3 Reasons Nicki Minaj Crushes All The Boys On Kanye West's "Monster"

Since joining up with Lil’ Wayne’s omnipresent Young Money contingent in 2009, the much heralded Nicki Minaj has been an exercise in mild inconsistency. For every lyrically scorching showcase (Y.M.’s “Roger That” displayed the usually Technicolor Nicki getting down to serious MC business with sneering, brazenly cocky lines like, “White girls tell me ‘Hey Nicki, your camp rules!/Is that why you get more head than shampoos?’”) there’s the deflating and at times annoying performance (Has there ever been a bigger first single disappointment in hip-hop than the silly, disjointed toss-off “Massive Attack?”)

But to be truthful, Nicki has more pressing responsibilities than her male hip-hop counterparts. Not only is she given the task of single-handedly taking the female hip-hop game off of life support, she has to keep the Young Money commercial streak of Lil Wayne and Drake alive while selling a shit load of albums. But if her debut album, due out this fall, contains any of the brilliant, fearless hallmarks of her remarkable guest spot on Kanye West’s “Monster” there is reason for optimism. Point blank: Nicki Minaj may have just given the most bold and ambitious rhyme performance of the year by a male or female. Here’s a break down.—Keith Murphy



Nicki Isn’t Afraid To Take Chances…Win Or Fail

The knock on Nicki Minaj has been that her over-the-top animated delivery has at times obscured the fact that she is capable of being a pretty clever MC. Early followers of her hip-hop career point to her impressive 2007-2009 mixtape run which included Playtime Is Over, Sucka Free and Beam Me Up Scotty as well as her star-making appearance on Weezy’s own underground salvo Dedication 2. Some critics have wondered aloud just what happened to the New York Queens chick who delivered straight-no-chaser bars without the cartoon-tinged hyperbole?

Which is why Nicki’s verse on “Monster” is so jarring. The woman gives perhaps her most over-the-top, she-should-be-on-her-meds verbal exhibition to date. But this time, she comes off sounding like a hungry, ambitious artist who smells blood. Nicki does what Rick Ross, Kanye, and Jay-Z didn’t have the artistic stomach to do on this sparse, ominous track: leave it all in the booth. We haven’t heard such sincere Jekyll & Hyde-like insanity since Biggie got away with it on 1994’s menacing “Gimmie The Loot.” “So let me get this straight, wait I'm the rookie/But my features and my shows ten times your pay/50k for a verse no album out!/Yeah my money's so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it.” Lil’ Kim is somewhere frowning her Botox-injected face.

 

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Tekashi 6ix9ine performs at the 2018 Made In America Festival - Day 1 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Footage Of Tekashi 6ix9ine's Alleged Kidnapping Surfaces

A new video showcasing the kidnapping of rapper Tekashi69 last year in Brooklyn by his former Nine Trey Bloods associates has been obtained by The Daily News. Although we don’t see Tekashi or his accused kidnappers—Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Ellison’s friend who goes by “Sha”—we do hear the whole ordeal as they drive through the dark, rainy streets of Brooklyn.

When the footage of the kidnapping ends, the video transitions into scenes with Jorge Rivera, Tekahi’s driver, who attempted at following the vehicle in which he was kidnapped and retrieve the license plate number. We hear Rivera calling 911 in Spanish to come to Tekashi’s aid. Rivera immediately became a witness in the case.

The “FeFe” rapper’s alleged feud with Ellison came after a dispute over how the rapper (né Daniel Hernandez) would share all his earnings with the gang.

During his recent testimony at Manhattan Federal Court earlier this week, the 23-year-old recalled the kidnapping stating the gang members ended up going against each other. “The gang, it was divided. We’re all part of the same gang but we’re attacking each other,” Tekashi revealed.

Hernandez also detailed that the kidnapping began around 4 am ET when Ellison crashed a stolen car into Rivera’s Chevy Tahoe SUV at Atlantic Avenue and Bedford Ave on July 22, 2018.

According to Tekashi, Sha opened the door of the Chevy armed with a gun and demanded that he get into the car with him and Ellison. Ellison was allegedly armed as well. In the video, you can hear Tekashi trying to reason with Ellison about the situation.

“I put money in your pocket, bro, I’m scared, bro…I don’t know...everybody is saying extortion this, extortion that,” he said.

“I’m pleading with my heart...yo, don’t shoot,” Tekashi would later say in court about the incident.

Ultimately, after the rapper obtained several injuries from both Ellison and Sha beating him up and demanding that he say loud that he is no longer part of the Bloods gang, they came to a settlement. If Tekashi relinquished all of his jewelry, they would let him go.

“We came to an agreement. If I gave them the jewelry, they would let me go,” Tekashi said.

Eventually, the crew made it to his girlfriend’s home where they retrieved the jewelry. Later, Tekashi would allegedly escape from the backseat and get into a random car which dropped him off at a precinct.

During part two of his testimony, Hernandez also revealed other inner workings of the gang and their attempts to fatally shoot rappers like Cheif Keef, Casanova and Trippie Redd.

More details on the fate of Tekashi’s case are still pending. You can hear/watch the alleged kidnapping over at The Daily News.

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Premiere: Guaynaa Uses His Handyman Skills To Impress The Ladies In "Buyaka" Video

After releasing his hit single “ReBoTa,” Guaynaa is back with the cheeky visuals for “Buyaka.” With a crew of handymen in blue overalls, the 26-year-old is seemingly trying to seduce and impress a beautiful blonde haired young lady. As they perform for her and attempt at fixing the bad plumbing in her kitchen, Guaynaa (né Jean Carlos Santiago) charmingly performs the track laced with suggestive lyrics.

Santiago’s out of the box style seems like an anomaly among his peers which is refreshing. The artist told Billboard earlier this year that his stage name, Guaynaa, is a term used to describe a wealthy/high-class person in his native country of Puerto Rico. He also expressed how his parents are his main inspiration for his musical aspirations.

“There are many factors that inspire me as an artist. But, my family is my inspiration. My mom and dad are trovadores,” he said. “But, I really felt the inspiration after listened to other singers, like Residente. Growing up, I tried to imitate them and I realized that I have a true passion for music.”

Guaynaa's musical inspirations also come from some of reggaeton's other classic acts like Zion y Lennox and Julio Voltio.

Watch the video for "Buyaka" above.

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S-Curve Records

Premiere: Leslie Odom Jr. Provides Easing Mantras On Comeback Single "Under Pressure"

There's a climatic aura surrounding Leslie Odom Jr.'s new single "Under Pressure." Blame the favorable string instruments or the singer's light falsetto. Whatever it is, fans will enjoy the ride to clarity.

Produced by Theron “Neff-U” Feemster and Joseph Abate, the Grammy-winning artist takes a slight pivot from jazz into a traditional R&B format as he sings about the perils that come with success as well as internal strife. The thoughtful single was one of the last songs completed for Odom Jr's new project.

Setting up creative shop in George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, the album is not only an array of emotions from Odom Jr. but stories that weave together his evolution.

"Under Pressure was one of the last songs we wrote for the record," Odom Jr. tells VIBE about the creation process with executive producers Joseph Abate and Steve Greenberg. "It came together after we’d spent some hours getting to know one another and we were comfortable with each other. Once you’re comfortable you can start asking, 'Ok so, what scares you?'"

The project also warranted emotional reactions from his tribe. "I played the record for my family this past week. My mom and my sister cried. My dad broke down which songs he thought were the “hits.” [Laughs] Writing the music started in such a personal way. Feels appropriate to share it with the people closest to me before we share it with the world. I hope everyone likes it. I really do. But if for some reason “the world” didn’t, I think I could rest knowing that it touched the people who’ve known and held me up the longest."

But "Under Pressure" won't give you anxiety. Throughout the track, Odom Jr.'s voice is complimented well with orchstrated production that includes violins, cellos and deep horns. It's a refreshing feeling only Odom Jr. can deliver.

Known for his iconic time on Hamilton, the award-winning entertainer has released two jazz albums including his self-titled debut album in 2014 and an amazing Christmas album titled Simply Christmas in 2016. Both albums topped Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.

Enjoy "Under Pressure" below.

Credits

Produced by: Theron “Neff-U” Feemster and Joseph Abate Executive producers: Joseph Abate, Leslie Odom Jr. and Steve Greenberg

Violins: Bruce Dukov , Alyssa Park , Charlie Bishara, Jessive Guidero, Lucia Micarelli, Phil Levy, Tammy Hatwan, Sara Parks Violas: Zach Dellinger, Shawn Mann Cello: Jake Braun Horns: Dylan Hart, Steve Becknell, Rob Schaer , Jonah Levy, Steve Suminski, Steve Holtman, Woodwinds: Heather Clark, Julie Burket, Lara Wickes, Stuart Clark, Don Foster, Dan Higgins Background Vocals: Suzanne Waters Orchestrations by: Bill Elliott, Gordon Goodwin

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