The Real Reason Nicki Minaj is Ranting

Lemme just start this off by saying, I’m pretty open about my distaste for Nicki Minaj as well as her fans. And while this post may come off as unbiased and maybe even “hating”, I can assure you I’m only speaking from an objective point of view (kinda lol). So let’s get started.

August 10th was the official release date of Nicki Minaj’s 4th studio album, QUEEN. The date of this release is significant because it came after several album pushbacks from the artist. Whenever there’s multiple pushbacks for a major project like this, you know theres some kind of drama between an artist and their team on either the rollout of the project or just the music in general, so I think that’s key. It’s also important to note that 2018 has been a busy year for Minaj. We’ve seen her on multiple big features such as “Motorsport”, “FEFE”, “Big Bank” and “The Light is Coming”. And with an album out, you can attribute that to her team wanting her to be in the public eye as much as possible. Especially because she had been relatively quiet since her last album, The Pinkprint.

So it sounds like Nicki is having a good year right? Wrong. With 185,121 total album equivalent units, 77,836 pure album sales and a streaming count of 128,699,810, Nicki’s fourth studio album nabs the No. 2 spot. Now for most artists, that would be a great first week number, but for a superstar like Nicki Minaj, that’s very unpleasing. Especially when rappers like Travis Scott sold over 500k first week that same week to solidify the number one spot. And this is where the shit show starts.

So where should we start? The random beef with her ex boyfriend and former business partner SAFAREE? Or the beef with DJ Self? How bout the one with Spotify? Or how about the sudden hate for Travis Scott? They all scream one thing, Nicki needs attention.

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One thing I commend new artists on is the ability to turn any kind of negative attention into album sales, and I think this is what Nicki is trying to do; the only issue is ITS NOT WORKING. She just looks crazy. But I can’t be the only one who knows the real reason why she’s doing all this. Nicki knows just like we all know that her reign as the supreme ruler over Female Rap is over. With Cardi B selling 200k+ first week earlier this year, the first domino fell when it comes to the end of the Minaj era.  Cardi’s had two Number 1’s this year, while Nicki’s singles cant even compete. Her twitter outbursts as well as her drug-like erratic behavior are just a cry for attention and it’s done nothing but turn people off to her. She seems bitter that she’s not being praised for everything she does anymore, and instead of being grateful and humble for her past success, she’s decided to play victim.

“SCORPION” Album Review: Did it Live Up to the Hype?

It’s been 3 days since the release of Drake’s 5th studio album, “Scorpion”, and after sitting with it for the weekend with about 5 or 6 listens throughout, I’m ready to give my review on the project.

With every Drake project, there are always a few things that you can always expect; He’s going to rap on some songs, he’s going to sing on others, and there will be at least 1 or 2 smash hits on there. Known for being a dual talented artist, Drake and his camp decided to take this to a whole new level by delivering a 2-disc album (One dedicated to rap, the other focused on R&B); a move that shows a lot of confidence in the artist’s song making ability. But how effective was it?

Honestly, when hearing about the idea of the 2 discs, I was excited, but after hearing the album, I realized it was kinda unnecessary. Of course I understand the thinking of it, Drake is such huge star these days he has all kinds of fans, many who may not like him rapping, so to basically make 2 albums for his two kinds of fans is marketing genius. But as a fan of both sides of Drake, the album just seems to drag on.

Not to say that the album was bad, but there are definitely “skip-worthy” tracks on both albums. So on a 25-track album, I found myself keeping about 18 of them. A lot of these tracks are the songs where you can tell Drake is trying to appeal to the younger generation of music listeners, songs like “Nonstop”, “I’m Upset”, and “Ratchet Happy Birthday”. Then some tracks aren’t necessarily horrible, but they just seemed to be forgettable, and on such a long project, I don’t need to sit through a song I’m not in love with; some of these songs included “Peak”, “That’s How You Feel”, & “Mob Ties”.

