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Spotlight on Nicki Minaj
BY CONTRIBUTOR TRE FLOREZ
For this week, we wanted to hash over the Minaj takeover that took place this past week, with the two new singles that dropped from the self-declared "Queen of Rap", Nicki Minaj. Minaj booked an exclusive interview at 9 a.m. PST with Zane Lowe on the Beats 1 Radio Show via Apple Music last Thursday April 12th, 2018. During this interview, which ran a little behind scheduled, Nicki discussed many topics, including: rumoured shade between herself and Cardi B (which is non-existent BTW), how she feels about Meek Mill’s imprisonment, and her position in the – now – squashed beef between Meek Mill and her bestie, Drake. Also in the interview, Nicki revealed that an album is coming very soon! At precisely 10 a.m. PST, she released her fist newest single, Chun-Li, when it went live during the interview. Shortly there after, her second single, Barbie Tingz also premiered to conclude her time with Lowe.
1. Chun-Li - Nicki Minaj
In the same format that she wanted the songs to be heard, we first review Chun-Li. For those that don't know or even get the frame of reference for the title, listen up! Chun-Li, is a playable character from the popular Mortal Kombat video game series; recognized as the first female character in the 1991 series and has been in almost all of the follow up games, since that first debut. Minaj uses the association to the character in the song, as that of respect. In that, she herself, feels like Chun-Li; a female icon in the (rap) game. After the first verse, the end of the chorus says it all in context to the pop-culture reference:
“I-I-I been on, bitch, you been corn
And later in Interlude 2:
“They need rappers like me!
Nicki is clearly hinting at someone in particular, while also ensuring that she is the best and everlasting in the game (so far). The beat in the song is produced by Nicki’s recently hired J. Reid Da Producer (a.k.a. Lil Chevi) as her in-house producer, since they work well together. The track is simple, with its bassy yet hi-hatty groove, and Minaj’s vocals collide perfectly to it. In tandem with quick jabs and expected rhymes, Nicki Minaj will prove to you if you ever doubted, that she is here to stay, play and slay. Her album, which remains untitled for now, is expected to be released by summer of this year. Check out the iPhone shot-Nicki produced-music video above.
2. Barbie Tingz
The second recently released song from Nicki Minaj is titled Barbie Tingz. While similar to Chun-Li, in that Nicki holds nothing back against her haters, it is also somewhat different. This track has a faster beat and a sound that is more like Nicki’s mixtape debut days. It’s a simple beat and easy for Nicki to lay down some rhymes; making it quite easy to tune into at top volume in the car.
In the lyrics, Nicki insinuates that other female rappers try to be like her, in order to achieve similar success:
“Rap bitches tell they team: Make 'em like Barbie
I mean, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Apparently, not to Nicki.
The single is rumoured to have a remix coming out soon; featuring the four masked ladies behind Nicki on the album cover. And while we don't normally pay mind to speculation, the internet and its ever-sleuthing ways, have given a number of possibilities for featured artists, including: Cardi B, Trina, Foxy Brown, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and even Britney Spears. While none of this has been confirmed in any way by Nicki or her team, it is a hopeful narrative to think about. Imagine, what a massive and powerful collaboration this could be, for females reigning in popular music right now.
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a freelance fashion writer, poet,
photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.