DJ Drama Regrets Not Keeping Nicki Minaj On Gucci Mane's 2008 Gangsta Grillz Mixtape
After doing some reflecting, DJ Drama admits to a few regrets. His impact on Hip Hop doesn't need defending as Drama is one of the most celebrated DJs and producers in the game. His Gangsta Grillz series has lasted for decades, and from one generation to the next, artists are clamoring for an opportunity to add their names to his list of collaborators. While chatting with Bootleg Kev on his podcast, Drama revisited a moment in 2008 when he was working with Gucci Mane on their Gangsta Grillz project, The Movie. The mixtape was supposed to feature a look from Nicki Minaj, but Drama switched things up.
At the time, Minaj was only a few years into her professional career. She was still establishing her relationships, proving her skills, and competing for attention in a Hip Hop boys' club. She didn't have much national or global visibility, so DJ Drama decided it was best to take her off the project, all together. In hindsight, he wishes he didn't make that move. "When he brought it to me, the first song on the tape, the first voice you heard on the tape was Nicki Minaj," Drama said.
DJ Drama Made Things Right
Drama didn't want fans to hear the voice of a lesser-known artist from the onset. "Obviously, this is an early Nicki Minaj. And disrespectfully, I felt like we can't have a Gangsta Grillz with me and Gucci, and the first voice you heard not be Gucci, so I removed her verse from that song. I feel terrible to this day." However, he did make things right, in his own way, by including Minaj in Lil Wayne's Dedication 3 project that same year. Minaj made sure her voice was heard.
"'Dram, please don't let the tape come out without me on there,'" Drama recalled Nicki telling him. "And I said, 'I got you.' So Nicki Minaj is on Dedication 3 directly because I made sure she was on there." The Queens icon has long discussed the roadblocks she experienced early on in her career-and throughout. Minaj has been open about struggling to earn respect while her male peers have navigated an easier route.
Deb Antney Claims Gucci Didn't Like Nicki
Meanwhile, music executive Deb Antney previously shed light on the relationship between Gucci Mane and Nicki Minaj. Antney used to manage both artists, but according to her, Gucci "couldn't stand" Minaj because she refused his sexual advances. It's unclear if this also contributed to the exclusion on his mixtape years ago, but it certainly has fans talking.