Like the rest of the rap world, when I first heard Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Monster” I was blown away. I had been hearing Lil Wayne tout Nicki’s name for quite some time but I had yet to actually listen to any of her material until her ferocious performance on Kanye’s MBDTF standout.
There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Nicki can spit flames, but as her career progressed, her music began to shift heavily towards pop and away from the noxious 16s she used to help her break out and eventually get signed. I’m not one to wish a creative hindrance on any artist, and I actually enjoy a lot of Nicki's more radio-friendly jams, but I know I’m not the only one that’s been aching for her to give her emcee side more shine in the studio.
Tonight (March 9) at midnight, Nicki is slated to release a new single that is rumored to feature Young Money comrades Drake and Lil Wayne, and I have to wonder if this is the moment I’ve been waiting for—the return of Nicki Minaj the rapper.
Before you tear me apart, I’m aware Nicki has released a slew of verses over the last couple years, but none of them have touched the verbal ferocity of “Monster” or some of her other earlier verses that impressed beyond her undeniable swagger on the microphone.
With the Remy Ma non-beef apparently in the rearview, Nicki could very well use this upcoming single with Wayne and Drake as the perfect reminder that she’s still not to be fucked with lyrically. Since the great Drake/Meek saga of 2015, Nicki’s face time around the Young Money squad has been limited, but a picture of the three reuniting last month re-ignited our collective hunger for a collaboration between the dream team.
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Nicki’s career (and bank account) is as healthy as it’s ever been, no one is disputing that. But following her silence after Remy Ma’s brutal “shETHER” diss track, this upcoming single provides a fantastic forum for the Queens native to vent on the recent ups and downs of her personal life. Nicki also seems to be at her most deadly in a lyrical sense when she’s alongside Drake and Weezy—2014's ”Only” was the last time I remember being floored by a Nicki verse.
Most importantly, though, it's a chance to get the rap community to actually care about new Nicki Minaj music again.
Whether or not Nicki will use this new release as a vehicle to reclaim her title as the most dangerous women in hip-hop is yet to be seen, but given her track record with Wayne and Drake, we could possibly be on the verge of Nicki’s return to rap dominance.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram