Armed with a vicious flow and an even more ferocious attitude, 20-year-old newcomer Keyona Turner aka Keys aka The Problem aka The Beast isnt playing around. Keys burst onto the scene after posting a diss video on YouTube against Hip Hops newest female go-to-girl, Nicki Minaj. To the instrumental of Nickis Itty Bitty Piggy Keys goes in, This is not a rap b***h, this is Miley Cyrus. Must be something wrong cause this beat is playing s**t. Now shes on the second verse and still aint saying s**t.
Keys released her debut mix-tape, The Infiltration on May 22nd. There is no doubt that Keys is ready for war. Im A Spartan serves as an ode to all her ride or die fans and further explains her Spartan movement. Songs like I Am, F**k You and Hit Em are your basic gutter go-hard tracks in which Keys attempts to ascertain her place in Hip Hop. With her not so subtle jabs at everyones favorite Harajuku Barbie over-top blazing beats, Keys is coming at Hip-Hop with a vengeance, putting together a body of work that shows vehemently displays her talent and immense potential. On Ether, Keys takes a page from Nass rhyme book, using the historical instrumental to pen a lyrical beat down that would even make the Hip-Hop legend stand up and take notice.
Since Keys blatant and unwarranted attack, Nicki hasnt exactly responded but she has mentioned tha she wont respond to those who live on planet bum. And Keys well, read on.
AllHipHop.com: What makes Keys a problem?
Keys: I am a problem because I say what I feel. And most of the time I feel something really angry and I feel all the stuff that yall dont want people to say. So, thats why Im a problem. I came to expose you.
AllHipHop.com: Who are you trying to expose?
Keys: Anybody thats um, thats getting by without doing anything. You know what I mean? I feel like too many people are in the game and their lightweights and their claiming to be heavyweights. I just came to prove that, youre not as slick as you say you are.
AllHipHop.com: Lets talk about Nicki Minaj. What is your beef with her? Why are you going so hard?
Keys: The thing about it is, ok, first thing, this is how it all started. I did the Nicki Minaj diss that got on YouTube. The Nicki Minaj diss was not orchestrated. Like I didnt sit here and plan it like ok, Im gonna do this video and its gonna get a million views and Im gonna be on World Star Hip Hop and everyones gonna know my name. That was not the intent at all. It was really so random, it was lighthearted, we was playing around. Me and my homebody, we was just joking. And um, I think we had watched the video a long time before we actually was like, lets put it on YouTube. Just so I could have it for my friends to put it on MySpace and just geeking of it. I remember being in school and somebody hit me up, they was like you know youve got like 700,000 views. And I was like what? What are you talking about? So it wasnt planned in that aspect. But I think that on her part, she should have just let it be. Like I would have been done if she would have never came back with her little response and planet bum. Like, I took offense to that. Like what do you mean? Who lives on planet bum? Like anybody that doesnt have a Ferrari or anybody that doesnt live the lifestyle that you live. So who lives on planet bum? Thats 75 percent of your fans. So certain stuff like that really annoys me. I get annoyed by people throwing slurs. Dont throw slurs. If you gon have something to say, say it. And I feel like shes still doing it. Like songs that she does now. On that DJ Khaled remix s**t, she was like oh youre on welfare and I see you in your bummy sweats. Shes definitely talking about me. But shes still trying be strategic. And thats not gonna help you. Like if you would have just shut up a very long time ago. I would have moved the f**k on.
Nicki Addresses Keys Sort Of
AllHipHop.com: If you had the opportunity to meet with her person to person, face to face, would you be willing to squash it?
Keys: No, because its not a beef in that aspect. A beef is like that is like you smacked my mother in the face and when I see you Im a have to smack you back. This is not a deep as people are trying to make it. I think I mentioned this on my mix-tape. If this was the 80s, it wouldnt have been that serious. People drop disses on people in Hip Hop all the time and thats what it is. Either you come back and defend yourself or you just look stupid. Its not as deep as everybody is trying make it. If I say her, I would just be like damn, you still cant think of s**t to say and that would be it. Its a Hip Hop beef battle. I mean, its rap. Lets not make a whole big thing about it.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think youre better than Nicki Minaj?
Keys: Um, I dont think that anybody questions if Im lyrically better than her. I think people question if I can succeed as an artist and if I can like you said like you said brand myself. I dont think that anybody questions if Im better than her, lyrically.
AllHipHop.com: But do YOU think youre better?
Keys: Of course! Theres nothing that she can do with me, lyrically. Theres nothing she can do with me.
AllHipHop.com? So youre saying she cant touch you?
Keys: Cant touch me with a ten foot pole. Thats why shes doing what shes doing. She knows she stands a chance if she brings up material things. If she says stuff like, [mocks Nicki] Im in a money green jag. You know what I mean? You got me beat there. You ballin sweetheart, you got that. But theres nothing that you can do with me lyrically and she knows that. Thats why she wants to make it a fame and money beef. Instead of a bitch I rap better than you beef.
On the Itty Bitty Piggy diss, Keys barks, When them boys try to play, Im like nah you dumb. I was chasing big s**t, they money was too young.
AllHipHop.com: On Itty Bitty Do you have a problem with Young Money? Or just Nicki?
Keys: You know, Young Money is cool. Its a lot of people on Young Money to respect lyrically. You know, theyre ok. I dont have a problem with Young Money as a whole. I didnt mention them in the diss. Yea, I kind of did, didnt I? But I dont give a f**k. I dont care. Do what you feel.
