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Nicki Minaj Draws Heat

Nicki Minaj made female rappers matter again, but that hasn’t stopped her from being the target of a steady stream of hate. Last weekend, MInaj refused to perform at Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2012 after the New York radio station's disc jockey Peter Rosenberg said the station was about real hip-hop, not starships. It was a not-so-subtle jab at Minaj, whose song “Starships” has a more commercial sound than many of her other singles.

When Lil Wayne, head of YMCMB, Minaj's label, heard of the slight, he pulled the label's entire roster from Summer Jam, which is widely considered the summer’s premier rap concert. Minaj apologized to her fans but said she had to ride with Wayne’s decision and that she would not be disrespected.

While Wayne stood by Minaj, Lil’ Kim continues throwing darts Minaj’s way. Prior to Summer Jam, word circulated that Minaj was going to bring out Azealia Banks and Foxy Brown during her set. Kim caught wind of this and went to Twitter, accusing Minaj of jacking her style. Wow, who knew that Kim pioneered the concept of rappers performing with friends, collaborators and contemporaries? Since that's been going on for more than 30 years, she must have come up with the idea when she was 7.

Danny Brown Gets Young In “Grown Up”

Danny Brown has been steadily earning accolades for his imaginative music. In his new song and video “Grown Up," the rapper flows over a beat (similar to the album version of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It”) about his formative years in Detroit.

Brown’s trip down memory lane is a testament to his perseverance and eventual success, and a welcome jaunt back to a time when coming-of-age songs used to be commonplace in rap. In the video for “Grown Up,” which features Brown being portrayed as a child for much of the clip, he sheds some insight into how he may have lost some of his teeth. By making light of his missing chompers, Brown ups his appeal.

Nottz’s New Release Is “Mind” Blowing

Since Dr. Dre blessed the mic in the 1980s with the World Class Wreckin Cru and N.W.A., there have been plenty of other noteworthy double threats, but one who continues to create top tunes without much above-ground attention is the supremely talented Nottz.

The Virginia-based maestro’s new EP “In My Mind” features him rhyming alongside fellow rappers-producers Pete Rock, The Alchemist and Black Milk. Sonically, the eight-cut collection showcases Nottz’s knack for flipping samples, creating drum-driven beats and delivering high quality boom-bap material. If you’re late to Nottz’s party, it's time to catch up.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter and check out his author page on Amazon.com.

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