Nicki Minaj Outtakes-12_0 Nicki Minaj Outtakes-12_0

Character Study: Just How Real Is Nicki Minaj? (Pg 4)

Perhaps, but when Nicki first heard about LaGuardia, it was singing that interested her. She already played the clarinet and the idea of going to a school where you could sing all day sounded like heaven to her, in a “what’s the catch?” kind of way. The catch was that she was hoarse the day of her audition.

“I knew I’d flunked miserably,” she says. “I was crying and embarrassed and I didn’t want anyone in the school to see me. I just wanted to go home. That was the first time in my adolescent life where my mother put her foot down. Normally I made the rules.” Her mother insisted she go through with the drama audition, so she stomped to the basement, walked into the auditorium, and then something remarkable happened.

“You know when you’re doing something you were put here to do, and there’s a moment when it’s so easy. And you’re like, ‘Wait, not everyone can do this?’” The next thing she knew, she’d been accepted to the drama program.

After high school, Nicki had two things on the brain. First, she wanted to make sure she had a job, because a job meant she could afford her own apartment and that white BMW she had her eye on. Second, she wanted to make rap music.

One of her jobs was serving biscuits and shrimp to jerks at Red Lobster in the Bronx for $12 an hour. She hated it, but she always found a way of amusing herself and the other waitresses on her shift. One time, on an especially busy night, she was rushing to get some plates to a table and one of her super-long nails popped into a customer’s salad.

“Our manager said ‘Look at this, Onika. This is not good,’” recalls a former coworker. “And Onika goes, “Damn, I know! I can’t believe I just broke my freaking nail!’”  That didn’t get her fired, though. She was fired for following a customer into the parking lot, knocking on his car window and giving him the finger. “He stole my pen!” she says cackling. “I gave him the pen to sign the credit card slip, and I was gonna show him: I will lose my job for a pen. So I chased him into the freaking parking lot. Who does that?!”

The hardest part about getting fired— and Nicki always got fired— was telling her mother she would have to come back home. “I never wanted to accept that I was not ready to live on my own. My mother would call. I would be like, ‘Everything’s great!’ But I wouldn’t have food in the refrigerator. I refused to ask for anything.”

They still talk every day, but the timbre of the calls has shifted. “Now it’s ‘Hey, can you buy me a house?’” Nicki says with a weary laugh. “It’s a completely different conversation. In such a short space of time, everything changed.”

All the while, she was making music. The guys she hung out with in Queens all rapped, and at first they just wanted her to sing their hooks. “I hated doing anything that made me seem like a girl at that time,” she says. “I wanted to be as strong as the boys and as talented as them and I wanted to show them I  could do what they did.” She’d save up her money for studio time, record songs and then drive around the neighborhood in her BMW playing her music. “They always took notice,” she says.

Other people took notice, too. First was Fendi, a Brooklyn street-rap guy who discovered Nicki on MySpace and signed her to his underground label Dirty Money. On a DVD called The Come Up, which featured Lil Wayne on the cover, she rapped over The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning.” The ballsiness of the choice made people talk. It created buzz. And most important, it got the attention of Lil Wayne.

IT HASN’T BEEN a cakewalk. It may look like a lot of fun given all the curious wigs, affected accents and boob signing. But when she isn’t busy putting on airs, Nicki is very serious and hardworking. “Focused, man,” says Ludacris of her on-set work ethic. “She has high expectations, so there’s no time for games.”

Like anyone, though, she makes mistakes— like that time she skipped town while Young Money was recording in Miami to do a solo show she’d forgotten about. To be fair, Nicki had her own career to worry about, and a prior engagement is a prior engagement. But it’s not every day Lil Wayne asks you to hang around and record a top 10 hit in the making. It was an early blunder, and when she got back to town, she got the bad news: Wayne had kicked her off the song “Bedrock.”

When Nicki was a little kid and her mother told her she couldn’t do something, she’d go to her room and makes lists of all the reasons she could. She’d then present it to her mother until she got her way— which is exactly what Nicki did with Wayne. Holed up in her hotel, Nicki wrote three new verses, thinking that if she presented Wayne with all four, he’d have to like one of them. 

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Rep. Maxine Waters meets with CBS Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity, Kim Goodwin, and CBS Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, Christopher Isham, on Capitol Hill. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Waters Office)

Maxine Waters Meets With CBS To Discuss Media Diversity And Inclusion

California Rep. Maxine Waters met with CBS' Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity to discuss the lack of media diversity and inclusion within the media empire.

