By Shannon Carlin
Perhaps it was American Idol that put her over the edge, but Nicki Minaj has promised that her third album, The Pink Print, will mark her return to hip-hop. “I’ve been getting back to that place where I was before I dropped my first album which is ‘kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill everything,'” Minaj said in an interview from earlier this year. “I agree that Nicki Minaj should focus on rap… now.”
Minaj’s decision to focus on “real” rap with her latest album –named in homage to “real” rapper Jay Z’s 2001 record, The Blueprint– has been fruitful. We’re only five months into the year and she’s already released eight different songs, some of which are her own, while others just have her offering up a verse or two. None of which sound anything like her biggest pop singles, “Starships” and “Super Bass.” Though her most recent track, “Pills n Potions” was produced by magnum pop-producer Dr. Luke.
“You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, ‘Hey, guess what? This will shock them even more,” Minaj told MTV. “Doing absolutely nothing will shock them even more.'”
So far, Minaj has said farewell to her over the top alter egos and technicolor wigs, choosing to go dark with not only her hair but her lyrics too. Gone are those “Starship” days where she can’t pay her rent on time, now she’s bragging about all the luxury items she can afford since she’s making $250,o00 a verse. Seems as if “Boss Ass B—-h” isn’t just the name of one of her songs, it’s a way of life.
Something she’d like to make clear to Forbes, since they’re under the impression that Iggy Azalea is the new queen of hip-hop. “Listen, all Forbes needs to worry about is my finances,” Nicki said in a recent radio interview. “We rely on hip-hop journalism and blogs for that kind of information.”
That’s why we here at Radio.com decided to track Nicki’s current progress toward reclaiming the hip-hop throne, starting with the first track she dropped right before we rang in the new year to her most recent, released only yesterday (May 21). All we have to say is, Iggy better watch out.
“Boss Ass B—h” Remix (feat. PTAF)
Most people probably didn’t know how many times a person could actually say the word “p—y” in a song until Nicki came along with this remix. But the real takeaway from this hallucinogenic track is her rules for becoming a Boss Ass B—h. They’re pretty simple, just humiliate all the men around you who don’t seem to understand how powerful you really are. You know like, just hook up with their friends and send them dick pics with cutesy emoticons to help twist the knife even farther. Sound like a plan?
Clutch Line: “Oh, but on the real, I’m in album mode/ I just dropped this freestyle ‘fore these files get old/ When I lay low, b—-es be safe and sound/ When I come back they better not make a sound.”
Young Thug’s “Danny Glover” Remix
On Nicki’s remix of Young Thug’s “Danny Glover,” the Queens emcee aggressively stakes her claim and throws out some warnings to those ladies who think they can do it better. “Who the f–k told them that they was like Nicki? Oh no b—-es didn’t,” she proclaims. “I’m gonna give b—es a minute to shine and tell them good riddance.” That’s before she reveals her master plan: “Girls is plottin’, what more could they steal?/ Tell Justin Timberlake that I’m coming for Jessica Biel.”
Clutch Line: “I’m not gay, but lesbi precise/Cause if she pretty, then watch it cause Imma be f—in’ ya wife.”
“Lookin Ass N—a”
You can look, but you can’t touch. Nicki makes that clear on this controversial track, which has her throwing insults that would make grown men cry. She spends nearly three-minutes saying the N-word more times than we care to count and calling out those non-men with wandering eyes that linger a bit too long for her taste. Sorry guys, she’s just not interested in getting a text from your pre-paid phone or sharing a bottle of bubbly with a bunch of your friends in the club. She’s got it handled or as she puts it, “Call me Clinton, I’m billin’ these n—as.”
Clutch Line: “Talkin’ ’bout ‘It’s paid off’ but it’s financed, liyin’ ass n—a/Bunch of non-mogul ass n—as/Frontin’ like they got a plan, Boost Mobile ass n—a.”
YG’s “My N—a” Remix (feat. Lil Wayne & Meek Mill)
Nicki is a ride or die chick in the remix of YG’s song, closing out the track with her own female-friendly declaration, “I ride for my b—es.” And these b—es, they’re bossy, flossy and wearing Sergio Rossi. That rhyme alone cost $250k. Don’t worry, Nicki knows she’s worth it.
Clutch Line: “You n—as ain’t got no joints/Like an injured Chris Paul, you ain’t got no point.”
“Chi-Raq” (feat. Lil Herb)
Nicki kicks off this track by bragging that she’s a “bad b–h who f–ks good” before relinquishing to Lil Herb, who gives his take on what’s happening in the streets of his hometown of Chicago. Some would question whether the Queens rapper should really speak as an authority on the happenings of Chi-Town, but in actuality she wasn’t looking to give commentary on gang violence she just wanted to prepare the Barbz for her return to “real hip-hop.” And it should be noted, “real” in the case of this particular track, means rapping about the more stereotypical gangsta fare of guns and drugs.
Clutch Line: “I’m with EBK, you on EBT/Got a black nine, call it BET/School n—as, get a GED/And I tease n—as, make ’em B-E-G.”
Tyga’s “Senile” (feat. Lil Wayne)
Nicki is nice enough to let Tyga finish his verse on this dark and minimalist track off the Young Money mixtape, Rise of an Empire, before solidifying her position at the top. Showing off her dexterity, she manages to brag about her bank account, her luxury watch and her Lambo in a swift 35 seconds. In the track’s video, Minaj even pours out a little Moscato for those she trampled on her way to the top. What else would those body bags she references be for? She leaves her boss Lil Wayne to close out the track and clean up her collateral damage in the process.
Clutch Line: “I got this s–t locked tighter than a bear hug/When them b—es rap, n—as need an ear plug.”
“Yasss Bish!” (feat. Soulja Boy)
Relegated to holding down the chorus of “yasss bish,” Soulja Boy might as well be shouting “yes ma’am.” Inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race, this track has Nicki bragging and boasting about owning the Clippers, a few homes and her own liquor, a fruit-infused Moscato called MYX Fusions. Over a beat that would give Freddy Krueger nightmares, Nicki is coming for you, bursting your dreams of ever being the best with rhymes like, “B—-s be thinkin’ they hot/But, these b—-es be using that term so loosely.” Seriously, give Nicki her proper due.
Clutch Line: “Me I’m the b–h that be footing the bill/Only a real n—a could cop a feel/ Credit card blacker than that n—a Seal/25 million to broker the deal/Jewish my lawyer, he Kosher, the deal.”
“Pills n Potions”
This one, believed to be the first official single off The Pink Print, shows the softer side of Nicki’s delivery. But even though she’s low-key on this bass heavy track, produced by pop maestro Dr. Luke, she manages to still pack a bit of a punch, kissing off those who talked sh-t behind her back when she first hit the scene. In the nicest way possible, of course. There are no gruff tones, it’s all sweetly sung, a throwback to her early “Moment 4 Life” days. But even though she forgives those who didn’t believe in her, even offering up a bit of sisterly advice, she won’t ever forget: “I’m angry, but I still love you.”
Clutch Line: “N—as be mad when they can’t come and live lavish with you/ But I sped off in the Benzi/I see the envy when I’m causing a frenzy.”