Ice-T: Nicki Minaj Is Busta Rhymes, Not Lil’ Kim

Nicki Minaj is Busta Rhymes

Ice-T weighs in on whether or not Nicki Minaj is real Hip-Hop and labels her as the female version of Busta Rhymes.

By: Taren Vaughan

Holding his tongue is one thing Ice-T does not do, especially when it comes to anything pertaining to his thoughts on up and coming rap artists. With his documentary “The Art of Rap” set to premiere on June 15th, Ice-T has been sharing his honest opinions on some of the new school artists out now, namely Young Money’s Nicki Minaj.

Ever since she made her way to fame, Minaj’s music and style have been heavily scrutinized, with her now arch rival Lil’ Kim gasing up the criticisms. And just a week or so ago, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg joined the hate wagon, dissing her flow for its lack of Hip-Hop realness. But Ice-T seems to think that Rosenberg is on some other stuff with his comments.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, he says that real Hip-Hop comes in various forms:

I think it’s all “real hip-hop.” You have the core hip-hop, which would just be beats and breaks, more something like what you hear with DJ Premier. Then you get into the more highly produced hip-hop, which is something like what DJ Khaled does. But at some point, it starts to get kind of pop. It goes into this other realm.

And unlike a few notable industry cats, he doesn’t completely bash Minaj for having a pop vibe to her music, although he is not her number one fan:

Nicki went on tour with Britney Spears, so she’s on another channel. But to me, it all comes from hip-hop; it’s like a growth of hip-hop, whether you agree with that growth or not. Like me, I’m not the biggest Nicki Minaj fan but I think she can rhyme. She does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions – but she’s no Lil Kim. I think when people say “real hip-hop,” they want it more buried in the streets. They want it more connected to the streets and the grime and the roughness of the streets. They don’t want the fluff.

Now Nicki proclaims herself to be the female Weezy but Ice-T clearly sees her animated style as the splitting image of Busta.

Would you coin Nicki Minaj as the female version of Busta Rhymes? Or is Ice-T way off with his comparison?


  1. Oh hell naw! Busta Rhymes is legendary man. His flows were sick. Nicki doesn’t have those capabilities and she shouldn’t be compared to him.

  2. When she puts her mind to it, she can rap circles around many in the rap game today and yesterday. I just can’t stand those personalities she channels at times when she raps. its scratching the chalkboard annoying.

  3. I can agree with Ice-T from the perspective of Nicki’s animation and delivery. In those ways, I do feel she’s similar to Busta. Lyrically? Nicki is in her own little paddle boat and should not be compared to anyone else in the game….except maybe 50 Tyson.

  4. Nicki has some sick flows though. Before she was famous she spit hard but now its like … wtf is this sad a– get up you have goin on Nicki?? what the f-ck?

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