Nicki Minaj is not usually associated with hard hip-hop music. If you ask someone to name a Nicki track they will probably answer you with ‘Superbass’ or ‘Starships,’ both of which are pretty ‘radio friendly’ tracks. I am not saying there is anything wrong with being ‘radio friendly’ – most of my favourite songs are ‘radio friendly’ – it is just that when it comes to Nicki Minaj it really annoys me.
Nicki, real name Onika Tanya Miraj, learned her craft in New York before being signed to Lil Wayne’s YMCMB label. With hard-hitting, hip-hop mixtapes it was no surprise that Lil Wayne took her on. All set to be the next Lil Kim every faith was placed in Nicki. Unfortunately, she did not become a household name until ‘Superbass’ was released in 2011. Do not worry I am not knocking ‘Superbass,’ that song is great, it is what followed that I have a problem with. ‘Starships’ and ‘Pound the Alarm’ had Nicki lose the run of herself and become a bubblegum-pop/rap princess. Lyrics like “And if you a G, you a G, G, G/ My name is Onika you can call me Nicki” are not exactly revolutionary.
Despite all of this, I would still class myself as a Nicki Minaj fan. The girl has some serious skill and can hold her own against any male MC – just listen to Kanye West’s ‘Monster’ where she gives Ye and Jay Z a real run for their money. Thankfully, Nicki has her name out there now and is finally in a position to release the music she likes and is good at making. ‘Chi-Raq,’ her latest single which features Lil Herb, is the case in point. With a menacing hip-hop beat that sounds like something a young Eminem would have used, Nicki is ready to show those who do not already know that she is a legitimate hip-hop artist. Hopefully, this is a sign of what is on the way with Nicki’s next studio album ‘The Pink Print’ slated for release later this year.
Have a listen to ‘Chi Raq’ below and let us know what you think.