Pulse Report: Nicki Minaj Gives Her Best Interview Ever, Earl Sweatshirt Takes Tyler, The Creator's Spot, Nas Turns Into God's Doggy
Friday, Mar 23, 2012 12:15PM
In this week's Pulse Report, doggies, we're gonna rip the pages up to see quite possibly Nicki Minaj's best interview...ever, find out why Tyler, the Creator could lose his leadership role to Earl Sweatshirt, give props to Nas for being God's Doggy and oh SOHH much more!
1. How Far She's
I'll be the first doggy to tell y'all that I thought Nicki Minaj's career was a fluke. Point. Blank. Period. No John Cusack. LOL. I thought she was just some chick that had a fatty, a set of knockers and could spit a few bars courtesy of sex-laced rhymes that made you think of Lil Kim from start to finish. Oh how wrong I was, doggies. Since 2009, Nicki took her loyal mixtape Barbies to the top with millions of Twitter followers, magazine covers, platinum-selling album, chart-topping success, immaculate photo spreads, hot co-signs, and rumors galore. Did I mention she buried the career of Lil Kim? I mean, what she did to the career of Lil Kim is just horrible. Baiting her in and then making the success drown her? SMH.
So with all of that said, I came across quite possibly the best interview (print, audio or video) that I've ever read courtesy of Nicki's chat with the one-and-only Miss Info. For the record, I've had a crush on Info since those Hot 97 morning show days. LOL. Anyway though, maybe it was the setting they were in, the fact it was Info or just because it was Complex Magazine's 10th anniversary issue, Minaj had a doggy reading word-for-word uhh, every word. LOL. The interview was SOHH good that I had to feature it in here. While it would be silly to post the whole interview in here, just click here to peep it, I had to pull out certain parts from the Q&A that stood out. Kick back and enjoy doggies, Nicki opens up and oozes out goodness. LOL!
What wows you these days? Everything that comes your way keeps becoming bigger, bigger, bigger.
If I wasn't doing it, I wouldn't believe it's possible. I remember when I was working with Jay-Z. It was like, "Oh my God. Did I really just do a song with Jay?" I worked with Mariah and it wasn't commercially successful. But I had fun and I made a real friendship with her. It was, obviously, a life-changing moment for me. It does feel like every moment is getting bigger and bigger. Not only did I get a call to do a song with Madonna, but then I got a call to do a video with Madonna, and then--oh, by the way--you're going to do the Super Bowl with Madonna. This is not really happening.
When you're constantly exceeding your own expectations, how do you set new goals?
Doing the Super Bowl with Madonna doesn't really change Nicki Minaj's personal goals. My goal right now is still to put out Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, sell five million copies eventually, and tour every country in the world. That's what I've been working toward. So while the world is talking about, "Oh my God, I can't believe Nicki Minaj was at the Super Bowl!" I'm mixing and mastering my music. In my scheme of things it's way bigger.
When I look at the Nicki Minaj franchise--the fashion, the success of songs like "Superbass," the media thirst--I don't see you in any kind of supporting role.
When you're told something for a long time, even when it changes, your mind frame doesn't change and you're subconsciously trying to prove everyone wrong. Even though I know what I'm capable of, I still haven't had a performance where I would say, "I want this to go down in the Nicki Minaj history book." I am my own worst critic. For instance, the American Music Awards was set to be an amazing performance, but then I had a horrible malfunction with the clothes and the hair ten minutes before I opened. So I was backstage having a fucking nervous breakdown.
My hair was supposed to light up, my choker was too small. So while I was in the box, waiting for the show to open, I had to rip the shit off, throw it to the side, and act like nothing happened. When I got off stage I freaked out because it was just so emotional. I really, really, really wanted that to be a dope show.
But I was watching and didn't notice anything wrong.
Does that ease the frustration at all?