Then you had the songs where you read the tracklist and saw the features and became extremely interested, these songs would be “Don’t Matter to Me” (ft. Michael Jackson) and “Talk Up” (ft. Jay-Z). And while both songs were good, they definitely didn’t meet my initial expectations, so that was kinda disappointing. Especially because these are two of the greatest of all time, I was expecting to be blown away by these songs and after hearing them they were really nothing special.

But even with that being said, there were still high upsides on this album. Great rapping tracks like “Emotionless” (which featured a beautiful sample of Mariah Carey), and “Sandra’s Rose” reminded me of how great Drake can be when he decides to rap seriously. And on the R&B side, songs like “After Dark” and “Jaded” were definitely some of my favorites, and seemed to be the same for the listening public.

If you listened to this album, you’ll notice on huge thing, Drake’s references to his child. It seems that on at least more than half of this album, Drake is talking about his son or his baby mom or making subtle references to his recent beef with Pusha T, which left me thinking one thing, Pusha T won their beef and his raps really stuck with Drake. Lines like ‘The only deadbeats, are the beats I’m rapping on” and “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid” are obvious attempts of Drake to save his image, and honestly, they’re failed attempts. Possibly the worst of them is “March 14th” where Drake basically dedicates a whole song to his child, and honestly, listening to it is cringe-worthy. It sounds as though Drake wrote it up in an hour and nothing about it sounds genuine, just a lazy song and it shouldn’t have been on the album, especially not the last song.

Overall though, SCORPION is a solid Drake project. Definitely not his best, but far from his worst. One of the most intriguing takes I saw on this album was that Drake no longer makes cohesive albums, now it just seems as he though he makes large compilation projects, and I’m inclined to agree. Drake’s album haven’t felt cohesive since maybe Nothing Was The Same, now does that mean that’s a bad thing? No, but its definitely something to think about. What did you think about the album?

SCORPION is available on all music streaming services.

What Twitter Has Taught Me About Rap Beef

I think I learned a long time ago that Twitter is probably the absolute worst place to get objective opinions on pretty much everything. Twitter is the birthplace of extremely wild theories and people just saying whatever they think will get them the most Retweets or favorites. And that’s totally fine, but when it comes to actually having a real conversation about anything, Twitter should be taken as one thing and one thing only, entertainment.

Now with Pusha T dropping his response diss to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” with his “The Story of Adidon”, it’s safe to say that a lot of Twitter fans are either new rap fans or just plain have no clue about what rap beef is actually like, or battle rap in general.

In previous disses, Pusha kept it light by talking about strictly finances and ghostwriting rumors about Drake. But since Drake mentioned Pusha T’s fiancé in his diss, I guess this was the perfect opportunity for Push to release some of the info he’s had on Aubrey for quite some time. And boy did it get one hell of a reaction.

Pusha T mentioned Drake’s alleged pornstar baby mother Rose Devine, his potential son with said pornstar, the fact that Drake struggled with his identity issues being biracial, Drake’s father abandoning him at an early age, his mom never being married, and even talked about how Drake’s producer 40 has MS and will probably die soon.Yeah, it was that deep. And maybe the worst part of it all was the cover art for the song, it was a picture of Drake in blackface! Now I don’t think I have to go into detail about how crazy that is but, yeah that’s pretty insane.

So of course, Drake fans came to his defense and they were more than displeased with Pusha’s attempt to ruin Drake’s character.

These tweets are just the example of how Drake fans argued against the diss. It even got so bad that people were making whole threads defending their 6 God. Although I can admit Pusha T’s bars were hurtful it’s nothing new to things we’ve seen in past battles between rappers. Just look at any one of them in the past and you’ll fine way worse things said, and that brings me to another point that this generation is far too sensitive but that’s a talk for another day.

