Rap star Nicki Minaj is a long way from freestyling on staircases in the made-for-the-streets Come UpDVDs. The young starlet just pulled out all the stops for a career highlight performance at the Grammys this month and is setting her sights on the top of the Billboard charts for her upcoming sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
However, some of the genre-bending singles she’s released for the project, like the RedOne-produced “Starships,” have gotten some of her core hip hop fans raising eyebrows and some even calling her a sellout. In an interview with Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex, Minaj addressed her critics.
“I would hope that people know at this point that I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing all the time,” she told Flex. “But I guess they still kind of waiver. I always intended on putting out something urban after ‘Starships,’ because I knew ‘Starships’ was a monster. I didn’t feel the pressure. To be honest, I feel really, really good. I feel that hip hop cares enough that they have something to say. I remember when I was hoping that someone had something to say about me on the radio or cared enough.”
Minaj goes on to say that the problem lies in the threat of the reach of her pop songs, some rap fans are not ready to see her expand her sound. Still she has no intention on changing her game plans or leaving hip hop completely in the dust.
“I think people sometimes get blown away by the magnitude of the pop stuff, because the pop stuff, it reaches everywhere and then I feel like my hip hop fans or hip hop culture starts getting a little bit afraid that I’m going to leave,” she continued. “But this is who I am. I’m not going to change, I’m just adding on to my brand. And if you don’t understand that, then it’s probably why you don’t travel and don’t see the world and I probably can’t even have a conversation with you anymore.”
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is set for release April 3.