Monday marked the seven year anniversary of the release of Kanye West's "Monster," from his seminal album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The track is a fascinating one, containing two of the most famous features in recent memory—Jay Z's "Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong /
Loch Ness, Goblin, Ghoul, a zombie with no conscience" verse, which is still the subject of memes seven years on, and Nicki Minaj's now-iconic spot. Despite her rookie status at the time, on "Monster" she set the benchmark for pretty much all guest verses going forward with her vim, fearlessness, and originality.
In an Instagram post celebrating the birthday of the song that certainly quickened the trajectory of her career (I have a feeling that even without it, she would still have been a huge name in rap sooner or later), Nicki has shared that she had to persuade Kanye to keep the track on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, writing:
Kanye called me to tell me Jay put a verse on this song & that he was still deciding if he would put it on his album. Haha. It was like an hour long call where I tried to convince him to let the song stay on his album.
It would have been a very different record without the track, which, with its collection of names also including Rick Ross and Justin Vernon, cemented Kanye as someone with the music world at his fingertips. Plus, the world would never have gotten that Nicki verse, and what a loss that would have been. However, she also reveals that it was Kanye's influence which pressed her to add more of the "growl"-style vocal which added to her reputation as a vocal chameleon, something which marked her out in rap early on:
Kanye, thank you for being the genius you are. You always put others first. I fought u every step of the way but it worked out. (He wanted me to add more of that growling monster voice and I felt it was over kill.) He wouldn't give in. In the end, maybe he was right. Ha! - this song featured Barbie and Roman.
See the full post below, and maybe give that "Monster" verse a listen. Still sounds great.
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