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Ransom Recalls Nicki Minaj Being Rejected By Def Jam Early In Her Career



Ransom has opened up about the early days of shopping Nicki Minaj to labels such as Def Jam, but the legendary imprint rejected the idea of signing her.

Ransom joined the Rap Radar podcast this week, during which he recalled his pitch to Def Jam to bring Nicki Minaj into the fold falling on deaf ears before she eventually signed with Young Money in 2009.

“We went to Def Jam, like, ‘Yo, you should probably sign her, too.’ She probably don’t know that,” he began. “I ain’t gonna tell you the person even we talked to. You guys know him. He was like, ‘Nah, that shit will never work.’

“I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ Nah, I see him to this day I be like, ‘Wow!’ I looked at him like, ‘Alright.’”

Ransom continued his rant against executives that really have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to evaluating talent, and he had a message for aspiring A&Rs.

“There’s a lot of people in this industry that has no idea what the fuck they doing,” he claimed. “If you know what you doing and you stick around long enough, you’ll make a name for yourself.”


Nicki Minaj once referenced being shunned by Def Jam as the label allegedly told her she’s “no Lauryn Hill” on Beam Me Up Scotty‘s “Can Anybody Hear Me?” in 2009.

“Def Jam said I’m no Lauryn Hill/ Can’t rap and sing on the same CD/ The public won’t get it, they got A.D.D,” she raps.

Things turned out okay for Nicki Minaj as she joined Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint and went on to become one of the most decorated rappers of the 21st century with countless Billboard chart hits — including three Hot 100 No. 1s — and 10 Grammy nominations.

Meanwhile, Nicki is still a free agent on the management front after rumors she had joined Mariah Carey’s Range Media were debunked earlier this month.

“Nicki is currently in discussions with management companies and has not yet partnered with anyone,” a label representative added in their own statement.

Nicki previously confirmed in 2022 that she left Irving Azoff’s Full Stop Management.