As part of XXL magazine’s 20th anniversary issue, Queens native Nicki Minaj sat down for an interview and rattled off a list of Hip Hop artists who have influenced her the most. Although a majority of the artists she name-dropped (JAY-Z, Foxy Brown, Nas) are East Coast-based, Minaj did touch on a time when she was influenced by the sound coming from the West Coast.
She even recalled channeling Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” for the 2 Chainz-assisted “Beez In The Trap.”
“I also remember my passion for the West Coast at a certain time in my life, before I started rapping,” Minaj said. “So, I have to say artists like Snoop Dogg and Eazy-E, too. And Ice Cube. I remember when I went in the studio to do ‘Beez In The Trap.’ I didn’t write anything down. I heard the beat and I went in the booth and I was kidding around at first, but I just started channeling some [Eazy-E] ‘Boyz-n-the-Hood.’ And I just started sayin’, ‘Bitches ain’t shit and they ain’t sayin’ nothin.’ It just reminded me of the vibe of, ‘Cause the boys in the hood is always hard.'”
Minaj also commented on Hip Hop’s influence on popular culture, especially fashion.
“Certain designers feel like they’re bigger than rap or Hip Hop, but nothing is bigger than Hip Hop,” she said. “Hip Hop is by far the biggest influence on life [laughs]. I mean, it sounds crazy, but what kids wear, how they speak, the slang, the dances, everything.”
Minaj was one of the artists selected for XXL’s special edition covers. The issue hits stands on October 17.
Check out a clip of Minaj above.