No, because I'm not doing it for everyone else. I'm doing it to prove to myself that I can do it. To prove to myself that I don't have to settle for less because I'm a female rapper or because I'm black. And until I prove it to myself, it's not gonna matter. No one's opinion is going to matter. I really just have to perfect something.
What's your off-stage persona?
I'm the biggest homebody. But I've been like this. Nothing about me has changed since I got fame. I never liked to go to clubs. I never liked to go out. I don't know where that public craziness came from. I was always like a comedian to my friends and family, but in a lot of ways I'm shy. I think people read my shyness as being mean. They misinterpret it. The first and only person who ever called me out for being shy was Wayne.
Like so many women, it sounds like you're hyper-aware of both your action and the world's reaction. With all the hundreds of photos you have to take, do you feel more confident with cameras?
I hate cameras. I hate cameras and I hate camera phones. The camera's my worst enemy and my best friend. It's the way I convey my emotions to the world without saying a word, so I use it. People always say, "You come alive as soon as the camera's on!"
I always got a kick out of the endless debates over who was managing you. I've known you through three sets of managers [Deb Antney, Puffy and James Cruz, and Hip Hop Since 1978] and in every case, it was always clear that...
Little do they know, I manage myself.
Yes. You were always the first and last word.
Right. People assume that I am not the brains behind this operation, and they don't give me my credit. I could give two fucks about credit. I just want you to leave me the fuck alone. Let me do me. Don't tell me how to pose; I know how to pose. When I'm recording, I just have to go in and do it, you know? Even my engineer thinks I'm crazy because I'll hear something different on a track, and he'll insist, "No, no, nothing was moved." [But I tell him] "Tony, something was moved." And later, sure enough, "You were right, there was a two-second delay here."
This being Complex's 10th Anniversary issue, it seems fitting to look forward to the next 10 years... Where do you think you'll be in 2022?
In 2022, I'll definitely be married and I'll definitely have my two children.
Why just two?
OK, I might have three, but I do want at least one boy.
Maybe if you get a full set early, you can stop there.
No, no, no. I don't think I even need a girl. I need a boy though.
Wait, you don't feel like you need a girl?
Yeah, 'cause you think I'm going to dress her up in wigs. No. [Laughs] I really need a boy in my life. A baby boy. Because...I'm so attached to my little brother and I felt like that was my real son. And boys, they're just so, I don't know... My heart just melts when I see them.
OK, so in the next 10 years, married...
Oh, I will definitely be married.
And two children.
They're definitely trying. It's the Nicki Effect. Since the success of Pink Friday you must see that the industry has changed. Corporations see a female rapper who has more visibility and more income streams than her male counterparts. So new female artists are viable, and that creates a more competitive atmosphere.
When I first got in, doing freestyles and mixtapes, I did a song called "Still I Rise." I was talking about how so many women were pulling me down and ripping me apart. I said, "Every time a door opens for me/That means you just got a better opportunity to do you/Better understand these labels look at numbers and statistics/If I win, you win, it's just logistics."
So in order for my theory to be proven right, I have to open doors for women. The up-and-coming females who wanted to get in--when you guys are coming out and dissing me, and all that negativity....They saw me as a threat instead of seeing me as "she's going to open the door for us." I never came into what I'm doing dissing anyone. I gave everyone their props and it's unfortunate that people felt intimidated and attacked me. Then it became a ripple effect. But now it's all love. My music is a way for me to have fun. Sometimes I'll say things and I'll laugh. But it's all love. I'm in a great place and I just wish everybody the best.
