Lil Wayne Introduces Nicki Manaj
On MTV's Mixtape Daily
This Week's Main Pick
Street Queen: Nicki Minaj
Holding It Down For: Jamaica, Queens, and Young Money
Mixtape: Beam Me Up Scotty
Real Spit: Yeah, you are going to hear a bunch of more-than-just-friendly shout-outs to the ladies — Nicki says she loves the girls and has no problem surrounding herself with "bad bitches."
"A bad bitch is an exclusive, smart girlie-girl who holds her own," she explained. Minaj is from the same Southside Queens neighborhood as Mixtape Daily co-founder and host Shaheem Reid.
"Seeing a lot of crackheads — a lot of drug dealers," she said, describing the neighborhood when she was growing up. "I was on crack. I went to rehab. ... No, I spit that crack. That's what I meant."
Minaj attended LaGuardia High School -- the performing arts school on which the movie "Fame" was based — where she studied not music, but acting. She got into rapping after hanging around all her dudes who rhymed.
"I used to make stuff up and spit it and eventually just started getting dope — I think people just started taking me serious," she said. Nicki was discovered by Lil Wayne a couple of years after the New Orleans MC saw her on the street DVD "On the Come Up." "I was OK, but I wasn't focusing on the music. I was doing pictures and stuff like that, so people knew me more for pictures than my music," she continued. "But with the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape, they have to take me seriously as an artist. So, I would say maybe a year ago, I started sharpening my skills. Recently, I've been singing more. Now it's official — it's going down like 'Town Julie Brown."
Nicki — or "Lewinsky," as she calls herself — says that touring with Weezy, Drake and the rest of the "Young Moolah" crew had a serious impact on her and the mixtape.
"It made me hungry. That's what inspired me and the music for the Beam Me Up Scotty tape — the 'I Am Music' tour."
"It's a good opportunity to always find that new chick in the game," Atlanta's DJ Holiday said. "She's gonna have a good, successful career. It's hard to find that somebody who has that niche, that star power. She can rap, she can sing. She connected with everybody in the streets."
Nick is also down with the same management team behind Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman, thus all the collaborations with that crew.
"Gucci is real fast," she said of the difference between him and Wayne. "He'll force me, like, 'No, no, no. You're taking too long.' Wayne, we'll have more of a laid-back situation. He'll give me time to tweak a little more. But they both teach me a lot — they both a have a crazy work ethic. Wayne is my sensei. That's what I call him. He calls me his ninja. 'Ninja Nicki.' "