Nicki Minaj aimed to make noise with her debut single “Massive Attack,” which was produced by Alex Da Kid (Eminem, B.o.B), featured a hook penned by Sean Garrett (Beyoncé) and boasted a Hype Williams-directed video. It didn’t quite connect with the masses, however, despite all the pedigree.
But then “Your Love,” a throwaway number the Queens femcee planned to sit on, was stolen and leaked to the Web. The result? Nicki Minaj became the first solo female hip-hop artist in more than eight years to score a #1 record on Billboard’s rap chart.
“I was not planning on putting the song out at all,” she told MTV News over the weekend on the “Your Love” video set. “But then I heard it one day, somebody told me it was online. And I was like, ‘No way, no way in the world that song is out.’ I went and listened to it and was really upset. It wasn’t mixed, it wasn’t finished, it wasn’t anything — I wasn’t gonna use it at all. But then radio started playing it.”
Soon enough, the record shot up to #1; the last woman to rule the rap charts was Missy Elliott with “Work It.”
“Isn’t that crazy?” Nicki said. “Crazy. I don’t even know how it feels [to have a #1 hit] right now. But it’s amazing.”
In the meantime, the Lil Wayne protégé is still working on her untitled debut album, which she hopes to release by the end of the year. She recently aligned herself with Diddy and is fresh off winning for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards last month.
According to Nicki, though, she’s still rooted in the spirit of a newcomer and not letting success go to her head.
“Sometimes people see the glitz and the glamour. That’s why they envy you,” Minaj said earlier this year. “They don’t see three, four, five years ago. They don’t see when I was selling my mixtape for $2 on Jamaica Avenue [in Queens]. They don’t see when I couldn’t get New York DJs — I lived in New York my whole life — to even play a song. At the end of the day, it’s all about hard work. You clearly see that hard work; that’s all it takes. If you really want it, direct your energy on positive sh–, and it will happen.”