Ice-T says Nicki Minaj has an "ill vocal delivery," telling Rolling Stone that Nicki, "kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions -- but she's no Lil Kim."
Ice-T has been making the rounds promoting the June 15 release of his hip-hop documentary, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, which features emcees like Common, Mos Def, Afrika Bambaataa and Run-DMC among others. Asked about what constitutes "real hip-hop," and asked whether singer/rapper hybrids like Drake and Nicki fit the bill, Ice-T says yes.
"You have the core hip-hop, which would just be beats and breaks, more something like what you hear with DJ Premier," Ice-T explains. "Then you get into the more highly produced hip-hop, which is something like what DJ Khaled does. But at some point, it starts to get kind of pop. It goes into this other realm."
Ice-T says, "Nicki went on tour with Britney Spears, so she's on another channel." He adds that even Nicki's big pop hits come from hip-hop. Her music is "like a growth of hip-hop, whether you agree with that growth or not. Like me," he says. Ice says that he's "not the biggest" Nicki fan, but he says that she can rhyme.
As for the Nicki critics who says the YMCMB artist's song "Starships," for example, isn't real hip-hop, Ice-T says, "I think when people say 'real hip-hop,' they want it more buried in the streets. They want it more connected to the streets and the grime and the roughness of the streets. They don't want the fluff."
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