Their meeting steemed from the network's recent release of their predominately clear  team for the coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Comprised of 4 white producers, 5 white-passing reporters and 3 journalists of color, though the 2020 campaigns reporting staff does not have any black anchors.

It's Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled!

— Ben Mitchell (@bfmitchell) January 11, 2019

Waters, like other prominent speakers in the black community, have discussed their reluctance to embrace the staff citing issues with who will tackle the roles that racism will play in elections and the role racism has been playing in the United States. Taking the issues directly to the source, the congresswomen had a discussion with the higher up's to talk redirection.

“The CBS representatives accepted full responsibility and understood the troubling optics-- and subsequent public backlash -- that occurred as a result of the rollout of their 2020 presidential election team. CBS admitted that the initial 2020 campaign team did not reflect the diversity that the company had committed to; assured me that it will not happen again; and revealed that in the coming months they will unveil a more diverse and inclusive slate of African American journalists and journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,"  Waters said in a press statement.

"They also identified key individuals in Washington, D.C. and New York City, NY whom they have brought onto their team to fulfill this mission and ensure their news organization reflects the diversity of the country and the communities who will most certainly be engaged in the 2020 elections."

The 43rd district representative has vowed to hold CBS accountable for their diversity issues and is dedicated to working alongside her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Woman Alleges R. Kelly Sexually Abused Her At 16 In 'Dateline' Interview

Tracy Sampson, a woman who interned with Epic Records at 16, revealed she endured sexual relations with R. Kelly that summer of 1999.

Featured on Dateline NBC's "Accused: The R. Kelly Story," the now 36-year-old appears in her first on-camera interview where she details the relationship that began during her formative years.

Sampson said the singer asked her, "'Can I kiss you?' and I was like, 'No,'" to which he responded, "'Well, give me a hug.' And then, like, when I gave him a hug he just started kissing me."

"I was in love with him," she continued. "I just didn't know what to do. Like, I didn't know if this was normal. I didn't know if this is how adults acted."

Following the incident, Sampson filed a lawsuit against Kelly in 2002. Her suit was settled to the tune of $250,000.

Steven Greenberg, Kelly's current attorney, told NBC that he was not part of the artist's legal team when the alleged abuse took place but maintains that his client is innocent.

According to Greenberg, there is no evidence that proves Kelly, 52, engaged in sexual relations with underage girls "because it didn't happen." However, Surviving R. Kelly calls that statement into question with a six-episode program detailing the sexual and mental abuse endured by some women who met Kelly while underage. Lisa Van Allen, for instance, met the "Sex Me" singer at the age of 17.

NBC's take on the groundbreaking series comes just two weeks after the explosive Lifetime production. The special will air Friday (Jan. 18) at 10 pm EST.

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Princess Nokia Accuses Ariana Grande Of Ripping Off Her Song For '7 Rings'

While some corners of the Internet are rejoicing in Ariana Grande's new trap-influenced single and video for "7 Rings," other members are crying "plagiarism" after Princess Nokia pointed out that the Thank U, Next single sounds suspiciously familiar to her song, "Mine."

"Oh! Oh! Wow!” Nokia says while playing the two songs back-to-back on her Instagram page. “Does that sound familiar to you, because that sounds really familiar to me!"

She later point out that her song "Mine" off of her 2017 project 1992 Deluxe is written for a different demographic that the majority of Grande's fans.

"Oh my god. Ain’t ["Mine"] the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm… sounds about white," Nokia continues. "7 Rings" features an interpolation of The Sound Of Music's "My Favorite Things," and features a flow reminiscent of Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag." However, the similarities between Nokia's "Mine" and Grande's new song are indeed striking, specifically the cadence for the repeated lines ("it's mine, I bought it" for Nokia and "I want it, I got it" for Ari), as well as the flow for the pre-chorus.

Grande hasn't commented on the allegations, however, Twitter users are jumping to Nokia's defense.

"@ArianaGrande when you heard Mine by Princess Nokia did you listen to the words telling you not to appropriate or were just plotting on how else you can capitalize on black culture and grabbed the beat with no credit," one user wrote.

What do you think?


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A post shared by Princess Nokia (@princessnokia) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:30am PST


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