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Character Study: Just How Real Is Nicki Minaj? (Pg 3)

Judging by her first street single, “Massive Attack,” the Sean Garrett-produced track that left a lot of people scratching their heads, it seems as though she is still figuring that out. It’s the kind of song that makes you feel old— like you’re missing something that the kids on designer drugs might understand. Or maybe it’s just not a very good song. Either way, the response has been lukewarm at best. 

“‘Massive Attack’ was the record she wanted to go with,” says Garrett, sounding a little defensive. “I think it’s a different sound. She wanted to make a statement. She definitely has a different direction for her album and her career than where most people think she wants to go.”

Ask Nicki how she feels about the response and she looks away before answering. “It was important for me to do something not everyone thought I was gonna do . . .People close to me have their preferences,” says Nicki, lowering her voice, “their favorite Nicki thing, and I have to stand up sometimes and block out the noise.”

Nicki is getting a little restless. We’re supposed to go to the spa later for manicures, but that’s hours from now and it turns out they don’t do acrylics.

“You wanna go see the Koreans and get a fill?” asks her publicist. “Just down the street.”

“I did an interview once like that and it was really loud,” says Nicki.

 “You wanna get a Jamba Juice? Get a healthy drink?” asks the publicist again. Nicki doesn’t like pulp in her orange juice and besides, she brought her own Tropicana. We’re not going anywhere.

 

LONG BEFORE ALL this, Nicki was a little girl in Trinidad who missed her mom. Born in 1984, Onika Tanya Maraj spent her first five years in a clown-car of a house, full of cousins and friends and animals. Her grandmother ruled the roost and, between the ages of 3 and 5, was Nicki’s stand-in mom. Nicki’s parents would send for her later— once they were set up in Queens.

Like lots of people awaiting entry to the United States, Nicki idealized what her life would be like once she got to New York. Whenever her mother would visit, she would sneak into the bedroom, dress herself and pack up all her belongings. “I would sit there and wait for her to leave, knowing that if she sees that I’m dressed, she’ll take me with her.”

________________________

"The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot. . .

and I thought that to have the success they got,

I would have to represent the same thing."

________________________

By junior high, Nicki was the kind of scrappy, pretty, determined teenager who could drive a mother crazy. She went to Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210 in the Ozone Park area of Queens— a school that was known for “being big and being bad.” There, Nicki got in fights a lot. If her friend was having a problem with another girl, she’d get in the middle. “What’s the problem?” Nicki would say, and the next thing she knew, her nails were tearing into the other girl’s neck and chest, her shirt ripped off, boobs out. “She was Puerto Rican, too,” says Nicki, shaking her head about one incident. “So you could see every scratch.”

Nicki has never had a hard time getting attention. At LaGuardia Arts, the performing arts magnet school in Manhattan immortalized in Fame, Nicki was hard to miss. She was loud and friendly and a little intimidating. The boys wanted to be her friend because she was pretty and funny, and the girls wanted to be her friend because it was no fun being her enemy.

“Her friends were kind of like the mean girls,” says a former classmate. “You got the sense when you walked past her that she was talking about you or had some kind of joke going on. But I wouldn’t say she was mean.  . . . You could tell at LaGuardia what someone’s major was based on their behavior, and Nicki was definitely a drama major.”

 

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On Tuesday (Aug. 20), Tee Grizzley’s aunt, Jobina “JB” Brown, was fatally shot in Detroit, Michigan. Brown and the rapper, who she managed, were riding in a Chrysler together at the time of the attack. Two other men were also in the car, ages 25 and 34, when their vehicle came to a stop and bullets from an unknown direction began.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Brown, 41, was pronounced dead. Recently, Grizzley took to Instagram to commemorate his aunt. “Since I was 12 we been going everywhere together how you gone go to heaven without me????” he wrote. “Idek what to say JB I just wanted to show the world yo smile I love you so much.”

The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled Brown’s death as a homicide, The Detroit News reports. An investigation by Detroit Police Department’s Homicide Unit is currently underway as the search for the suspect continues.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Since I was 12 We been going everywhere together how you gone go to heaven without me???? Idek what to say JB I just wanted to show the world yo smile I love you so much 💔

A post shared by Free Ralo 👳🏾‍♂️ (@tee_grizzley) on Aug 23, 2019 at 5:16pm PDT

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Jeezy Test Drives Job As Meteorologist On The Weather Channel

In promotion of his latest studio album, TM104: Legend Of The Snowman, the Atlanta native took to The Weather Channel in his hometown to give viewers the prognosis for the week. Since climate change is ramping up day by day, Jeezy didn’t hesitate when he saw the forecast predicted a chance of snow everyday.

The weather man recently debuted the aforementioned album to fanfare. In recent interviews, he mentioned this is his last album with Def Jam and rounds out his Thug Motivation series which began in 2005.

TM104 features CeeLo Green, Queen Naija, Meek Mill, Ty Dolla $ign, Gunna, Rick Ross and more. “All the records that I did, even the ones that didn’t make the album, they were all true to me,” he said to Billboard. “It’s what true thug motivation means. Just like everything that I’ve done, I put my heart into it like it was my first album. Like it was my first ad-lib. Like it was my first rodeo.”

Is it supposed to snow in Atlanta tonight? That's what Meteorologist @Jeezy says… ⛄ pic.twitter.com/UyrqV76DLO

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Florida Gunman Convicted Of Manslaughter In Fatal Parking Lot Shooting

A Florida jury convicted a white gunman of killing an unarmed black father during an argument over a parking space. Jurors deliberated for more than six hours before finding Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the July 2018 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.

McGlockton, 28, was gunned down in front of his 5-year-old son in the parking lot of a Circle K gas station. The father of three was coming to his girlfriend’s defense after she was confronted by Drejka for parking in a handicap space while McGlockton ran into the store. Drejka, who alleged self-defense, claimed that he opened fire after McGlockton took “one step” towards him and shoved him. Drejka attempted to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to justify the fatal shooting, and saw no fault in his actions.

“I followed the law the way I thought the law was supposed to be followed. I cleared every hurdle that the law had to put in front of me,” he told a local news station last year.

Prosecutors argued that Drejka provoked the confrontation and video surveillance confirmed that McGlockton was backing away from Drejka. The state’s self-defense argument doesn’t apply if the shooter caused the altercation.

Drejka, who faces up to 30 years in prison, had no reaction to the verdict, CBS News reports. He remains held without bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10.

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