Sep, 26 2010
Young Money’s cash chick tells us a thing or two
BY KELLEY L. CARTER
FIRE-RED WIG ASIDE, DOES IT GET ANY HOTTER RIGHT NOW THAN NICKI MINAJ?
By now, you’ve heard her animated vocals on a club banger and, at the very least, wondered just who this 25-year-old female rapper/singer thinks she is. We chat with her right before she puts the finishing touches on her debut album, Pink Friday, due in November, and find out.
ON WHY SHE’S SO HOT RIGHT: People gravitate toward good music. And l like to think that he majority of what I’ve put out falls into that category.
ON WHY SHE WEARS THOSE COLORFUL WIGS: You can be a new person every day. That’s how I feel. I feel like when I change my hair, I’m a different person.
ON WHY SHE KEEPS IT –KIND OF- CLEAN: My fans seem to get younger and younger. So it’s very important for me to speak to a child differently than I would speak to an adult. And when all a child can hear is your music and see the way you dress, that’s the only thing you can really use to kind of steer [him or her] in the right direction. So I toned it down a bit. The music will always remain authentic. So taking out a few curse words every now and then doesn’t make you less credible of a rapper.
ON MEETING LIL WAYNE, HER BOSS: It was nerve-racking. I was very nervous. I wanted to postpone it as long as possible. He’s very intimidating. But it was a great meeting. We spoke for hours and when I walked out of that meeting. I didn’t know if I got the gig to be a part of Young Money. But I did feel like I’d just met an icon, and that was good enough for me.
ON HER BIGGEST FEMALE RAP INFLUENCE: Lauryn Hill. She really changed my life. She probably changed millions of lives around the world. But she changed my life on a music aspect.
ON WHY SHE LOVES MIXTAPES: That’s the only route I could take. I didn’t have an option. What do you do when you don’t have a major behind you, and you know that you have skills and you’re talented and you want the world to hear you? You put it on a mixtape. It’s all about taking you destiny into you own hands.
ON WHAT’S SHOCKED HER MOST ABOUT FAME: How judgmental people can be. That’s the biggest thing. It’s almost like people act like they’re perfect and it makes them feel better to put you donw. That’s the only shocking part. I always knew there’d be jealousy and envy. I guess that doesn’t change, even in the real world, so to speak. There’s jealousy and envy when you’re doing better than people. But I was taken aback by it. It was very shocking in the beginning.
ON WHAT DATING IS LIKE FOR HER NOW: I don’t date guys. I hang out with my girls. They’re sexier, anyway, and they’re more fun. And less needy.
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So far, Nicki Minaj is batting .500 when it comes to her singles. The over-hyped “Massive Attack” faded faster than a narcoleptic, and her tame (by Barbiez standards) “Your Love” landed atop the Billboard Rap Songs chart.
However, Cash Money co-founder Bryan “Birdman/Baby” Williams thinks “Right Through Me,” which leaked online Wednesday, will take the Lil Wayne protégé to “another level.”
“She’s doing it: She’s showing that she’s skillful,” Williams told MTV News about the song, which will arrive October 1. “She’s singing, she’s representing being a lady, and it’s raw. I think it’s a huge record on all formats. It’s just one of them songs to me.”
“Right Through Me,” which Williams described as Minaj’s first official single, features her rapping in a conversational tone over swaying, synth-heavy production.
“You make me laugh, you make hoarse,” she raps. “From yelling at you and getting at you, picking up dishes, throwing them at you/ Why are you speaking, when no one asked you?
“You see right through me,” she sings on the chorus. “How do you do that sh–?”
The song is set to appear on her Pink Friday album, set for release November 23. The project is tentatively slated to feature collaborations with Swizz Beatz, Lil Wayne and the Neptunes.
During the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards pre-show, Minaj debuted a collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am titled “Check It Out,” which may also appear on the album.
What do you think of “Right Through Me”? Share your reviews in the comments!
