Playtime Is Over (mixtape)

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Playtime Is Over
Mixtape by Nicki Minaj
Released July 5, 2007
Recorded 2007
Genre Hip hop
Length 44:10
Label Dirty Money Records, Young Money Entertainment
Producer Hosted by Lil Wayne
Nicki Minaj chronology
Playtime Is Over
(2007)
Sucka Free
(2008)

Playtime Is Over is the first mixtape by Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj. The album was released on July 5, 2007 through Young Money Entertainment and Dirty Money Records. It features guest performances from Hell Red, Red Café, Murda Mook, Ransom, Gravy, Lil Wayne, Angel De-mar, and Ru Spits.

Background[edit]

After releasing five songs with the rap group The Hoodstars (a part of Full Force) Minaj left the group to pursue music independently.[1] She uploaded music to Myspace and reached out to music producers.[2] Through Myspace Minaj made contact with Fendi, CEO of Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment. Fendi signed Minaj to Dirty Money Records, where Minaj featured on a DVD series called "The Come Up."[3] Her appearance on "The Come Up" caught the attention of Lil Wayne, who contracted her to release her music with Young Money Entertainment.[3]

Composition[edit]

Minaj was involved in writing all of the lyrics on "Playtime Is Over".[4] Her songs mostly feature either her or another artist rapping, with the chorus from the original instrumental removed. Most lyrics consist of either complicated wordplay or direct insults that establish Minaj as better than other rappers, and suggest that her music is worth listening too.[4] It was argued that the lyrics of the mixtape are deeper than that of subsequent commercial singles.[5]

Most of the instrumentals on "Playtime Is Over" are sampled from other, more popular songs, and original instrumentals are similar in style. The mixtape features rhythmic, synthesized beats with bass, in a 4/4 time signature.[6] While Nicki Minaj's new discography features pop-rap, "Playtime Is Over" is predominantly hip-hop music accompanied by rapping.[7][8] Her rapping is fast-paced, features alter egos such as "Nicki Lewinsky," and engages in British cockney.[9]

Release and promotion[edit]

"Playtime Is Over" is the first in a series of mixtapes, all released without a major record label, that were marketed to establish a dedicated, core fan base who identified with the lifestyle described in her mixtape[10] Minaj established a small fan base before releasing "Playtime Is Over" by communicating with her fans online on Twitter, Myspace, and personal blogs. "Playtime Is Over" allowed Minaj to reach more hip-hop enthusiasts, and activity on social networking sites pushed her mixtapes into the mainstream.[3] The vice president marketing at Minaj's management company said that, following the release of "Playtime Is Over," "We didn't position [Minaj] as music but as a lifestyle."[3]

Public reception[edit]

As one the first up-and-coming female rappers in over a decade, Minaj's work received a lot of attention.[11] Even though she was female rapper in a male-dominated genre, "Playtime Is Over" focused on the mixtape's lyrical content and the public responded positively.[3] Fans found her charismatic and serious about her work.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

After Minja's release of "Playtime Is Over" (and the subsequent release of Sucka Free), her work garnered acclaim from many other artists, including Robin Thicke and Gucci Mane.[11] In 2008, she received Female Artist of the Year from the Underground Music Awards.[8] Minaj's early discography also got BET awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip Hop Artist, and got her nominated for a teen choice award.[12]

Influence[edit]

"Playtime Is Over" established Nicki Minaj's physical persona as popular and amiable, like a Barbie doll. In an article by MTV Minaj stated that "We’re going with the whole Barbie doll theme so I’m gonna be doing a lot of kooky poses because I have to look like a doll straight out the box. But I’m not a Barbie that needs to play—Playtime is Over.”[13] The cover of "Playtime Is Over" shows Minaj with pink lipstick in a pink plastic-looking case, which resembles a packaged barbie doll. However, the music in her mixtape created made Minaj appear aggressive and flaunting; she attacked other rapper directly and boasted about herself through complicated wordplay.[4] In an interview with Billboard Minaj stated that "once I'm out there, it's all gone. I'm the fearless Barbie doll."[3] MTV states that the two contrasting personalities allowed Minaj to relate to a wide audience, and were therefore instrumental to her success as an artist.[13][14] "Playtime Is Over" was developed with the help of established artists.[4] Minaj credits collaboration, especially with Lil Wayne, as extremely helpful in increasing the popularity of her albums.[4][11] In addition, Minaj's early discography lead to high-profile features on songs by Wyclef Jean and Drake, which further increased her popularity.[11]

