This is where we’re at with Nicki Minaj, her voice locking back into that tank rumbling baritone to create sinewy bangers. I can’t completely decry that the split personalities and rap we once declared to be made strictly for girls with blue hair that were cheerleaders on Friday nights in South Central, LA are dead but Minaj’s output now is causing a lot of people to come back to where they were before Pink Friday.

Now, “Chi-Raq” with Lil Herb shouldn’t completely make the Chicago rapper anymore than he has already. Between him and Lil Bibby, Chi’s going to keep churning out notable young rappers who deal with the daily onslaught of stories about their hometown until death. Not to mention, Minaj’s own sway will no doubt once more bring up the heated debate about whether or not we should even refer to Chicago as “Chi-Raq”. Is it a warzone? Yes. Is Nicki Minaj making the type of music that is literally distancing her from every cheap comparison people have been trying to make for the past few years? Yes.

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