The buzz has been building for Nicki Minaj’s third album, and the time has finally come for her to drop the first single. Before she hit the stage at PowerHouse 2014 on Saturday, the Young Money diva dished to Rap-Up TV about the track, which is expected to debut on Wednesday.
“It feels very uplifting and it feels very soulful,” she shared. “It’s a great, I feel, indicator of what The Pink Print will feel like in terms of the storyline of that song.”
The album, due sometime this year, marks a return to her roots. “The Pink Print will remind people why they fell in love with Nicki Minaj,” she added. “And I think that needs to be done.”
She also revealed that Lil Wayne has sent her a track for his final album Tha Carter V. “He did send me something, but you know Wayne is so unpredictable,” she said. “You never know what’s going to make it until the last, very last ending. But you know, Wayne is my baby and I love him.”
Plus, will Drake be on The Pink Print? Find out what Nicki had to say.
It’s been eight years since Christina Milian released her last album, but the singer-actress is finally ready to return to music. Rap-Up TV caught up with the multi-tasking mama in L.A. while she was promoting her partnership with Kimberly-Clark and TheFunSong.com.
In between raising her daughter Violet and her gigs on “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Voice,” the 32-year-old has been in the studio with Polow Da Don, Kalenna, She’kspere, and Detail recording her Young Money debut, which will have a club feel. She also hopes to recruit her YMCMB family including Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga.
Meanwhile, she has teamed up with the boss man, Lil Wayne, for his final album Tha Carter V. The two recently logged some late-night sessions with producer Mannie Fresh.
“From what I’ve heard, he’s gonna have a killer album,” said Christina. “I’m excited about the next one.”
She also plans to shoot a video for “Video Model,” her collaboration with Wayne off the Young Money compilation Rise of an Empire.
In addition to music, Christina has been taping a docu-series for E! starring her mother, sisters, daughter, and fiancé Jas Prince, which is slated to premiere this fall.
Earlier this week, XXL announced the 12 artists in its 2014 Freshman Class. Rap-Up TV caught up with 2012 Freshman Class alum Kid Ink, who weighed in on this year’s “Dirty Dozen,” which includes Chance the Rapper, Lil Durk, Vic Mensa, Isaiah Rashad, Rich Homie Quan, and R&B hitmakers August Alsina and Ty Dolla $ign.
The “Show Me” rapper was happy to see some of his friends including Durk and Rich Homie Quan make the list, but did feel like there were some omissions including Casey Veggies and his tourmates Bizzy Crook and King Los.
So what does the future hold for this year’s freshmen? It’s what you make of it, says Kid Ink, who shared his 2012 cover with Macklemore, Iggy Azalea, Future, French Montana, MGK, and Danny Brown.
“I think a lot of people that were on my cover made good decisions of where they were gonna take it,” he said. “These are all people who took their lanes and really didn’t let the cover speak for them.”
It’s a new day for JoJo. After exiting her deal with Blackground Records late last year, the singer has signed with Atlantic and is back in the studio working on her long-awaited third album.
“It’s so refreshing to be at a new home and have a different experience. It’s so exciting!” she told Rap-Up TV after headlining L.A.’s Broccoli Festival on Saturday. “I wake up every day having energy in places that I thought I didn’t anymore. I just feel so encouraged and optimistic, and I haven’t felt that way in so long.”
Earlier this year, she began recording the follow-up to 2006′s The High Road. “The goal is just to come up with the strongest body of work and really represent everything that has been culminating within me for the last however many years.”
She is bringing her vision to life with help from Da Internz, Gino Barletta (“Disaster”), and Noisecastle III, as well as some up-and-coming producers.
“It’s just been so long since I’ve released an album that really what I wanna bring is just quality,” said JoJo. “I wanna bring big songs. I want them to touch a wide range of people and I really want it to represent my very best work. I’m really not thinking about what other people are doing. I’m thinking about representing my personal best, delivering powerful vocals, and being honest and as raw as possible.”
She also plans to get in the studio with Pharrell Williams, who enlisted her for “Freq” off his album G I R L. “I’m such a fan of that album and the fact that my little vocals are on it, I’m super happy,” she said.
But for now, she’s enjoying her freedom. “I just wanna work harder than ever and not sleep at all. This is what I’ve been waiting for and I just wanna seize the friggin’ moment.”
