I give Nicki Minaj credit. She might have the biggest balls in Hip Hop music. That’s exactly what it would take to turn down the cover of XXL’s Freshmen Issue. For those who don’t know, that’s a proverbial bridge from obscurity to notoriety in rap music. Especially when fan’s aren’t supporting their artists & rap music is becoming the audio stepsister of reality television. If you have a gimmick, even if said gimmick is breaking the law at least twice a month or a robot voice machine, it’s still not easy to make it in this business. Any help putting your name further out into the world is a virtual stepping stone. Only a fool would deny that assistance. Or at least an extremely confident artist with balls the size of a Volkswagen. Or a perfect combination of the two.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Young Money Records doesn’t work on the same mechanics as Cash Money Records, it’s “parent” company. Actually it’s the omnipotent UMG, but you smell my cologne. Granted, CM is about 20 years older, but they put out artists back then, whether people wanted to hear them or not. More often than not. No shots. If nothing else, they had constant material on the market. A flood, if you will, albeit mediocre 90% of the time. Young Money, for all it’s instant glory & gratification, seems to be harboring a stable of tax write-offs, who for all intents & purposes, made more noise without the company behind them. For instance, Tyga (who?) Is related to Travis McCoy, who’s moderately popular among college kids & teenage drug addicts nationwide. That has to count for something. Perhaps it’s part of a plan, an intricate creative process that needs time to mature for the best possible product. Who am I kidding? It really doesn’t matter when Mack Maine & Lil Twist & Lil Chuckee drop albums. Before Drake made the decision to sell his soul, he was making noise, & money, doing it dolo. He’s a Hollywood baby, so I’m sure he knew what he was doing, but I know I’m not crazy, & soon after the ink dried on that Young Money contract, so did his buzz. However, due to his “connects“, he runs this rap shit by association, so no worries.
Minaj says she (& Drake) were freshmen last year, so instead they should get coverage in the issue separate from the “rookies”. In that case, Nipsey Hussle (a 2010 XXL Freshman) has been making a name for himself in L.A. long before he appeared in magazines & on websites. For years, he had those multi-colored posterboard party signs up & down Slauson Avenue. Plus, my pops delivers his mom’s mail. Dude BEEN rapping, but that’s neither here nor there.
Sure, to pass on XXL’s rookie stamp of approval was a Kanye West move, but it garnered results. Maybe Nicki (& Drake) know something we don’t.
When I first heard about Wayne’s endeavor into entertainment entrepreneurialism with his label, I applauded him for waiting until his success was obviously not fleeting, but rather a mainstay in the spotlight. Half of these rap cats don’t even really have records labels. It’s just a trademarked company logo & a computer. I naturally assumed he’d put the same kinetic work ethic into his company as he did into his own music. I’ve yet to be proven right. Just saying.