VIBE_Nicki_Minaj

C Notes: Stop Complaining About Nicki Minaj’s Voices

We know what Nicki Minaj is doing. That the whole Barbie(TM) movement is manufactured. Yet there’s something about this that’s refreshing—a rapper seemingly comfortable in her skin, who recognizes that being an artist is just that, an art, so why not have fun with it? The doll-inspired limb movements, the girly giggles, her flow and her lyrics all show that Nicki is in on the joke, and part of that joke are her voices. Sometimes high pitched, other times deep, and often unpredictable.

Yet, the one criticism I’ve been hearing, more from men than women is: She’s dope but why the stupid voice?! Well, why not?

Aside from her visible assets, it’s her voice, like a supermodel’s strangely out-of-place mole or angular jaw, that makes her interesting. Complain about her rapping about resting a certain body part on someone’s sideburns if you will, but I could care less what voice Nicki uses, as long as it’s one that’s being heard.

If you have no problem with Ludacris using his jumbo voice and enunciating every other syllable and can still appreciate his lyricism, or Lil Wayne croaking all his verses while unleashing 1,001 similes in the process, the same should be the case for Nicki. And Busta Rhymes anyone? Or is it jarring to hear a woman be so animated? You have to be highly self-aware to be comfortable switching schizophrenically between an indoor and outdoor voice. In Nicki’s case, lines like: “It’s Nightmare on Elm Street and GUESS WHO’S PLAYIN’ FREDDIE?!” on Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad,” a song in which Luda does the same thing: "Comin' down the street like a parade. MACYS!"

The distorted syllables and inflections are all part of the act, and you can tell that Nicki has picked some of this up from Wayne. Just yesterday, I heard a remix of Jason Derulo’s tepid club track “In My Head,” wherein she drops this line: “Put me in the wall. Psyche/Smash more clubs than TIGER WOODS’ WIFEY” and then lets out a self-amused “ha!” It’s a different type of aggression we haven’t heard much from other women rappers.

NICKI MINAJ PHOTO GALLERY

When Foxy Brown and Lil Kim got hardcore, they discussed things like shooting people up and transporting stash across borders, activities that amount to romping with the big boys. With Nicki, you get the sense that the big boys want to be down with her, and not just sexually. (See: Nicki Minaj And My Relationship with Female MCs.) Jonah Weiner wrote a great “character” analysis of Nicki in a piece for Slate.com a few weeks ago, stating that: “She treats the relative absence in hip-hop of strong (and strongly defined) female voices as though it were an inviting blank canvas, not an oppressive void, and she hops from persona to persona with a license we can hardly imagine a mainstream male rapper enjoying.”

Whether consciously or inadvertently, Nicki is embracing the concept of being a chameleon. There’s too much transparency in rap these days not to. So she dresses up in Barbie costumes and crazy-colored wigs like Halloween never ended and speaks in (presumably) a British accent, but unlike Lil Kim—whom I adored but who always seemed like she wanted to actually be an ideal—Nicki seems to just be wearing the mask, at least for now. And because we can see through her, we see her clearly. —Clover Hope

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Clover Hope is a senior editor at VIBE with a love jones for rhythm and blues who's written for publications such as Billboard, ESPN The Magazine, XXL and Village Voice.

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Rico Nasty attends John Elliott in Front Row at February 2019 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 09, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Yuchen Liao/Getty Images)

Rico Nasty To Release 'Anger Management' LP In April

Rico Nasty allowed much time to go by without new music. Since the release of her debut album Nasty last year, the rapper has released a steady amount of singles and slayed guest spots on tracks with Doja Cat and Amine. Now the 21-year-old is ready to drop another LP perfectly titled, Anger Management. 

On Sunday (March 24), Rico hopped on Instagram Live to share the news. A date hasn't been put in place but she assured that the project will "probably come out in April." Like many of her projects, Rico will team up with producer extraordinaire Kenny Beats. Rico revealed how she wants fans "to really enjoy it" as she will jump into different sounds and styles.

From what Rico disclosed in her Instagram Live, Anger Management will feature guest spots from Earthgang and "Intro part 2" rapper Splurge.

The "Countin' Up'" artist has always been unique in her style and comfortable in her own skin. Nasty, which was featured on our EOY lists last year, showed how successful Rico is at mixing trap and pop. Seems like fans can expect the same magic this time around.

Rico was most recently at SXSW and will perform at Coachella in April.

View this post on Instagram

 

NEW COLLAB PROJECT WITH @kennybeats (THE WHITE MAN) Called ANGER MANAGEMENT Coming Soon COMMENT an ANGRY EMOJI IF YOU ARE READY TO RELIEVE SOME STRESS 👺👹😡🤬

A post shared by TACOBELLA (@riconasty) on Mar 25, 2019 at 9:08am PDT

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Billboard

Twitter Users Make #SurvivingCardiB Trend After Claims Of Drugging And Robbing Men

What started out as Cardi B addressing critics who believe she doesn't deserve the accolades she's received swiftly turned into a controversial revelation. The "Money" rapper went on Instagram Live to address the detractors but caused a stir for reportedly stating that she used to drug and rob men.

"Ni**as must've forgot, my ni**a, the sh*t that I did to motherf*cking survive. I had to go strip. I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you wanna f**k me?' Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go back to this hotel," Cardi said. "And I drugged ni**as up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was motherf**king handed to me, my ni**a. Nothing!”

Rapper #CardiB admits to using sex to DRUG men and ROB them of their money. pic.twitter.com/vIYYP1fMfr

— 24/7 HipHop News (@BenjaminEnfield) March 25, 2019

The mother-of-one's revelation spawned more criticism and resulted in the hashtag #SurvivingCardiB. A few Twitter users claimed that the Bronx native should be regarded in the same light as Bill Cosby and R. Kelly due to her admission, while others even called for the "Bodak Yellow" rapper to be removed from Hustlers, an upcoming film with Jennifer Lopez.

I’m sorry @JLo but if @iamcardib is in your new movie than I will NOT be watching! She admitted to drugging men and robbing them, if you are okay with that than you are part of the problem! #MeToo #SurvivingCardiB https://t.co/eRFQTqEHkX

— CoreyDLikeMe (@GodAmongYouAz1) March 26, 2019

I’m done with my @iamcardib commentary. I’ve been saying this since she came out she represents the worst in popular culture is a horrible example for girls and women and should not be put up on a pedestal. #survivingCardiB

— Kwesi 🇬🇭 (@thejollofking) March 26, 2019

@iamcardib this isn’t about ruining your career. This is about holding you accountable for your actions. You started this, we need to end it. The artist and the art can no longer be separate. #survivingCardi #TimesUp https://t.co/ja5ywWJgpW

— ceara (@cearablue) March 26, 2019

The 26-year-old artist has yet to specifically address the situation, but her recent tweets seemingly speak to the incident in question.

 

When they try to cancel me on Twitter and instagram 🤪🤪🤪😊😊😊😊😊😊 pic.twitter.com/a19gI006Xk

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019

IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE,IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE ❤️ 😝and I love it 😍🥰🥰

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 26, 2019

I never claim to be a angel I always been a street bitch Ya be glorifying this street rappers that talk and do that grimmey street shit but they can’t stand a street bitch!

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019

Don’t come harrasing me on my page and when I reply back ya get upset .GTFOH! If you not BARDIGANG then why the fuck you here ?

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019

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Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels' and a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, speaks to the media after being arrested for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million on March 25, 2019 in New York City. The counts against Avenatti are to include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more. Avenatti is expected to answer to the charges later Monday.(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Michael Avenatti's Extortion Scandal Might Help R. Kelly Avoid Criminal Case

R. Kelly might evade another sexual misconduct trial again thanks to Michael Avenatti's extortion case.

The prosecutor, who has claimed to have multiple tapes of the singer engaging in sexual acts with underage girls, was indicted Monday (March 25) on a wire fraud scheme against Nike. The 48-year-old reportedly threatened to expose the company for paying college basketball players and their families. Avenatti tried to convince Nike to hire him to launch an internal investigation for $15 to $25 million. Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was also named as a co-conspirator.

The very messy case has allowed R. Kelly's legal team to question how Avenatti retrieved the tapes for his case against the singer. Speaking to TMZ Tuesday (March 26), Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg believes Avenatti's credibility is shot. The unidentified man who was handed the tape over to Avenatti reportedly had a history with Kelly–he recently shared with prosecutors how he was paid upwards of a million dollars by Kelly's camp to keep the tape from the public.

Greenberg believes Avenatti might've used unlawful practices to get his hands on the tape. This might mean the troublesome case could be thrown out thanks to Avenatti's behavior.

This hasn't stopped the prosecutor from his battle against Nike. After he was released from police custody Monday, Avenatti took to Twitter to drop names in the alleged Nike funneling scandal and claimed the company orchestrated his arrest as a distraction. “We never attempted to extort Nike & when the evidence is disclosed, the public will learn the truth about Nike’s crime & coverup,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Nike said in a statement they have been cooperated with officials in the NCAA investigation for over a year.

Either way, the rights and justices for black girls have been overshadowed by greed and corruption.

This hasn't affected Geragos' latest client Jussie Smollett. It was reported this morning that all charges against the Empire actor in relation to his alleged staged attack have been dropped.

See Twitter reactions from Avenatti's case below.

https://twitter.com/KayCTee/status/1110242132646903808

So uhhh, y'all couldn't tell/didn't realize #MichaelAvenatti was an "ain't sh**" mofo? pic.twitter.com/YsZDptDDYQ

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

And to think--some folks ACTUALLY thought #MichaelAvenatti cared about the young women attached to the R. Kelly case... pic.twitter.com/Q6H2NWxU4x

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

https://twitter.com/Kamino89/status/1110257324449562625

Mark Garagos is scum. He represented Michael Jackson, wife killer Scott Peterson and Cameron Brown, who was accused of killing his 4 y/o daughter by throwing her off a cliff. https://t.co/xUYLU1Pasc

— Nasty Woman (@HandToForehead) March 25, 2019

OPPSCNN - Having a really bad dayAvenatti - Having a REALLY bad day

Now, Jussie Smollett is having a really bad day.Mark Garagos co-conspirator w/Michael Avenatti.

Garagos works for CNN AND Jussie Smollett.

Celebs are awfully quiet today.Trump - Having a great day as POTUS https://t.co/s7paMnUFpj

— Charlene Worley (@cworley2007) March 25, 2019

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