Rap-Up TV: Karmin Gets Kanye Co-Sign, Inspiration from Nicki Minaj

It’s hard not to love Karmin. The swag-pop duo, comprised of Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, became a viral sensation with their rap-sung covers of popular hip-hop hits including “Look at Me Now” and “6 Foot 7 Foot” before grabbing the attention of L.A. Reid, who signed them to Epic Records.

On the eve of their major label debut Hello, the quirky twosome sat down with Rap-Up TV (on a piano, no less) to discuss how they got into hip-hop, meeting Kanye West, taking inspiration from Nicki Minaj, and their embrace by the hip-hop community.

The engaged couple, who met at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, recalled their encounter with Kanye, who was interested in signing them to G.O.O.D. Music. “Meeting our idol Kanye was surreal,” said Amy, who calls My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy her favorite rap album. “We kinda talked about our songwriting and recording process and it turns out they’re very similar creatively.”

Another superstar they’ve met is Nicki Minaj, whose song “Super Bass” they covered on YouTube with The Roots’ ?uestlove. “I have a huge girl crush on her,” admitted Amy. “She’s one of the people who inspired me to jump into it and start rapping.”

One of the highlights of their career so far has been performing at the 2011 BET Awards. “Amy secretively wants to be a black person,” joked Nick, while his other half added, “Being embraced by the hip-hop community is just priceless.”