When Nicki Minaj’s first official single, “Massive Attack,” debuted in late March, the response throughout the web was overwhelmingly negative with fans bemused by the black Barbie’s reggae undertones and “tom tom” references.
But the track’s producer, songwriter and guest feature, Sean “The Pen” Garrett — who initially wanted to hold the record for himself — explained to VIBE why he wasn’t (and still isn’t) fazed by detesters, tracing the hate to fickleness.
“'Massive Attack' is a stupid record, but everybody is so set on doing the same thing all the time, but they say they want something new, then you give them something new and they’re not ready for it,” Garrett tells VIBE. “People just need some time for this to sink into their veins. I knew [the negative feedback] was going to happen. I go through that with every record. I went through that with 'Yeah!' and 'Break Up.' It’s common to me."
Though “Massive Attack” is currently sitting mum at No. 175 on iTunes, Garrett mentions that the single is “exploding in Europe already.” But the 31-year-old is unsure of Minaj’s personal feelings on the response and describes the challenge of shifting from guest bars to a full-length single.
“Just think about it: She came in doing a lot of hot sixteens on records that were already working. It’s easier to go in and do a quick sixteen on a record that’s already done. But to create a new vibe and a new full song… that’s a lot. People think that’s easy, but it aint.”
He continues, “The whole purpose of this record was to take [Nicki] to another level. She done jumped on every urban record out, so she had to go grow as an artist. She doesn’t get the same type of respect as a guy, so as a female [she had] to upgrade [her] scenario. We didn’t really talk about [the aftermath of “Massive Attack”], because there’s nothing to talk about. She loved the record; I loved the record. There’s work to be done. Aint nothing going to come easy.”
Garrett is currently prepping to release the video to his lead single, “Get It All,” also featuring Minaj.
Minaj recently resigned as a guest on Rihanna’s Last Girl On Earth tour, to finish up her debut album due this year. —Tracy Garraud
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