G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks recently weighed in on Nicki Minaj‘s success as of late and why the self-proclaimed “Barbie” is leaving her imprint on future generation female emcees.
From Banks’ perspective, Nicki is paving a lane for women to up their lyrical wrath.
“Artists like Lil’ Kim, she was speaking from a woman’s perspective, but it was a little more raunchy,” Banks explained in an interview. “It was almost like she was a dude. I have had that same connection. You know, I’ve got girls that run up on me, now, and recite some of my hardest sh*t. And I’m like, ‘D*mn.’ You think that they’re going to sing something like ‘Smile,’ and then drop some sh*t from a hard record. It’s kind of crazy how things are turning. But the difference with Nicki [Minaj], to me, she’s very lyrical and creative with how she puts words together, I think she’s going to open up the minds of girls who are opposed to just looking like a Barbie. I think the idea is not just the excitement of having the clothes and the look and everything. I think that she’s making girls want to actually put words together.” (All Hip Hop)
In summer 2010, G-Unit’s Tony Yayo said he missed an opportunity to possibly sign Minaj.
“She was out there and she was messing with this guy named Fendi. I was trying to do a record with her, but Fendi was like, ‘For what? Why you wanna do something with her?’ Then I left it alone. This was a long, long time ago when I was seeing her on the ‘Come Up’ DVDs, ’cause that’s how she started,” Yayo explained in an interview. “You know what’s crazy? Like, three years ago, I said to [music executive and G-Unit producer] Sha Money [XL] … ‘You need a hot female artist, rapper. I’m telling you, that lane is open. I’m telling you, Sha, that female lane, that rapper lane is wide open.’ What she did was capture it at the right time, ’cause nobody’s out. There’s no Lil’ Kim out, there’s no Foxy … she just conquered that lane at the right time with the right people.” (Rap Fix)
Last May, Sha Money XL talked with SOHH about Minaj’s overall appeal.
“Nicki Minaj has set the bar so high that whoever the new female rappers is, and I’ve heard one or two females so far and they’re horrible and I’m real hard on female rappers, seriously. I ain’t with the bullsh*t, don’t come too hard, you gotta be sexy and look like Nicki Minaj and sh*t. She got it. She got, I don’t know about that Sean Garrett record, but she’s got it. That record ain’t it, she’s supposed to come harder than that. That sh*t ain’t it.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Not only impressed by male artists, female emcees like Da Brat have also praised the rapper.
“I don’t know what it was, but hopefully with Nicki Minaj being out, people will pay more attention now to see that we got it crackin’, too,” Brat explained in an interview. “I appreciate what she does, and I like her music. I like the fact she doesn’t stay in a box. I like the fact that she sings. I like the fact that she wears different-colored wigs and that she’s all about the fashion. I dig that. I don’t want to stray too far from myself because naturally I am a tomboy. Naturally I have a whole lot of swag, and I ain’t letting that go, but I’m tired of these braids.” (Sister 2 Sister)
Check out some recent Lloyd Banks footage below: