G-Unit‘s Tony Yayo recently revealed trying to snag a collaboration with Nicki Minaj and how he predicted a female would take over the rap game prior to her inking with Lil Wayne‘s Young Money.
According to the “Talk of New York,” Minaj was able to invade hip-hop at a time when there was not a prominent leading female artist.
“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)
Earlier this year, the Unit’s Lloyd Banks said he was more impressed with Minaj’s buzz than Trina and Kim.
“[Laughs] Sheesh. I would go with Nicki right now,” he said in an interview. “Yeah, I like her as an artist. We came up in the same era, we were around the same age so I’m pretty sure one of her influences was probably Lil Kim and nothing is really reminding of the impact Kim had, since Nicki came. To have a concert and have a hundred Nickies in the front row… not too many new artists come and have a following like that. So you definitely have to acknowledge that.” (VIBE)
Despite the positive outlook, fellow Queens, New York rapper Homeboy Sandman recently hit up SOHH and shared his critical analysis of Minaj.
“Nicki Minaj, she ‘can’ rap, and I think it’s unfortunate,” Sandman told SOHH. “I’m waiting for a girl to come out that ‘can’ rap that doesn’t fit into the mold of ‘Oh, I’m a female hip-hop artist. I’m a black woman. All I care about is money. I love to get boned’. But you know what’s happening with Nicki Minaj? She’s teaching all these little girls out there to love getting boned and to love money and to just to be really shallow, materialistic people. But, she’s also teaching them how to rhyme. And people underestimate that. People underestimate the strength of actually being nice. Nicki Minaj is way nicer than the other prototype for the ‘I’m a slut female emcee,’ which is what a lot [of women]come out being. But one of these little girls that she’s teaching this sad sickening stuff and all the nonsense, she’s teaching them how to rap, and one day a little girl that learned a rap from Nicki Minaj is gonna say, ‘I don’t want to be a money-hungry slut.’ And she’s gonna come out and she’s gonna shut it down. So I’m not happy that people are getting to hear Nicki Minaj but the empire is gonna strike back and I never name names — [but] I don’t listen to people that can’t rap and are only out there to brainwash people. I also don’t listen to people who can rap but are saying a bunch of stupid stuff because there are people that can’t rap that are saying stuff that isn’t stupid.” (SOHH)
Check out Lloyd Banks speaking on Nicki Minaj below: