Nicki Minaj x Genius: Lyrical Queen
The proclaimed lyrical queen, #NickiMinaj, sat down with Genius' Head of Artist Relations, Rob Markman, to discuss some of her most memorable lyrics in her rap career. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ First up for the bar break-down was a mixtape classic titled “Can Anybody Hear Me:” ⠀ “When it rains it pours for real, Def Jam said I’m no Lauryn Hill, Can’t rap and sing on the same CD, The public won’t get it they have A.D.D” Nicki started by confirming the truth behind the bars presented. Every music label, including labels based in New York, passed on signing her in the beginning because of her unique singer-rapper combo and image. “If a woman dresses sexy for the most part they’re not taken as seriously,” the Harajuku Barbie confessed. “Because I didn’t come in there with wraps around my head...and them feeling that I wasn’t spiritual or culturally aware, they assumed I didn’t have depth.” Well the assumptions and doubts must not have lasted long since Nicki’s rookie appearance was an iconic collab with music moguls JAY-Z and Kanye West titled “Monster.” Which is arguably not only one of Nicki’s best verses, but one of the best female rap verses period. “You can be the king, but watch the queen conquer”—a piece taken from her #Monster verse where she breaks down hip-hop’s gender divide. “At that time, Kanye was a big deal. So I knew I was getting on an album with someone with a bigggg presence. So when I said that I was basically talking to him. I wanted to impress him and show out pretty much,” said the Queens MC. The session continued discussing other lyrics from songs like “Changed It,” and “I’m the Best,” while also establishing the origin and intention behind Minaj’s famed phrase: “all these b*tches are my sons.” After analyzing hits from her early career, Markman presented verses from Nicki’s new album #Queen. Lyrics from “LLC,” featuring the ongoing theme of Nicki’s independent pen game, goes as follows: “We don’t pay n*ggas to front like they like my sh*t,
We don’t pay n*ggas to come in and write my sh*t.” When asked to address the bars, the “Pink Friday” rapper said it’s ultimately a matter of respect. It’s okay to have help, Nicki agreed, but the artists that are not writing their rhymes are also lacking humbleness which creates the another disconnect. To best explain how she feels, Nicki presented a scenario: “If you are going to med school and you go into the hospital but you never studied your med books and passed the med tests, doctor gone be like, ‘Well hold on boo boo when we doing surgery you got to sit this one out!’ And you better not come in here with a mutha***king attitude! Be happy that you mutha***king here, be happy that we letting you wear the white coat!” Nicki has been voicing the importance of writing her raps since her mixtape days. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I think it became important because we were so conditioned to believe that girls didn’t write or girls had a ghostwriter so I had this huge chip on my shoulder when I first came in and I was telling everybody, ‘I don’t care. No man is ever gonna make my rhymes,’” she told Markman. Another highlight from the #Queen album was platinum selling record, #ChunLi. Nicki clarified the misinterpretation of her claiming to be the “bad guy Chun-Li” when, in fact, the Chinese Street Fighter character was not a villain at all. “The point is even when you’re fighting for a good cause, people can flip it. I think I’m the good guy being portrayed as the bad guy,” the Young Money artist explained. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nicki may be seen as the bad guy due in part to her highly competitive attitude towards other women in the rap game. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Excuse me! When Floyd Mayweather gets in the ring does he try to knock you the f*ck out or does he try to wipe your a** and kiss and play footsie?” She responded. The “Anaconda” rapper admitted there was a drought for female rappers when she started, but she also gave her predecessors credit where it was due. “Do I have to pull up the AllHipHop.com questionnaire where they asked me my top 5?” Nicki asked the audience. “I named Lauryn, and on one line Kim, Foxy, Remy. Nobody remembers that!” She continued. “A veteran got at me and I hit them with Roman’s Revenge and kept going.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “But y’all training new b*tches to come in and disrespect me!” Nicki exclaimed. “My own culture has allowed people to come in and think that they don’t have to respect the queen.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Hmmm, who could Nicki be referring to? Regardless, she reassured the crowd that her remarks were not shade, but mere facts. Comment your thoughts below!