As I’m sitting in the room, I’m thinking to myself, this is what working on [Dr. Dre's] The Chronic must have felt like,” the Bawse told Rap-Up TV at the BMI Urban Music Awards.
He recalls being in the studio in Hawaii when Nicki Minaj wrote the rap that would outshine her fellow MCs. “That was the day Nicki Minaj earned my respect as a lyricist,” he revealed. “Before that day she was a great entertainer, but for me to get in the studio with my own two eyes and see her write her verse, I knew that was gonna be one of the greatest verses of this year.”
Ricky Rozay is shooting the blockbuster video for “Aston Martin Music” this week in Miami with Drake and Chrisette Michele. “This one will most definitely be another Avatar,” he teased.
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Hip-hop reached stadium status once again when Jay-Z and Eminem co-headlined the first of two sold-out shows at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Monday (Sept. 13). After performing at Comerica Park in Detroit last week, it was Jay-Z’s turn to take it back home.
The King of New York knocked it out of the park with an all-star lineup that included Drake, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beatz, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and his wife Beyoncé. The audience was just as star-studded with LeBron James, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Naomi Campbell all throwing up the diamond.
Check out fan footage of outside the stadium after the jump!
Sean Kingston always shows Rap-Up TV love when we catch up with him. At Sunday’s VMAs, the “Letting Go (Dutty Love)” singer stopped by to chat about Nicki Minaj’s reaction to the comments he made about her in our previous interview (“She BBM’d me about it”), the guests on his upcoming album, and why he’s looking forward to Kanye West’s project.
With her snappy bicurious lyrics and out-of-this-world costume changes, Nicki Minaj is soaring in the most peculiar way. Does she have what it takes to change rap’s homophobic landscape forever?
Nicki Minaj is a 25-year-old rapper from Queens, New York, with a wickedly clever flow and never-ending supply of pop culture punch lines. Except when she’s Roman Zolanski, her gay male alter ego, who spits saucy verses at warp speed. Or the character Nicki Lewinsky, who cozies up to President Carter — better known as superstar rapper Lil Wayne — on a handful of salacious mix tape tracks. She raps about signing her fans’ boobs in a bugged-out Valley girl accent. She’s the first female hip-hop artist to hit number 1 on Billboard’s top rap singles chart since 2003. She’s stolen the spotlight on songs with pop heavyweights Mariah Carey and Usher. And she’s done it all while playing hip-hop’s most dangerous game: sexuality roulette.
Minaj may or may not be attracted to women (more on that later), but she draws a fierce gay following with her brazen lyrics and outsize persona. Beneath her blunt-cut bangs lies a cunning mind capable of weaving sports metaphors and references to ’80s sitcoms into complex rhymes about scoring with girls and blowing guys’ minds. Lady Gaga’s audience was primed to accept her as a sexually adventurous nonconformist by artists like Madonna and David Bowie, but in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj is a real space oddity. Rap has never seen a mainstream rising star this eccentric and brave, yet for all Minaj’s curious artistic choices (two-tone wigs, spontaneous British dialects, shout-outs to Harry Potter) she’s also incredibly popular. She has nearly 1.1 million Twitter followers and a cadre of famous fans like Kanye West, who recently proclaimed she could be the second-biggest rapper of all time, behind Eminem. When her first official album, Pink Friday, arrives in November, Minaj won’t just be the “baddest bitch,” as she calls herself — she’ll be a bona fide phenomenon.
Three years ago, Minaj was an unknown from 50 Cent’s neighborhood trying to get noticed on MySpace. Her mom had filled her childhood home with music (“I knew the whole Diana Ross collection before I was 8,” she says), but her father introduced her to violence. On the 2008 track “Autobiography,” she raps about how her drug-addicted dad tried to burn down the family’s house with her mom still inside. Despite the turmoil — or perhaps because of it — young Nicki was passionately creative. She wrote her first rhyme before she turned 12 (“Cookie’s the name, chocolate chip is the flavor / Suck up my style like a cherry Life Saver”) and attended LaGuardia High School, the arts academy immortalized in Fame, where she studied drama and generated plenty of it.
“I was definitely one of those girls where you heard me before you saw me,” Minaj recalls, kicking off a pair of velvety platform heels in a tidy Los Angeles hotel suite and stretching out her calves, which are tightly wrapped in black leather leggings. She pondered careers as a bus driver or lawyer and worked a day job at Red Lobster saving up money for studio time. When she started to get serious about music, her then-manager recommended she change her name to Minaj (she was born Onika Maraj). Though she now admits she hated it, she obliged, tarting up her image for her first mix tape, 2007’s Playtime Is Over, which opens with a sex line call to 1-900-MS-MINAJ. After she skillfully remade the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning” for the DVD documentary The Come Up, she got a call from Lil Wayne. Over the course of two more mix tapes under his supervision, 2008’s Sucka Free and 2009’s Beam Me Up Scotty, she developed ferocious new identities, penned jaw-dropping explicit raps, and emerged as the first lady of Wayne’s Young Money crew. She also started to fend off pervy guys stalking her online by playing to her female fans.
“I started making it my business to say things that would empower women, like, ‘Where my bad bitches at?’ to let them know, ‘I’m here for you,’ ” she says. “Then, when I started going to the shows and it was nothing but girls, it was like, Did I go too far with embracing my girls? Because now they want to kiss and hug me.
Minaj may have encouraged all the lady love with lyrics that imply she’s sexually flexible — or at least curious. None of the famous female rappers rumored to be queer have dared utter the L word, but Minaj has used it repeatedly: “I only stop for pedestrians or a real, real bad lesbian,” she raps on “Go Hard.” On Usher’s “Lil Freak” she trolls the club for a chick with “a real big ol’ ghetto booty” for a ménage à trois, and in the song’s video, which has been viewed more than four million times on YouTube, she spends more time rubbing up on a female conquest than she does with its star.
Nicki Minaj made her VMA debut with a choreographed performance of a sped-up “Your Love,” backed by dancers who mimed her moves as she fast-forwarded to the future with her full-length body suit and pink beehive. Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, clad like a porcelain doll, joined the Harajuku Barbie for her new single “Check It Out,” which closed out the performance with a bang. Watch above and get in the VMA spirit.
Here is the video of Nicki Minaj presenting an award with Katy Perry for “Best Male Video” which Eminem won:
Nicki Minaj has received endorsements from Kanye West and Jay-Z, and now she’s getting the stamp of approval from a hip-hop pioneer. Rev Run stopped by the AXE Lounge over Labor Day weekend in Southampton, New York, and gave his blessing to the Young Money femcee. “Nicki Minaj is pretty amazing,” declared the Run-D.M.C. frontman.
The proud papa also spoke about another up-and-comer close to his heart, his son Diggy Simmons, and whether his offspring will be collaborating with Justin Bieber. Plus, listen as the Reverend shares his words of wisdom on how to treat a lady. Father knows best.
Nicki Minaj performed lastnight in Tampa, FL at the “Last Damn Show” and we have gathered clips of her performances from it. She did a set which contained, “Lil’ Freak”, “My Chick Bad”, “Bottoms Up” and also a “Tribute to Lil’ Wayne” including others. You can click more to continue reading and see the rest of the videos. You may check out photos from the performance in the gallery here.