Nicki Minaj Discusses Returning to Her Rap Roots

Nicki Minaj says she feels like her latest LP is a return to her rap roots and that she's been unfairly labeled as a one dimensional artist.

Nicki Minaj has come under fire from critics and listeners alike for her recent transformation into a more pop-oriented rap artist than a lyrically-minded emcee. Now, in an interview with Sway Calloway, the YMCMB starlet addressed her critics and discussed what she feels is her return to rhyming.

According to Minaj, she feels that the majority of listeners have pegged her as a one dimensional artist focused solely on dominating the pop world. She says that while she's faced these criticisms from the beginning of her career, her ascent to mainstream Hip Hop further typified her as a pop artist.

"I think I went from being a caricature in peoples' eyes to becoming someone with a lot of layers," she explained. "You just got to realize that I'm never going to be one dimensional, and even my core fans I think at one time thought I was one dimensional when I was doing the mixtapes. However, even on the mixtapes, I was singing and I was doing songs like…'Can Anybody Hear Me'...where I was singing and I was talking about being a female rapper and trying to get signed and what we go through…I was telling those stories on my mixtapes. I feel when the mainstream got a hold of Nicki Minaj, they turned her into a girl that wears wigs and has funny voices. Then we had to get past that, and I then had to reel it in and say, 'Actually, I'm a business woman.'"

Nicki also added that at this point in her career, she feels that she has enough clout in the industry to focus on the brand of Hip Hop that she wants to make. She pointed to her recently released sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded as evidence that she's returned to rhyming, saying the album's guest features from Cam'ron, 2 Chainz and Nas are signs that she has her Hip Hop peers' respect.

"[The evolution of my career has] just been peeling back the layers and now, it's like the ultimate layer was me saying, 'Now I'm going to do whatever kind of music that I want to do'…[it's] not always going to entail a hard Hip Hop beat, but sometimes it is," she explained. "A lot of the tracks on [Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded] are a hard Hip Hop beat and just spitting, and that's why I've been [working with] some people like Cam, 2 Chainz and the legendary Nas. I got those people because…I wanted to get back to [just rapping]. I wanted to remember what it felt like when I just wanted to show people that I could rap."

Check out the full interview below.

RELATED: Nicki Minaj Discusses Female Emcees, Praises Ms. Lauryn Hill, MC Lyte, Remy Ma, Foxy Brown & More

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56 Comments

  • J

    when the fuck did she have rap roots? her lyrics are childish. i don't respect her down grading her style, sounds more dumb than the last.

  • Anonymous

    IF SHES RETURNING TO HER RAP ROOTS DOES THAT MEAN SHES GONNA STOP SINGING AND GO BACK TO BEING A GROUPIE

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    Her album is surely more pop focused and less on rap. But it's her new style so folks should respect that or not purchase the music.

  • jooce

    its a sad day in hip hop when an artist is only working on their second album and talking about returning to their rap roots wtf. I think her music is wack and that's my opinion and the biggest reason was all the poppy gimmicks but they wanted to call her hip hop. her fans call it layers when in all realness its called MANUFACTURED. be like gaga, be like madonna, be like wayne, be like LIL KIM im sorry thats not layers she is a walking etch a sketch

  • Anonymous

    Why do I believe I have heard this somewhere before??... Oh wait, shut up bitch.

  • yup

    So she says she returned to her rap roots with this album.......so thats why this album is getting shitted on by every critic, saying that its like 20 mins of rap and 53 mins of pop. I agree with them that this album is straight ass but i disagree with them when they say nicki has akill, the only track i liked her on was Monster. Ye murdered her on Blazing and everybody bodied her on Champions. Juat because ahe can change her voice up doesnt mean she has skill. Her lyrics still suck ass, theyre simplistic as fuck.

    • chill

      @ room2roam fuck are you talking about? So let's see you say critic's opinions are less then regular people but regular people's opinion is less than rap vet's? Yeah so i'm guessing you go by everything rap veteran's say, for example, Kanye is amazing but I completely disagree with him when he says that Nicki is going to be second in rap only to Eminem...and he did say that look that shit up if you want. While we're on that subject, critics' opinions matter, look at what My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy got reviews wise, and look what people were saying when that didn't get a nominated at the Grammy's for album of the year, i saw a lot of "how could it not get nominated, it was the best reviewed album".

