Tuesday, October 13, 2009
THE BLACK HANNA MONTANA
In November 1996, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown both dropped their debut albums, Hardcore and The Ill Na Na respectively, ushering in an era of hip hop where women rapped about their fantasies and fucking unlike anybody else ever had. Maybe MC Lyte's Ruffneck had laid the blueprint beforehand but it was steeped in the gangsta rap sounds of the early 90s. Biggie's death in '97 and Puff Daddy's subsequent ready-for-radio sounds brought about a golden era for New York hip hop that has since given way to the southern sounds (Lil Wayne) that dominate today.
Rapstress hip hop also made its way South, with Trina and Jackie-O and Khia to a lesser extent picking up with Kim and Foxy left off. Actually, Kim and Foxy seemed to begin caring more about the spotlight, the TV deals and the tabloids as well as struggles with the law, their record companies, their nail salons and their plastic surgeon more than their interest in putting out good music. In recent years, my biggest woman hip hop hopefuls have been Remy Ma and Lil' Mama but Remy went and shot someone and Lil' Mama's debut was less than stellar.
Enter Nicki Minaj. I don't know much about Nicki. She's 24. She went to Laguardia High School of the Performing Arts. She started putting out mixtapes two years ago and just got signed for an album that's due to come out in 2010. I had heard a few tracks before listening to the complete mixtapes but the lady can rap. She's got a funny, melodic kind of voice when she speaks. And her rhymes are clever, funny and catchy. She calls herself the Black Hanna Montana and Nicki Lewinski and a Harijuku Barbie. I am in love.
Nicki Minaj is what we need right now.
(Lil Kim, left, for the cover of her debut album and Nicki, right, lickin' on a lollipop)
Nicki Minaj - I Get Crazy
Nicki Minaj - Itty Bitty Piggy
Nicki Minaj - Single Ladies freestyle
Nicki Minaj - Handstand (prod. by Bangledesh)