West Coast rap veteran Snoop Dogg recently shared his outlook on Young Money‘s Nicki Minaj and said he recognized the rapper’s potential well before her thrust into the spotlight.
Snoop believes Minaj is bringing something new and fresh to hip-hop as a femcee.
“Oh, she getting money, sh*t. I ain’t no hater. She filling a lane that’s empty. There ain’t no female rappers that are appealing that can rap, that are connected to a real rap group or rap gang or what not. She doing her thang thang…Sometimes we may not understand it ’cause it may not be for you but at the same time that’s not to disencourage it. I like her. She get down, she fly, she look good, she got her thang together. I knew her before she became big or whatnot. She interviewed me a couple times…She interviewed me at a Lil Wayne concert once upon a time when I was backstage and she was on the incline and I know she was liking pimpin’ and whatnot but pimpin’ wasn’t on her like that. So I didn’t even play my cards like that. I kept my hands to myself.” (VIBE)
Last week, G-Unit‘s Tony Yayo also talked about realizing Minaj’s early talent.
“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)
In May, Def Jam Senior VP of A&R 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)
Earlier this month, Cash Money Records co-founder Baby opened up about what Minaj brings to the table as a prominent fixture in rap.
“Nicki’s special,” Baby said in an interview. “Nicki’s music is Nicki, you heard me? She do her thing, is very creative and it’s her. She’s representing the women, YM/CB [Young Money/Cash Money]. I think she is [one of the greatest], just watching when you see her name lined with the elite, the elite generals that [the fans] consider as the best and she’s still young in the game. So she’s got a lot of years. So definitely. To be a woman, that’s big though. We’ve never had a woman to be looked upon like that. I think that’s hot. And she’s talented like that. I think she surprises the world with her talent and with the creations that she do.” (Rap-Up TV)
Check out some past footage of Nicki Minaj & Snoop Dogg down below: