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Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Complex Names Nicki Minaj's Verse On Monster...

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Three years ago, Nicki Minaj was an upstart mixtape phenom, recently signed to Lil Wayne's Young Money Records. Not everyone had heard of her; not everyone who had heard of her believed in her potential. Then one verse, the 32 bars she delivered on Kanye West's "Monster" deaded all questions.

It was surreal—for listeners and for Nicki herself. A lifelong fan of Jay-Z, she could hardly contain her excitement at the thought of appearing alongside him, Rick Ross, and Kanye West on one of standout tracks on Kanye's hugely anticipated fourth album. But she settled her butterflies and stepped up to the mic. Ross himself has said watching Nicki in the studio was witnessing "history being made." The verse stands as a milestone in Nicki's career, proof that she was in the game to stay.

The song starts with the pained, distorted singing of folk-rocker Justin Vernon, and Kanye's dense, dark beat sets the scene. Ross pops in for a few lines that are so vivid you can actually imagine him rumbling through the jungle. Kanye skates over his verse, dropping memorable lines like "Have you ever had sex with a pharaoh?/I'll put the pussy in a sarcophagus!" Jay-Z follows with breathy, eerie vocals that fit the ghoulish soundscape. But the boys club saved the best for last: Nicki.

Her wide-ranging verse showcases every trick in her over-stuffed bag. The first four bars announce her arrival, and her inevitable takeover. "You could be the king," she says to her more famous colleagues, "but watch the queen conquer." Once the beat drops, we meet the many faces of Nicki Minaj. Passionate, erratic, imploring, comedic, her performance has the power, years after its release, makes you stop dead in your tracks. Altering her vocal style on every line, she bounces her wordplay from Giuseppe Zanotti shoes to Tony Matterhorn's "Dutty Wine" to suggesting a ménage à trois with Kanye and his then-girlfriend Amber Rose. The full cast of characters that Nicki Minaj embodies is on full display—a glimpse into where she would take her career as a whole. After all, Nicki is more than just a rapper, she is a full-fledged entertainer—from her Barbie-voiced TV appearances to her radio-friendly pop crooning to her raspy, street-smart rhymes.

The proof of the verse's impact came just a month later, when Nicki's debut album, Pink Friday topped the charts on its way to selling well more than a million copies. It was clear, she did her thing alongside the best in the game—she stole the show, in fact, outshined them all. And fans remembered. —Lauren Nostro

Source: Complex.

  1. candygirl323 avatar

    On Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 12:02 PM, candygirl323 said:

    no prob nicki

  2. OnikasBaby_x avatar

    On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 3:13 PM, OnikasBaby_x said:

    Congratulations Nic X

  3. Its_Barbie_Bitch_25 avatar

    On Sun, Jun 2, 2013 at 8:45 PM, Its_Barbie_Bitch_25 said:

    This is deffinatly one of my favorite verses that she has done! Love it <3

  4. DevTheBarbie avatar

    On Sun, Jun 2, 2013 at 1:04 AM, DevTheBarbie said:

    Nic has been THAT bitch with the crazy flow and killer punchlines, but there was something so special about her verse on Monster. You could tell that being on that track with Yeezy and Jay she was determined to go OFF! Not only that she threw just about EVERY personality in there, don't get me started on those voice changes. Pure talent! *Applauds*

  5. shakeel minaj avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM, shakeel minaj said:

    This is a very true story

  6. NicsQueendom avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM, NicsQueendom said:

    Definitely one of her most FIERCE verses!!

  7. rosa_reloaded avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM, rosa_reloaded said:

    SERIOUS SLAYAGE!! Go NICKI!! <3 <3 <3

  8. Caribbean_Girl avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 8:19 AM, Caribbean_Girl said:

    THE SLAYAGE OF HER VERSE BODIED, I LOVE THAT SONG!!!

  9. AsiaKara avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 7:23 AM, AsiaKara said:

    Queen is the title

  10. Bills Minaj avatar

    On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 5:41 AM, Bills Minaj said:

    She SLAYEDDDD

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