In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, veteran rapper/actor Ice-T has come to the defense of Nicki Minaj in the debate on whether or not she is "real Hip-Hop":
Just last week, Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg dissed Nicki Minaj by implying that her song "Starships" isn't "real hip-hop," and she responded by pulling out of her headlining slot at Summer Jam. Some have applauded him, while others say his point of view is outdated. What do you think "real hip-hop" is?
I think it's all "real hip-hop." You have the core hip-hop, which would just be beats and breaks, more something like what you hear with DJ Premier. Then you get into the more highly produced hip-hop, which is something like what DJ Khaled does. But at some point, it starts to get kind of pop. It goes into this other realm.
Nicki went on tour with Britney Spears, so she's on another channel. But to me, it all comes from hip-hop; it's like a growth of hip-hop, whether you agree with that growth or not. Like me, I'm not the biggest Nicki Minaj fan but I think she can rhyme. She does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions – but she's no Lil Kim. I think when people say "real hip-hop," they want it more buried in the streets. They want it more connected to the streets and the grime and the roughness of the streets. They don't want the fluff.