I still really want to like Nicki Minaj. I swear that I do. So on the rare occasion she does something that doesn’t turn me off immediately, I pay close attention and count how many ways I legitimately do want to have her be cool in my book. Said occasions are rare.

However, an old video of the rapper before all of the wigs, heavy make-up, and extensive dental work (which I don’t know how I am just now noticing) makes me so happy. Nicki is rhyming over the Terror Squad “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” beat, which was one of my favorite songs back when I lived in New York, listened to hip-hop on the radio, and Remy Ma wasn’t in jail yet. Minaj was still rough around the edges as far as her look was concerned (i.e. a normal cute girl), and was so overwhelmingly Queens-ish as opposed to the pop/British thing she has going on now, but she demonstrates here that she had a honed craft and talent as a rapper before she got quite so gimmicky.

What do you think of the old Nicki?

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