    • room2roam

      since when does a critics opinion matter? and you say she doesnt have skill yet a vet in hip hop says she does...which one holds the most weight???

  • You mad

    Nicki is so lyrical so amazing. Back in the day she was so fierce!!!! She is kinda like a female nas. That stupid hoe song is the shit too!!!! Lil Kim is shaking in her boots.....Nicki the greatest emcee to ever grace this God green earth. Good day....

  • Just An Average Dude

    Using "Nicki's making money!" makes your argument null & void unless you're touching some of that money. Money doesn't necessarily correlate with skill, get your mind right.

  • Alf Bundy

    This hussy needs to leave the recording studio alone and focus on filming XXX hardcore pornography.

  • Anonymous

    She need to do a Gangsta grillz mixtape and show these lames she can out rap them

  • Anonymous

    I am your leader and champion is my favorite songs

  • Anonymous

    These haters can always commenting on a nicki minaj post and always reading article about her but yet still hating

  • Anonymous

    Champion is fire

  • Anonymous

    The album is good

  • Anonymous

    HATERS I bet no one on here can ra their self and always talking about real hip hop

  • Anonymous

    This mrs potato head looking mutherfucker is as lame as It gets. Rap roots.......

  • Anonymous

    what kinda rap roots its a fucking pop album

  • Anonymous

    she is the same as lady gaga

  • Real Talk

    Ok, I'm only rating albums based on YMCMB had released even though none of the albums are classics. I'll judge the ones that were solid to downright awful. Here it goes: Take Care > Careless World: Rise of the Last King > Tha Carter III > Thank Me Later > Tha Carter IV > Pink Friday > Rebirth > I Am Not A Human Being > We Are Young Money > Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Yeah, not a good catalog. Of course... GOOD Music & Roc Nation beats out these albums. Kanye West/Jay-Z/J. Cole/Kid Cudi/Big Sean > Lil Wayne/Drake/Nicki Minaj/Tyga/Birdman

    • Anonymous

      I agree with your point....... But Rebirth should be last on that list, not in the middle, lol, Rebirth should be last on any list, as a rock fan that album offended me

  • Anonymous

    how can this be a return to rap roots when more than half the album is pop, and the rap songs that r there arent even that good, Drakes Take Care has harder shit than this

  • jesterxxl

    Did she say a return to her rap roots because Reloaded didn't sound anythin like her mixtapes which we're hip hop

  • GOD

    Yo you sounding real gay. Noone cares what the haters say. Her album is number one on Itunes yes. Im not gonna jump on her ass.. as much as id like to. But shes got the gays and the Lil waybe Drake females on her team. I predict 200k atleast

    • Anonymous

      bin laden's family stopped f*****g with him YEARS before that problem jumped off. It's just like saying because your uncle got life for rape then the WHOLE family are rapists. Besides that I co-sign what you're saying about Nicki.

    • Anonymous

      WHILE SHES AT IT SHE CAN LOSE THE FAKE ASS FAKE TITTIES FAKE HAIR FAKE VOICES AND FAKE ASS CREW, then she can say shes going back to her roots, yeah shes making money but so does the bin laden family, she has no substance and thats why shes making that money, radio love mindless shiet, every song same thing "im winning my team winning im the best yea well maybe the best at looking like a sex doll or being a bitch ass puppet, its a shame everyone falls for her but she is sexy so she will have her time in the sun and be irrelevant soon enough lol it aint forever

  • You mad

    Bunch of bitches..... Nicki making that money. And most of the haters just dislike that she is famous....Nicki will rap circles around your favorite female emcee.... That is all and i wont reply. Get em nicki

    • You mad: Retard Alert!!!

      So based on your post, you think Nicki can out-rap real female emcees like Jean Grae, Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte? But judging from your post, I doubt you even know who they are. If you don't, then you might as well just shut the fuck up.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      What is your emotional ass babbling about? You made not a bit of sense.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    Is it a prerequisite to be a total liar and take everyone for an idiot to be in YMCMB? I don't even think she believes the mess she says. I hope she doesn't really. YESSIR dick rides and ETK says it's normal to dick ride. Y'all didn't even need match.com to find out y'all have something in common. Hip Hop DX homo hookups. The youth of today are just all f'ed up.