2. Guess Who's Bizzack
For the record, doggies, I do not consider myself an Odd Future fan. Now the mayhem and dope music they've created over the past year and a half? Yeah, I'm a fan of that. But what I'm even more of a fan of is this whole Earl Sweatshirt story. To make a short story even shorter, Earl was gone during OF's rise to fame and is now back with the crew. Now if y'all are like me, y'all are to believe Tyler, the Creator is the group's leader, right? But something is telling me that Earl, who is supposedly the best lyricist out the crew, is out for the power. Is it just me or are y'all starting to think about an Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell situation popping off right here? LOL. Peep the logic to my madness, doggies:
"Were you talking to people, aware that s---'s going bananas?" the venerable DJ asks an extremely timid Earl who was put in boarding school in June of 2010, just as Odd Future began their meteoric rise to fame. "I was aware, I mean, because ... the Internet." "Were you aware that you were missing out on something this insane? Were you pissed? Were you annoyed?" Rosenberg responded. "Yeah initially, but then I also got to f---ing see that all this s--- isn't fun all the time." Earl, of course, was speaking of the block that he grew up on. An area of Los Angeles where he could skate and mess around on the pavement until the sun went down. But with the group's rise in fame, Sweatshirt can't walk through his home turf without fans asking for pictures and autographs. (The Boom Box)
^ Go to the two-minute mark of the video and y'all will see EXACTLY why Tyler is shook of Earl's return. LOL. Doggies, this is merely my opinion, do not go making big deals over this. LOL. They make a great group, but I see Earl taking that shine. Don't believe it? Peep the reaction doggies gave him in NYC.
Rapper Earl Sweatshirt made his live debut with his Odd Future cohorts at Tuesday night's sold out Hammerstein Ballroom concert in New York, confirming rumors that had been circulating in the days before. The concert marked his first public appearance since returning from a reform boarding school in Samoa, where he'd spent the last year disconnected from Odd Future's ascent. "Y'all better act like y'all missed me," Earl shouted to the crowd before launching into "Orange Juice" and "A**Milk," fan-favorite collaborations with group founder Tyler, the Creator. The surprise performance came on the heels of Earl's appearance in the music video for Odd Future's latest single, "Oldie," as well as an interview with New York radio station Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg, his first since returning. "We waited so long for that sh*t," Tyler added from the stage. "You have no idea how awesome this is." (Rolling Stone)
^ Truth be told, I think they'll be able to EVENTUALLY coexist, but once Earl gets a hang of the spotlight? SMH. It's a wrizzy. Use your own judgement, doggies, but I see Earl leading this team, word to Mark Sanchez over Tim Tebow. SMH!!!!
3. Doggy of the Week: Nas
Any doggy that paid even the slightest attention to hip-hop this past week would have thought Nas was putting out an album come Tuesday. Doggy. Was. EVERYWHERE. I mean, it's one thing to have a dope record out, "The Don," but to be over at South By Southwest dropping those Illmatic gems, having Steve Stoute tell a funny Queensbridge story that even made me laugh, admitting that doing a duet with the late Amy Winehouse was tougher than tough, side-jabbing Chingy on the low and hopping on Nicki Minaj's next LP, it's no mystery that Nas is THAT doggy. Now if only we could get an album release date. LOL. Make some noise doggies, Nas has earned his spot!
The stage was expertly dressed to resemble a New York street corner, complete with a graffiti, a subway entrance, and an authentic-looking NYC trash can. For the many traveling New Yorkers weary on the last night of the festival, it was a little tempting to pull out a Metrocard and ride the imaginary train all the way back home. Nas was also looking to take a trip to another time and place. Much like Jay-Z's recent Carnegie Hall debut (which featured a Nas cameo), this New York-centric show splashed the wall with large, postcard-ready images of Big Apple icons like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The decor cemented what many had hoped: Nas would be serving up llmatic, the album that helped shape the East Coast sound. (Entertainment Weekly)
^ Word is Nas also performed "The Don," but finding out that he went the Las Vegas-route by doing his old records? That's hot. But it's hot specifically because it's not Stillmatic, It Was Writen or even that Nastadamus, but ILLMATIC. Arguably one of the best hip-hop debut album, given doggy's age, of all time. Glad doggy heated things up in Texas.
