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Nicki Minaj Insists She’s No ‘Sellout’

Nicki Minaj
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Nicki Minaj‘s hip-hop credibility is in question since she released her latest single ‘Starships‘ this past week. The song has left many fans wondering if she’s selling out for the pop charts. But the Young Money rapstress insist that she has not turned her back on the hip-hop community.

During an interview with Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex, Minaj defended her choices of releasing songs that some feel are too radio-friendly for her core fans. “I would hope that people know at this point that I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing all the time. But I guess they still kind of waver,” she said. “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.”

On the just-released single ‘Roman Reloaded‘ (Featuring Lil Wayne), Minaj addresses some of the criticisms leveled against her including her Grammy performance debacle. “You mad I brought the Grammys to the Vatican,” she spits. While the song is gritty, it doesn’t come as close to her hardcore style she displayed in the throwback video ‘Dirty Money,’ which recently surfaced online.

Nevertheless, Minaj is not going to apologize for releasing music for pop consumption. “Maybe it would be a problem if I couldn’t deliver records like ‘Roman Reloaded,’ but I can,” she says. “I write my own lyrics. Once again, I write my own lyrics. So it’s never a problem. Whatever I feel, I can write, I can create it. So I’m good. 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 then adds, “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 you don’t see the world and I probably can’t even have a conversation with you anymore.”

While we understand the fans’ concerns, Minaj is an artist who has to sell records. A lot of her song choices are calculated to help expand her fan base. She has songs like ‘Super Bass,’ which are geared for the pop charts, and the she has tracks like ‘Roman Reloaded,’ which are for her rap fans. It’s a tricky balancing act, but Minaj seems to be winning.

So what do you think? Is Nicki Minaj a “sell out”? Tell us in the comments below.

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