Nicki Minaj’s former manager Debra Antney (Mother of Waka Flocka) speaks on Nicki Minaj & how it was like working with her in the past.
What kinds of things did you have to focus on improving when Nicki first moved to Atlanta to start working with you?
Debra Antney: Her self-esteem. She really went through a lot of stuff—trust factors and all those kinds of little things. The one thing she wanted to do was sing, so I placed her with Jan Smith to get some vocal training. I wanted to see where she was and actually allow her to feel comfortable with her vocals.
And the result of all that was Beam Me Up Scotty?
Yeah, it was the illest. Even though it was a mixtape, it opened up doors for her.
That mixtape is incredible. Were there specific kinds of challenges you had to deal with working with a woman rapper?
Nicki has made it hard for me to deal with other women. Her focus was phenomenal. That bar is raised so high because of what she did and her work ethic. There wasn’t no partying, there wasn’t no drugs, there wasn’t no guys, there wasn’t none of that. Wasn’t no mess, she wasn’t on a bunch of meds, she wasn’t into drama. She worked. Most girls when they get into the game, they fight with they boyfriends. That’s it—no work. Even her trippin’ parts was OK with me because by that time she had became spoiled. But I have nothing negative to say about working with her. The problem is that other females have it hard with me, now. They really go through hell because she raised the bar really high.
So you expect more from people.
Nicki was always a very pretty girl. She had a lot of people who wanted her then. She was like new meat coming down here, but nothing deterred her away from where she wanted to be. It was so real when she said in her song, “It’s not about who you know, it’s not about your looks, it’s not about anything. It’s about who want it.” She said to me, “Deb, I want it.” And then in her record she said, “I want it the most.” That was real. By any means necessary, she was going to do it. There was a time when everybody kept turning her down. We went to New York and she sat against the wall and was like “Why, Deb, why?” And I said, “Get up. What do you want to do?” She’s like, “I want this.” And I was like, “How bad do you want this? What are you willing to sacrifice?” And she looked at me and she said, “I want this, Deb.” She wanted it the most and she did it. From that time on there was no looking back. She did it. Oh god, that just brought tears to my eyes.
Continue reading Debra Explains Why Nicki Is the Hardest Working Rapper Alive