"Playtime Is Over" is considered unique (compared to albums from other, similar female rappers) in that Minaj put a lot of emphasis on the content of the mixtape, instead of on her sex appeal.[10] Minaj has mentioned that "Playtime Is Over" was inspired by Foxy Brown, stating that "I really loved [Foxy] as a female rapper. I was really interested in her mind and her aura... I never told Foxy how much she has influenced me and how much she changed by life, and you've gotta tell people that when they're alive to even be able to take the compliment, instead of paying tribute to them when they're no longer here"[15] This is a major reason why Billboard credits Minaj as being one of the most influential female rappers.[16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Original Instrumental Length
1 "1-900-Ms-Minaj" (featuring Hell Rell, Red Café, Murda Mook, Ransom and Gravy) 4:48
2 "Dreams '07" "Just Playing (Dreams)" by The Notorious B.I.G 2:39
3 "Wuchoo Know" "Lip Gloss" by Lil Mama 2:18
4 "Interlude" (Lil Wayne only) "Upgrade U" by Beyoncé and Jay-Z 1:50
5 "Can't Stop Won't Stop" (featuring Lil Wayne) "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" by Young Gunz 2:26
6 "Playtime Is Over" "We Takin' Over" by DJ Khaled, Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman and Lil Wayne 1:46
7 "Jump Off '07" "Jump Off" by Lil' Kim and Mr. Cheecks 2:24
8 "Click Clack" "Click Clack" by Slim Thug and Pusha T. 4:02
9 "40 Bars" "Banned from T.V." by Noreaga, Nature, Cam'ron and The Lox. 2:09
10 "Dilly Dally" "Kingdom Come" by Jay-Z 3:03
11 "Warning" "Warning" by The Notorious B.I.G. 2:52
12 "N.I.G.G.A.S." (featuring Angel De-mar) 3:48
13 "Sunshine" (featuring Gravy) "Sunshine" by Jay-Z featuring Foxy Brown 2:39
14 "Letcha Go" "Can't Let You Go" by Fabolous, Lil Mo and Mike Shorey 2:37
15 "Sticks In My Bun" 2:46
16 "I'm Cumin" "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy and Mase 2:03
17 "Freestyle" "Yeah Yeah Yeah" by Terror Squad 1:01
18 "Hood Story" 1:59
19 "Ease Up" (featuring Ru Spits) 3:39
20 "Encore '07" "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park 4:10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Look At Nicki Minaj Before She Blew Up". Uproxx (Blog). 
  2. ^ Davis, Todd. "Nicki Minaj: On the Rise". RapIndustry.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lipshutz, Jason. "Nicki Minaj Catches Eyes On Lil Wayne's Young Money Tour". Billboard. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Battan, Carrie. "Cover Story: Nicki Minaj". The Fader. 
  5. ^ Perez, Alicia (28 November 2012). "A Feminist’s Defense of Nicki Minaj". Feminspire. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Cantor, Paul. "Nicki Minaj Going Back to Her Hip-hop Roots Doesn't Make Sense". Vice. 
  7. ^ McBee, Wilson. "What Is Pop Rap, And Why Do We Hate It?". Prefix. 
  8. ^ a b "Nicki Minaj – Beware Sucka MCs". Hip Hop Ruckus. 
  9. ^ Smith, Emily (2013). The Lil Wayne Handbook - Everything you need to know about Lil Wayne. Emereo Publishing. p. 436. ISBN 9781488506567. 
  10. ^ a b Stewart, Justin. "Nicki Minaj Officially Becomes A Young Money Millionaire". HipHopWired. 
  11. ^ a b c d Concepcion, Mariel. "Nicki Minaj: Artists To Watch 2010". Billboard. 
  12. ^ Scott, Chris (2011). The Simple Guide To NIcki Minaj. 
  13. ^ a b Nadeska, Alexis. "Nicki Minaj Channels Barbie In ‘Playtime Is Over’ Mixtape Shoot". MTV. 
  14. ^ "7 Years After "Playtime Is Over": A 2007 Interview With Nicki Minaj". The Source. 
  15. ^ Smith, Emily (2013). The Lil Wayne Handbook - Everything you need to know about Lil Wayne. Emereo Publishing. p. 442. ISBN 9781488506567. 
  16. ^ Ramirez, Erika. "Ladies First: 31 Female Rappers Who Changed Hip-Hop". Billboard.