If you don’t know who Pia Mia is yet, you soon will. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter, who was born and raised in Guam, became a viral sensation with her YouTube covers of Rihanna and Bruno Mars and her a capella rendition of “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” which she performed in front of Drake, Kanye West, and the Kardashians.
Rap-Up TV caught up with the budding blonde star on the L.A. set of her viral video for “Mr. President,” one of the six tracks off her EP The Gift.
“This video was inspired by a photo that we saw of a girl laying across an old car,” she explained. “I thought it would be dope to make the video a cool, underground party.”
The leader of the Wolfpack (her label and the nickname she gave her fans) has also covered Drake’s “Hold On” for her EP.
“Drake’s a huge inspiration for me,” said Pia, who also admires Bruno Mars, Eminem, and Jay Z. “I love all his music and I really just wanted to do it and see how it came out.”
She is currently working on her Interscope Records debut and plans to release the first single in the next month or two. “It’s gonna be rhythmic pop,” she revealed. “I really like to do that because I’m able to lean more towards the urban side, I’m able to do more pop, and I’m able to do ballads also, so I’m kinda able to touch everywhere.”
In the meantime, she has collaborated with Chance the Rapper on “Fight for You” for the Divergent soundtrack.
Mila J is quickly making a name for herself. Following the release of her 2012 mixtape, the L.A.-bred singer/dancer inked a deal with Motown Records and showed off her impressive moves in the ’90s-inspired video for “Smoke, Drink, Break-Up” co-starring Ty Dolla $ign. Now the 30-year-old sister of Jhené Aiko is readying her full-length debut M.I.L.A. (Made in Los Angeles).
Rap-Up TV caught up with the budding star to discuss her album, musical family, and influences, which include TLC, Prince (she appeared in his 1992 video for “Diamonds and Pearls”), and Janet Jackson, whose “Rhythm Nation” tour was one of the first concerts she attended.
“I just love how she entertains,” said Mila of the pop icon. “You go to her shows, she’s gon’ have a million dancers—lights, camera, action. It was just cool to see a female dancing and singing.”
M.I.L.A. will feature a collaboration with Problem (“Pain in My Heart”) and a song called “Times Like These.” “It’s another love song, relationship-based song, but it’s really about me being there for my dude and going through the hard times,” said Mila, who comes from a musical family.
“My father was a musician and we got into [music] through him, like my brother raps, and even my older sister, she sings too,” she said.
But when it comes to family time, the sisters don’t talk about music. “If someone was to come in the house, they probably wouldn’t even know that anyone does music. We’re just about family when we’re together.”
On April 29, Mila will join Ty Dolla $ign on select dates of his “Beach House Tour,” which kicks off in Fresno, Calif.
It’s been nearly four years since Mike Posner released his debut 31 Minutes to Takeoff. The Detroit singer has been working on the follow-up Pages, and recently caught up with Rap-Up TV to discuss everything from his love for André 3000 to his upcoming collaboration with Justin Bieber to his struggle with depression.
The 26-year-old, who attended Duke University, thought that getting a record deal would make him happy. “And of course, when I got these things, in a lot of ways it made my problems worse,” he said. “I felt very disillusioned. I had success, I had money, a lot of my dreams had come true, but I didn’t feel any happier.”
So one day while eating a “nasty sandwich” on an airplane, he was inspired to give back. “The idea was to make an album and for every album I sold, give a meal to a kid, one for one,” he explained.
He has collaborated with Big Sean on the album’s first single “Top of the World” as well as 2 Chainz, Labrinth, and Justin Bieber, who he worked with on a song called “Get Down.”
“It’s very stripped. It’s like the most minimal song on the record. One guitar, drums, and a bass, and that’s it,” said Posner, who co-wrote Bieber’s hit “Boyfriend.” “It’s all unquantized too, J Dilla style, so that’s really cool.”
One person he dreams of collaborating with is OutKast’s André 3000, whose concert he attended when he was 11.
Prior to the release of Pages, he plans to drop a new collection called …Featuring Me. “It’s a bunch of songs featuring me that I wrote and produced, but all collabs with other people,” said Posner. “For me as a writer and producer, I do a ton of different shit, so this project is kinda like me bragging in a way, like look at what I can do.”