Former Roc-A-Fella Records artist Amil has offered her take on the rap game these days and why Young Money star Nicki Minaj is leading the pack for female emees.
In Amil’s eyes, Minaj is handling a lot of behind-the-scenes issues most people are unaware of.
“I got mad respect and love for Nicki. She’s doing it really big and that’s odd for a female. It’s really hard for a female rapper… out of every female entertainer, they got it the worst. I support her because behind-the-scenes she’s going through a lot. And to be able to handle that– that’s big.” (VIBE)
In December, hip-hop veteran MC Lyte discussed Minaj’s genre-transcending abilities.
“Those who really need to be worried by Nicki’s record is Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado,” Lyte said in an interview. “Nicki is coming out to win. She’s not thinking of the block. She’s not just thinking of the city. So she’s able to handle so many areas of what it takes right now to be an international star. So hats off to everybody that’s doing it but, I see the vision that Nicki sees for herself that people probably didn’t see before.” (VH1)
Prior to selling over 1.5 million copies, Minaj said she felt pressured to drop a quality debut album in order to pave a lane for her fellow female counterparts.
“[Young Money] won’t look to sign other female rappers if the project doesn’t do well, because they’re going to say, ‘Well, her buzz was so crazy, and if she couldn’t do it, then no one can do it,’ and I don’t want that to happen. So I’m doing this as well for all the girls…I hope it will open doors for all girls everywhere who ever wanted to pick up a mic and rap and who have been kind of afraid to do it…For a long time in my life, I was afraid to be a solo female rapper, because everyone told me, ‘It doesn’t work. It’s not going to happen. Record companies are never going to invest in you just to get it. Just be part of a group.’ … Even as far as I’ve come now is already a testament in my mind, so I hope the female rappers understand how big it is for our culture that the album does well.” (V-103)
Before taking a music hiatus, Amil made a name for herself through Roc-A-Fella Records.
In 1997, she became part of the group Major Coins, through which she met rapper Jay-Z. At the time Jay-Z was recording his third album, Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life, and wanted one of the women in Major Coins to do vocals on the album. By chance, Amil accompanied the group member to the studio, and Jay-Z asked her to freestyle on the album. Soon after Major Coins broke up, Amil decided to follow a solo career. She became a part of the group associated with Jay-Z’s label, Roc-A-Fella, joining the 1999 Hard Knock Life Tour. After the tour she appeared as a guest on albums for Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, and Funkmaster Flex. Amil released her first solo project through Roc-A-Fella, All Money Is Legal. (All Music)
Check out a past Nicki Minaj interview below: