During a conversation between Nicki Minaj and JT for the former’s new i-D Magazine cover story, the City Girl confessed to once feeling heartbroken that Minaj eventually began seeking pop success after coming up thanks to her mixtapes and freestyles.
“Okay… I thought I knew her, but I did not,” JT told a moderator from i-D during the discussion when asked if she remembers when she first heard Nicki’s music.
“I was a delusional little girl who had this love/hate relationship in my mind with Nicki Minaj,” she went on. “It was because I knew how to rap always, and Nicki knew too. I was so deep in the gutter when Nicki first started. She was the round-the-way girl. She did the ‘Jump Off’ remix, and I was like, ‘She’s so pretty, she’s so hood.’ A couple of years later, you went into your more pop era.”
Minaj acknowledged the pivot in direction before JT continued, “It was a heartbreak moment for a hood girl. It was like, ‘Damn Nicki, you left us.’ Then you came back with your straight hair and your sexy look, and I was like, ‘Okay, so she still f**k with us.’ If you were to ever look down my tweets, there would always be good tweets and bad tweets. That was the disconnection.”
The “Act Up” rapper went on to say she and her friends loved Pink Friday, but that she didn’t listen to the more pop-leaning tracks that followed, leading Minaj to explain how songs like “Super Bass” and “Starships” became so popular.
“‘Super Bass’ wasn’t even supposed to be a single, but it became huge. Rather than going back to point A, I thought, ‘I now need something to be a continuation of ‘Super Bass.” And so I put out ‘Starships.’ That’s when people in the hip-hop community really felt, ‘Oh my God, we lost her,'” Minaj admitted before thanking JT for articulating what other fans have undoubtedly felt about Minaj’s music over the years.
“No one in my life or career has ever explained what you just explained to me that way. You articulated that so well that I was finally able to understand the disconnect and some of the heartbreak that my really hood fans must’ve felt seeing me come from The Come Up DVD and mixtapes and Pink Friday to doing “Starships” and “Pound the Alarm.”
JT went on to say that, as an artist herself now, she understands why one would pursue pop hits, admitting that she and other young female rappers have essentially followed Minaj’s “pinkprint.”
“When you do a pop song you get a different type of respect, and that’s when a band gets bigger. Now there are more female rappers and that’s literally what we do,” JT offered, leading Minaj to reply, “They’re all doing it now. By the way, not only are they all doing it now, not one has been criticized.”