Young Money's Shanell has a voice as sweet as red velvet cake, but the singer/songwriter isn't your average R&B pop tart. On her new single "Cupid's Got a Gun" featuring Nicki Minaj, she's as sharp with her lyrics as her boss Lil Wayne is with his rhymes. Shanell says the song represents the "tough skin" type of girls.
"Me and my homegirl Mika Means were actually in the studio and we were coming up with stuff and we started that song, "Cupid's Got a Gun,' " Shanell told MTV News this week. "It's a love song, but it's a love song told in a different way. I'm not really a mushy person, so I express my emotions, it's like, instead of saying I love you, it's I f---ing love you. So the way I write my love songs comes out different. And it's this energy that I felt that it needed, 'cause I consider myself a boss type of chick and I got a tough skin. I thought Nicki would be perfect to be on this record to exemplify that boss type of energy. I played it for her and she jumped right on it."
The song is the first effort from her forthcoming debut album. According to Shanell, "Cupid's Got a Gun" wasn't slated to be the first single but after it leaked to the Web earlier this month it drew a strong response. As a result, she and her team are prepping to work the song as a street single to tease the upcoming LP. She hopes to drop that full-length for the masses next summer. Meanwhile, she has her hand in other projects like her gig as the face of clothing line Married to the Mob's fall collection.
The singer has also written a video treatment for "Cupid's" that she described as a combination of "Smooth Criminal" and the movies "Sin City" and "Kill Bill."
"As a writer, there's a picture in my head and I'm basically writing a story to the pictures that flash in my head," Shanell explained. "So I always had the visual for the video in my head. But once we got Nicki on it, I thought, Oh, [those three as a mix would work]. I've written it out and I'm looking for a director now."
Are you looking forward to seeing the collaboration from Young Money's first ladies? Tell us in the comments!