G-Unit’s Tony Yayo recently revealed trying to snag a collaboration with Nicki Minaj and how he predicted a female would take over the rap game prior to her inking with Lil Wayne’s Young Money.
According to the “Talk of New York,” Minaj was able to invade hip-hop at a time when there was not a prominent leading female artist.
“She was out there and she was messing with this guy named Fendi. I was trying to do a record with her, but Fendi was like, ‘For what? Why you wanna do something with her?’ Then I left it alone. This was a long, long time ago when I was seeing her on the ‘Come Up’ DVDs, ’cause that’s how she started,” Yayo explained in an interview. “You know what’s crazy? Like, three years ago, I said to [music executive and G-Unit producer] Sha Money [XL] … ‘You need a hot female artist, rapper. I’m telling you, that lane is open. I’m telling you, Sha, that female lane, that rapper lane is wide open.’ What she did was capture it at the right time, ’cause nobody’s out. There’s no Lil’ Kim out, there’s no Foxy … she just conquered that lane at the right time with the right people.”
Sep, 17 2010
Nicki Minaj and Ciara have teamed with the Urban League of Hudson County, New Jersey to take part in the Urban Vibe 2010 Benefit concert.
The charity concert’s goal is raise money and awareness for the New Jersey Urban League, which improves the quality of lives for residents in New Jersey’s Urban community.
The event, which will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, will be hosted by 106 & Parks’ hosts Terrance J. and Rocsi, and New York radio personality Dahved Levy.
Artists like Machel Montano and Reggae artist Shaggy will also hit the stage.
“Our mission is to empower, promote self-sufficiency, and advance the cause of opportunity for our diverse constituency,” Elnora Watson, President and CEO of ULOHC, told AllHipHop.com.
“Through collaboration, outreach, information and technology, the ULOHC has developed services that help level the economic playing field,” Watson noted.
ULOHC was founded in 1971 under the mission of empowering residents and improving the quality of life in urban communities.
The Urban Vibe 2010 Benefit Concert will be held on Thursday, October 28th.
Sep, 16 2010
A week before this year’s BET Awards, as Trey Songz was working on his new album, Passion, Pleasure & Pain, the singer thought to himself that Nicki Minaj would make for a good guest on the project. A week later, however, as he watched the awards show, he realized he wasn’t the only fan of the Lil Wayne protégé: The Queens lyricist was on the BET stage practically all night.
“She came out so many times and her star power was so big, and she [hasn’t even done] a record of her own,” Songz recalled.
He thought Nicki Minaj would be over doing guest appearances and instead focus on completing her own album, Pink Friday. So, Trey Songz had his work cut out for him if he wanted to secure her for the single “Bottoms Up.”
“We flirt all the time,” he told MTV News. “I know I flirt with her every time I see her. Hey, Nicki. [He laughs.]”
“I actually told her when we were going to do the record, ‘Baby, I want you to come by and listen to the album, I want it to be all the way authentic,’ ” Trey continued. ” ‘ ‘Cause I know you doing a lot of features, I know you supposed to be focusing on your album, and I know it’s probably a lot going on with you right now. So I want you to come by when you get some time and I want to build with you.’ I’ve known Nicki for about two years now, but we never ever had a chance to really build and have a real conversation. So she came to the studio for three hours and listened to my whole album.”
The Virginia singer said that with his “I Invented Sex” and “Say Aah” records still spinning on radio, he wanted “Bottoms Up” to be able to stand out on its own. He called the single “an anthem” and explained that the title is derived from the phrase “bottles up,” but a member of his crew suggested the more broad twist “Bottoms Up.”
Songz described the video as the perfect complement to his and Nicki Minaj’s vocals. “[It’s] different from me or what’s expected from me and anything I’ve shot for that matter,” he said. “Anthony [Mandler] used a lot of different shooting techniques. I think it heightens whatever it is that the song has already — the drive, the vigor, the club anthem, the energy in the record is definitely heightened in the video.”