J Reads: HYPEFRESH Contributor Debut with Chris Scholar Interview

I am excited to announce that I will be contributing at hypefreshmag.com! I kicked things of with my first artist interview, Richmond native Chris Scholar. Read the article below, or at hypefreshmag.com.

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Read the article at hypefreshmag.com.

J Events: The Pinkprint Tour Review

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Courtesy of @nickiminaj.

When The New York Times published their review of The Pinkprint Tour, I was surprised by what appeared to be the article’s general sentiment:

I’m glad I took the time to read the article, however, because it was a bit more nuanced than the headline would let on. I’ve pulled a few pieces of “subtle shade” from the article that really get at the truth of the matter:

What the NY Times said: In total, the lineup reflected Ms. Minaj’s many parts — tough, sultry, exuberant, colorful, exaggerated. In her own herky-jerky set, though, she was toggling among approaches: street-wise songs, saccharine pop hits, collaborations, collisions of all these. Ms. Minaj’s catalog is so varied, she has colonized so much turf in so many spaces, that unifying it under one umbrella is a challenge. (nytimes.com)

What they meant: Her set was all over the place. There was no real storyline or theme, which is ok I guess, but there was also no real flow. She would jumped from slow to fast, pop to mixtape content, old material to new. It didn’t feel spontaneous, it was just confusing. 

What the NY Times said: Often she’s rapping through a grin, striking a pose for the camera, but when she lets the facade down and focuses on the shape and pace of her words, she’s a bulldozer. (nytimes.com)

What they meant: She spent too much time “being cute” and not enough time really diving into the material of her songs. Nicki is know for her many personalities and characters, but she never gave you the full scope on any record she performed, only a taste. I don’t want to see you smiling and giggling during “Lookin’ ***.” Sorry, but no. 

What the NY Times said:Meek Mill sped through several of his blustery hits — a minute of one, then another, like a one-sided mixed-martial-arts bout. (nytimes.com)

What they meant: I had no idea Meek was going to perform in between Nicki’s sets, an interesting choice. They took far too much time transitioning between their sets and his first appearance was rather short.

When Meek finally came out he definitely brought the energy up, but he choose to speed through his hits and spent more time on songs that only hardcore fans would know, a mistake in my opinion. 

I know it seems I am being super critical of Nicki, but it’s only because I know she can come 10x harder than she did with this tour and the production and overall flow can definitely improve. [For example, I would estimate she spends at least 15-20% of the show trying to make it up and down her set stairs. Either she needs to put on some flats, or take some lessons from Bey, but girl, get it together.] She has the catalog, her stage presence continues to improved, and as a more established artist she has the budget to pull together a great performance, not just mediocre. I guess we shall see what the future holds, until next time.