Nicki Minaj Says 'Hip-Hop Culture Is Still In My Heart'

By Rob Markman

Nicki Minaj has evolved tremendously over the past few years, and with her latest album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded the Queens rapper really pushes the envelope, tapping into dance and pop. Still, Minaj insists that she hasn't forgotten about hip-hop.

In her "Beez in the Trap" video, Nicki the Ninja ditched male alter ego Roman and proved she was all woman as she danced on the video's strip-club set. "I love my 'Beez in the Trap' video. This is my 'hood video, obviously," she told MTV News last week after she threw a surprise performance in Times Square.

Since her pop success, Nicki has heard all the whispers and criticisms that she may have forgotten her Queens roots. It's all pretty laughable to rap's reigning queen. On "Moment 4 Life," she vowed to never forget her humble beginnings when she spit: " 'Cause I'm still hood, Hollywood couldn't change me."

"What can I say? I don't know what I gotta do anymore. I don't know what I can possibly do. What I gotta do? Go and rob a bank?" Nicki asked with a chuckle.

No matter her success on the pop charts, Nicki still considers herself hip-hop. On her recently released Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Ms. Minaj mixed her creative raps with crossover sounds on songs like the RedOne-produced "Starships" and the kinetic "Pound the Alarm." She'll never forget her roots, though. "I'm still me, hip-hop culture is still in my heart," she said. "That can never leave me.

"I know I'm always gonna be street, because I can't pretend to be street. It's a lot of people walking around here pretending to be that, but I ain't gonna call nobody out right now."

What's your favorite track from Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded? Let us know in the comments!