The Annie Lennox-sampling track “Your Love” made Nicki Minaj the first solo female rapper to top Billboard‘s Rap Songs charts since Missy Elliot’s “Work It” (that would be over seven years ago). It must be divine intervention, since Nicki, posing here on the set of her hit song’s video, spoke to MTV about how “Your Love” wasn’t even supposed to see the light of day.
“I was not planning on putting the song out at all,” Nicki told MTV on set of her video, looking more toned down than usual while wearing a red Geisha outfit and black wig. (Her single’s cover art also shows a more subdued side to the rapper.) As what happens to most tracks, “Your Love” was leaked on the Internet, and Nicki wasn’t too happy. “I went and listened to it [online] and was really upset. It wasn’t mixed, it wasn’t finished, it wasn’t anything — I wasn’t gonna use it at all. But then radio started playing it.”
Looks like Internet leaks aren’t always a bad thing for the artist. (Just look at Nicki’s “Teqkilla” remix partner, M.I.A., who has been more than happy to release all her new album’s tracks, either as singles or streaming on her site, before her album drops.)
Nicki desperately needed a hit after her first solo single, “Massive Attack”, fizzled, and she got it. We were a bit worried that Harujuku Barbie would forever be the garnish on other people’s tracks instead of the main dish, but this sweet song proves otherwise.
Nicki should be happy to enjoy her success as a #1 rap artist, since she’s paid her dues, and then some. “[People] don’t see when I was selling my mixtape for $2 on Jamaica Avenue [in Queens],” she explains to MTV. “They don’t see when I couldn’t get New York DJs — I lived in New York my whole life — to even play a song.” Shouldn’t be much of a problem anymore!