"We were at a hotel one time gettin' ready for a show," Stoute told the audience. "Nas always felt like guys that were gonna be after us. So Nas told his guy, 'Go back to Queens and go get the iron. We gonna have a problem.' The guy really comes back with an iron." Nas, laughing along with the audience, chimed in: "I remember that. That guy was dumb." (SOHH)
^ Take all of the bravado out of what makes up Nas and you're left with a regular doggy. Lazy, bad acting but realistic. This story that Steve Stoute told? LOL!!!!! I just hope it was really real and not some cornball made-up stuff just to get a kick out of audience members. C'mon doggies, an iron? An actual iron!? LOL!!!!
One collaboration that never fully came to fruition was a planned recording session with Amy Winehouse, a personal friend of Nas' who wanted to record a sequel to her song "Me And Mr. Jones" from 2007's "Back To Black." When Winehouse passed away, Nas reluctantly agreed to record a guest rhyme for the song "Like Smoke" on her posthumous release "Lioness" in December. "Part of me didn't want to do the song," he said. "Amy and I share a birthday, so she was my sister. And she was just so much fun to be around. She would say things about well-known people in the industry that she didn't like and it would just crack me up... We were all hoping she would pull through and come back." (Billboard)
^ Respect to Nas for that one. I was going to put in the mention when he opened up about the Kelis divorce but this touched a doggy a bit more. Nas admitting that he didn't want to get down with this collabo? For what it's worth, I always saw Nas as a doggy that did things for the money. I mean, what was all that Bravehearts stuff about back in the day, right? LOL. Tax write-offs? But seeing him admit that her death made him think twice about doing a collabo, yeah, that touched a doggy like me. Respect to Nas for keeping it a 100.
"I have to be totally honest," Nas said. "I didn't feel anything about Chingy or anybody else's success during that time. Tell you the truth, it kind of gave me some time off. Time off to not have to keep coming and coming and coming. It just balances things - you can't have everything... It is messed up for that real stuff when the pop-fluff stuff is everywhere; that does damage to things. But when you have faith in the artists that you love, you know they gonna pull through and bring something to the table." (Billboard)
^ LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHOTS FIRED! Say what you want, but that's a shot. Sorry Chingy, I know you're going to take the manly approach and accept it like he just used you as a general example, but doggies weren't hyped over that Jackpot stuff. LOL!!!!
"Nicki hit us up, I got love, so it was nothin' -- I did the record," Nas told MTV News on Saturday night before his show at South by Southwest. While fans wait to see how Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded holds up sonically, Nas gives his own assurance for "Champion." For the Queensbridge, New York, MC, it all boils down to a simple feeling: "It's hip-hop music; music is music. If I feel it, I can get on it. I heard the track, I felt it, I loved it." (MTV)
^ As much as I hate to admit it, this is a power move for Nas. You may think it's the other way around, believing Nicki should thank her lucky stars that he would even collaborate but nahhhhhh, doggies. Think about it. Nicki Minaj is easily the Top 5 hottest doggy out. You have Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne and you can say it's a draw between T.I./Diddy. Nicki Minaj belongs somewhere in there. (Yeah, Jay-Z and Kanye West haven't dropped any albums lately, so they're Top 10 hottest out right now). The fact Nas still gets courted for these situations? That's big. If y'all think I'm bugging, then just tell me how many times KRS-One, Kool G Rap or Melle Mel appear on there. EXACTLY!
4. Mrs. Butterworth: Niki Sharelle
Doggies, is it just me or have y'all been craving cakes these past few weeks? Maybe I should blame it on Rihanna's ear-pounding record, the remix with Chris Brown or maybe that tweet J.R. Smith did of Tahiry a few weeks back! LOL!. Whatever the case, I'm sharing my craving of cakes in this week's Pulse Report and what better way than to do it here, right? I mean, if there's one cake a doggy would practically marry, it'd have to belong to the one and only Niki Sharelle. The cocoa brown velvet-like chocolatey smooth skin, the voluptuous curves, natural knockers (or at least I'd like to believe)? SMH. That should be outlawed, doggies! Scoop up your ice cream and grab a few napkins, Niki is warming up this week's Mrs. Buttersworth competition.
