When Nicki Minaj surfaced over four years ago, she was making her rounds on the underground, spitting skilled bars over mixtape instrumentals. But since then, her music has become very pop-friendly.
With the release of her latest poppy single, “Starships”, she’s gotten some backlash for “selling out.” Specifically, Hot 97’s on-air personality Peter Rosenberg recently called the record the “one of the most sell-out songs in hip-hop history”.
Nicki took to Hot 97 airwaves this week, on Funkmaster Flex’s show, addressing the criticism she’s received from the hip-hop community over the direction of her latest single.
According to the female hip-hop superstar, everything she does is a calculated move … and hopes her listeners realize that.
“I would hope that people know, at this point, that I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing all the time. But I guess they still kind of waiver,” Nicki said. “I always intended on putting out something urban after ‘Starships,’ because I knew ‘Starships’ was a monster. I didn’t feel the pressure. To be honest, I feel really, really good. I feel that hip-hop cares enough that they have something to say. I remember when I was hoping that someone had something to say about me on the radio, or cared enough.”
The “urban” record she’s referring to is the recently released Lil Wayne-featured cut, “Roman Reloaded”
According to Nicki, a pop record like “Starships” helps her reach a bigger audience and will not apologize for making music for the masses. But, always plans to release “street” singles like “Roman Reloaded.”
“Maybe it would be a problem if I couldn’t deliver records like ‘Roman Reloaded,’ but I can,” declared Nicki. “I write my own lyrics. Once again, I write my own lyrics. So it’s never a problem. Whatever I feel, I can write, I can create it, so I’m good. I think people sometimes get blown away by the magnitude of the pop stuff, because the pop stuff, it reaches everywhere and then I feel like my hip-hop fans or hip-hop culture starts getting a little bit afraid that I’m going to leave. But, this is who I am. I’m not going to change — I’m just adding on to my brand.
“And if you don’t understand that, then it’s probably why you don’t travel and you don’t see the world and I probably can’t even have a conversation with you anymore,” she concluded.