Beam Me Up Scotty dropped out of orbit earlier this month. If you’re a die-hard Barb, there’s a good chance you have heard some of these tracks before though. Beam Me Up Scotty was originally created in 2009. This re-release includes three new tracks, and it serves as a looking glass into Nicki Minaj’s early career, furthermore 2000’s rap as a whole.
Minaj started her climb to the top in a time when female rappers were in short supply. The number of female artists signed to major labels changed from 40 to three between the 1980s and 2010. While this fact is rather shameful in itself, the absence of women in the industry made Minaj’s hustle all the more successful. Her first studio album, Pink Friday (2010), was also the first platinum solo album by a woman rapper in seven years.
Image via @nickiminaj on Instagram
But Pink Friday may have not been so profound if it wasn’t for Beam Me Up Scotty. The mixtape implies Minaj’s community through the featured artists and her storytelling. Drake, Lil Wayne, Gucci, Bobby V and several other names make this more than just a “Nicki Minaj” experience. Thanks to these features, tracks like I Get Crazy jumped onto rap charts in 2009, boosting her notoriety.
“In the end, it’s not going to be about my talent… It’s gonna be about who wants it the most…and I want it the most.” -Nicki
At the same time, Beam Me Up Scotty is definitely still Nicki’s project. Between the monologues and the solo tracks, she dominates the vibe. In Itty Bitty Piggy, she patronizes her critics with nursery rhymes, mocking them as if she were their mother.
Once again, we are looking back at the past with this mixtape, but the tape sounds even better when you look at what’s happening today. Latto, Azealia Banks, and several other female figures in the industry undoubtedly take influence from Nicki’s reign.
Assuming things keep going this way, we are going to be seeing more and more valiant female rappers on the scene. They may have never explored their sound if it weren’t for Nicki’s precedent, too. With this we will be seeing more and more subgenres of hip-hop. There’s already a slew of subgenres as it is, so it will certainly be interesting to see who and what comes next.