One reason why I rode with Niki this week is because she seems like a real down-to-Earth Mrs. Butterworth contender. Just peep how she gets down in her videos. There's no way you can knock a woman like that. SMH.
5. Doggies Say The Darnest Things
LOL! I told y'all doggies I was coining this section! LOL. For the doggies that are still a bit confused, we've retired "STFU" Honors and christened a new, better, nicer, OK, so maybe just the title has changed but there's new energy. Just like doggies switch up their jerseys in professional sports, the same thing has happened here. And what better way to kick things off than Game saying his R.E.D. Album is destined for platinum? Ummm...that August 2011 album? LOL!!! It only gets better when Questlove tries to make you think that Jay-Z "DOESN'T" want to be the richest doggy in hip-hop. SMH. C'mon Quest. Keep it real, doggy! Then the snowball only gets bigger with Dame Grease over-hyping DMX, T.I. giving Taylor Swift some type of funky street credit and oh yeah, that HORRIBLE Charles Hamilton J. Cole diss. SMH. In case y'all didn't know it yet, welcome to "Doggies Say The Darnest Things."
"We about to put out the last video for The R.E.D. Album. The R.E.D. Album exceeded my expectations and did well. No matter what an album comes out and sells the first week, it'll end up catching platinum in the long run, 'cause I definitely have a million fans out there somewhere. I don't know what they be doing the first week, but my albums always have legs. But just for that album to come out and be No. 1, that's all I wanted. So I got what I wanted.
"(Jay-Z) didn't want to be known as the bad guy that killed The Roots," Questlove said. I told Jay, "Like man, that would be nice to have all my records debut at No. 1 and stuff." But he's like, "Yeah, but you're just looking at that. I got to deal with beef with this cat and that cat. Every year some rapper's going to take a potshot and I got to take the gloves out the closet and start training." ... And (Jay-Z) sees me as an artist making my dream come true. Like, he wants to be seen as a true artist, not the richest guy in hip-hop. Meanwhile, I would like 13 zeros in my account."
"It's not even DMX 'coming back,'" Grease said in an interview. "I don't even want to say DMX is coming back. We could check a chart right now, and the sh*t is still waving. X ain't put out an album in a couple years. Everybody's aware of all the situations. He's got the controversy, the arrest, all the different things and all that. But as far as an artist, a rapper, a human being, there's nobody that's touching him. Like I always said, I came in the game with a lot of people that's great but he's a person to look up to from my standpoint."
Grand Hustle boss T.I. openly confirmed the partnership saying, "I can. I heard it" and shared further, "Taylor's extended Hustle Gang. She a part of the crew. She just ain't got her dog tags yet, but she's a part of the crew though."
"I remember when I met you, you was dissin' Jay/ Sh*t bothered me anyway/It's not that I didn't like him, I just heard rumors/ And I heard you was my junior/ Throwin' up the Roc sign/I assumed that you knew what it meant/Apparently, you didn't/N*gga you was fishin', barely was livin'/ And I'm the one who put you in your new position/Just remember, n*gga -- Diss me back, I'm waiting on the diss track/I ain't Drizzy, but I will rip a track and diss you on it/On this, I vomit, sh*t and comment/A grip, palm it, get off of my d*ck..."
***SMH. Doggies, I was tempted to do an entire post on this Tim Tebow/Jets f*ckery. SMH. Seriously, really, HUH!? How do we go from trying to sign Peyton Manning to getting Tim Tebow traded here? I know the majority of my Jets doggies are tighter than...well, I won't go that far, but let's just say "upset" is an understatement. I can't lie, if we get the wins and it works out, eh, maybe I'll change my mind and backtrack all of this but until then? F*CK YOU, PROVE US WRONG! Compared to the Giants, we're looking like a circus. Sorry doggies, I gotta vent. LOL! I'll catch y'all on Tuesday! --BB***
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]