    • GOD

      Agreed Flam. And he just said it again. Even gayer this time too "if Nas was name dropping me sayin I was nice hell yeah I'd return the favor" what a Faggot

    • ETK

      again, I was talking about J.Cole constantly talkin about Jay-Z and dropping his name everywhere. haters still got a problem with that for some reason when I said it's perfectly normal. if I was an MC and nas was dropping my name sayin I was nice, hell yeah I'd return the favor. but oh I'm sorry, let's just say I did say that, maaaan that's lame isn't it. man that's some bullshit. dickriding ain't nice. you know what we should ALL DO. WE SHOULD ALL GO ON RAPPER'S ARTICLES WE DON'T LIKE AND TRASH TALK THE SHIT OUT OF THEM. DAY IN DAY OUT. yeah, let's spend hours goin' on YMCMB articles, bitch and bitch and bitch and biiiiiiitch about how shitty they are! THAT'S A REAL G RIGHT THERE NIGGA there's someone that sums up niggas like that very well. unfortunately he just a cartoon. but it's martin luther king from the boondocks. niggers LOVE to complain. in summary, fuck outta here.

    • Rodrick

      Co sign People just say ridiculous bullshit nowadays and nobody in the public eye has the guts to call them on it Thats how someone like Nicki could make an album that sounds like a Britney Spears, Katy Perry Knockoff and then say "This is a return to my hip hop roots" with a straight face, cause she knows they wont tell her the truth "No Nicki, this sounds like a Katy Perry Record" Peter Rosenburg from Hot 97 did it, I bet they docked his pay for telling the truth tho, he only said it once and then it was never brought up again, lol

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Not even. But a nigga vouching for riding dicks is a joke. Agree?

  • Knuckles

    Really, Nicki. Who you foolin'. Just stop with this facade and start doing videos and concerts topless. That will get you more comfortable to do porn.

  • Anonymous

    On Come on a Cone she brags about her "roster". What roster Bitch? The Gayest rapper in the game, a nigga that looks like a cross between frodo and an orc that needs to go back to Middle Earth (Ill give that to Big Ghost) and a fucker called Baby that tattooed a huge star on his forehead. Great roster bitch go get a new hobby.

  • Swag

    I wish I could stick my cock between Nicki's toes.

  • Swag

    I love to lick the bottom of Nicki's feet.

  • bitch is high

    hip hop rap rhyming roots?!? After just releasing an album softer than a fuckin high school musical soundtrack. You aint hip hop your a complete sell out.worst thing is she will prolly go gold first week sales while obie trice will be lucky to shift 10,000

  • Anonymous

    and.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVXmGKOUVYk&feature=endscreen&NR=1

  • daviddanielz

    Check out Azealia Banks!!! She is the future for real son! I just heard this song and the chick is crazy talented! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk&list=FLKmKA7bUf-gjE5dse7Svtuw&feature=mh_lolz

  • YESSIR

    LISTEN TO THE ALBUM ITS FIRE I GOT IT FOR MY GIRL

    • ETK

      I was talking about J.Cole there, you oaf couldn't care less about Jay

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Calm down, numb nuts. That actually was a spin on a terrible situation. Speculation is for the birds. What we don't need to speculate on is a nigga saying it's normal to dick ride.

    • GOD

      While I thank you for copy and pasting. Shut up about Trayvon Martin. Noone Deserves to die Innocent. No matter how stupid. I'm pretty sure Trayvon Martin was dumb as fuck too

    • Mr Flamboyant

      "a hater tryna be funny, it's completely normal to be on Jay's dick when the guy co-signs you" I answered it for you with your own quote. You probably write Fleece Johnson letters and send him pics of yourself naked. LOL! Bitch ass nigga. People that promote dick riding and say that it's normal need to get lives. RIP Trayvon Martin. A good kid that should have sent you to the store to get skittles and an iced tea while wearing a hoodie. Wrong person died.

    • ETK

      before I answer that question, can I have some of what you're smokin

    • GOD

      ETK ain't you the Faggot saying its natural to be on a dick?

    • ETK

      coming from you, not helping

  • Anonymous

    So she wanted Nas on it so that she could say she has his respect. Okay.

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