If you aren’t on Twitter I suggest you make one because if nothing else, Twitter is definitely an experience when big moments in pop culture occur like this one. I can only imagine the feedback if Drake chooses to respond to this. I honestly can’t wait. I love it.

Take a listen to the monstrous diss track:

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Beef is Great for Hip-Hop

 

In case you been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, just know that we’ve been blessed with another great moment in hip-hop. Beef/tension is something that makes Rap unlike any other genre, because in this culture, rather than immediately try to squash it, we encourage it (unless it results in any violent activities then by all means we try to end it). The best part of any rap beef is when we get great music that comes from it, because in its essence, Hip-Hop is competition and hearing two emcees duke it out on tracks is the greatest. Whether its Ice Cube vs NWA, Biggie vs Pac, Jay vs Nas, 50 vs Game, or even today with Drake vs Pusha T; Hip-Hop fans relish at the opportunity to hear a great diss records.

To give some background, Pusha T has been sending shots at the head of Drake and Cash Money records for quite some time. Whether it be more subtle on a verse or more blatant on full records like “Exodus 23:1”; its safe to say that Push has wanted the smoke for quite some time. To the casual fan, putting a diss record like “Infrared” on his new album, DAYTONA may come off as a ploy to get more attention, but to the people who know, this is just Pusha being Pusha.

“The game’s fucked up
Niggas beats is bangin’, nigga, ya hooks did it
The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’
The bigger question is how the Russians did it
It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin”

For years Pusha T has been making records like this, so of course this isn’t what made the headlines. When the snippet of this record began to surface, rumors began to circulate from Drake’s camp that a response may be in the works, but no one thought anything of it due to the fact that Drake had been ignoring him for so long.

BUT BOY WERE WE IN FOR A SURPRISE. Not only did Drake surprise the world, but he came out swinging with nothing but haymakers. From the moment Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” dropped, Twitter could not stop talking about it. And for good reason:

Must’ve had your Infrared wrong, now your head in the beam
Y’all are the spitting image of whatever jealousy breeds

Don’t push me when I’m in album mode
You not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes
You send shots, well, I got to challenge those
But I bring Calicos to the Alamo

Beef excites the hip-hop community, and if these are the type of records we’re going to get, I honestly can’t wait to hear about whatever happens next.

Back Like Never Before

My mom tells me all the time that things tend to trend in cycles. Meaning if they go away for a period of time, eventually they find their way back in a different form but with similarities to the previous ones. And I think that’s what we’re starting to see with this new emergence of R&B.

No offense to the legend, but when T-Pain reached his peak of success back in 09′-’10, his overuse of “autotune” slowly killed R&B. No longer were singing artists actually singing and caring about their lyrics like we’re used to. We saw an overflow of not only singers, but rappers making music with autotune, and were more focused on being catchy rather than substantive. The quality of music took a deep decline.

This is not to say that all R&B that was being made during this time was poor; we still had artists such as Beyonce, Trey Songz, Frank Ocean, Chris Brown, etc. giving us quality music but the majority of the hip hop and R&B landscape was being dominated with the use of autotune. We saw more and more artists who didn’t have strong vocals but we’re considered R&B acts because of their melodic songs (i.e Fetty Wap, Bryson Tiller). But times are starting to change.

We’re now seeing actual vocalists and songwriters being championed again. You see the great success that Solange had with her last project, A Seat At The Table. We’re also seeing the rise of a new R&B songstress SZA with her critically acclaimed debut, CTRL. And with the growth of social media and the internet being the main location where people hear music now, more and more artists are being discovered and the quality of music hitting mainstream sound-waves has increased. Artists like Daniel Ceasar, Khalid, H.E.R., Brent Faiyaz, dvsn, and many more have benefited from this new wave of receiving music.

As a fan of quality music, I think the direction that music is going in, at least as far as R&B is concerned, we’re in a good space. I don’t think we’ll ever matched the kind of music made back in the 90s, but I think we’re taking steps to be just as great.