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts the history of females and the roles theyve played in Hip Hop?
Keys: I think that when Hip Hop, in itself started, not just females, but I think that when we started it was so much more smart. And so much more politically driven and we had something to say. We was making a statement. It was a pivotal thing to happen in African American culture. Because we were standing up for stuff. We had something to say. We had our party songs too but I feel like it was a little bit more powerful than what it is now. I think now, its just a watered down version of itself. As far as females go, I think they are just following the watered down trend that has Hip Hop has become. I think that people do what they see other people in the game doing. And they feel like they have to do those steps to be successful. Thats why you see a lot of artist repeating styles and even verses and looks that artists have already done because they feel like ok let me do what she did to be successful when really its just making s**t weak. Its like come on weve seen this s**t before. People are afraid to do something different because they feels like theres a formula so they do that. But I just saw f**k it and laugh and walk away.
AllHipHop.com: Who would you consider working with once you get on? Do you think its important, especially as a female, to embrace other female artists?v
Keys: I dont believe that. We dont support the same stuff. I dont believe what you believe in. I dont glorify the s**t you glorify. So Im not gonna get on a song with you. I dont care. Thats just like somebody telling Malcolm X to do a song with the Ku Klux Klan because theyre both humans. No! Were on two different notes.
AllHipHop.com: Not just Nicki. Theres Eve, Trina and Missy Elliott.
Keys: You know, theres some of them but I feel like (pauses to think)
AllHipHop.com: Is there no female you respect in Hip Hop?
Keys: Yes, there are females I respect but I dont like when people say all females should have unity because a lot of them dont have the mentality I have. And I feel like I would be phony to get on a song with somebody where I dont like their style and I dont like what they do. I like Eve a lot. I like Remy a lot. Lauyrn Hill is my girl. But I feel like a lot of people, they run in that same lane and theyre doing stuff that I dont quite support.
AllHipHop.com: What would you say to those who think you are just using Nicki as a catalyst to get on?
Keys: I didnt intend for it to be that way. I didnt think it was gonna happen that way. But to be honest, that it what happened. You know what I mean? Im getting a lot of attention right now because I murdered Nicki Minaj on track. Thats the reality of the situation. Did I intend it? No. But is thats whats happening? Yes. Why would you allow some s**t like that though? I would never allow you to get buzz and fame from f***ing my name up. Why would you allow that? I think the question people need to ask is why she is letting me do it. Its hilarious to me.
AllHipHop.com: Define the Spartan movement. Whats that all about?
Keys: I call my fans Spartans because I feel like the whole story of 300 was pretty much parallel to us. My fans stood behind me when it was only a small group of us and they didnt care that it was millions of Nicki Minaj fans. They were like were with you because youre real. And I dont care if its only five of us. And thats why I say that. Were a small group of people who just go hard and we just march against the largest mass.
AllHipHop.com: Besides the Itty Bitty Piggy diss, theres not much of your music out there. What are you working on right now?
Keys: Well thats pretty much because before, I wasnt doing this music thing before all of this happened. I was in college.
AllHipHop.com: Whered you go to college?
Keys: Medix [College], its an associates degree program they have there. I was taking up surgical technology. And I was just gonna be a surge tech. I wasnt thinking about rap. But with the whole video situation that happened, I just got a huge outreach of people that was like we want you to really go in. So just recently I started doing a lot of recording. My mix-tape is called The Infiltration and it drops tomorrow, May 22nd. And if you check my twitter and my Facebook, youll be able to get all of that information. Youll definitely be able to find more coming real soon.
AllHipHop.com: What would you say your style is? What influences your style?
Keys: My style, I think its a mesh of some of the harder rappers of today like Eminem-ish Cassidy-ish. But I definitely have the old school flow. Youll definitely hear some KRS-One even some Lauryn Hill kind of vibes. So I definitely think, I would call it uncut, raw and old school.
AllHipHop.com: Who were some of your influences? Who do you like?
Keys: Cassidy. Jadakiss. KRS-One is huge in my book because he always kept it real. He never cut any corners with anybody. He always laid it out. So KRS-One definitely number one in my book.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think you have that other rappers dont?
Keys: I dont really care. But I think that what I would bring to the game is just uncensoredness. And I think that a lot of rappers and even artists, everything they do is planned and just strategic. Like you know, I have to say this because this is going to make people think this. And I have to do this and wear this cause its gonna look like this. And Im just like f**k you. This is what I have to say. Maybe tomorrow Ill regret that I said it but I just dont care. I mean, I say things that everybody wants to say and I feel like people find relieve in that. Like I knew Keys was gonna put it out there for me so
AllHipHop.com: Today in Hip Hop, its all about branding. You have to be marketable. What are you doing to make sure that people are going to feel you?
Keys: I try not to think about that. Because I think that my appeal now is that raw, uncut, unplannedness. And its not this whole orchestrated thing. You know what I mean? So, I try not to be like this is what Keys does. And this is the hat that she wears. I have to make sure she says this. I try not to do that. I try to just run my race and if they like it or if they dont, whatever. I come in contact with a lot of underground rappers and its like when they were just doing them, they were good. But when they started getting in their heads like, I gotta get a deal and or something they [the people] can hear on the radio, they start trying to run in a lane with other people. And they become disposable. And now they sound like 50 other people on the radio. So I try not think about stuff like the packaging. I just try to make what I feel like is good music and hope my Spartans ride with me.
Check out Keys mixtape The Infiltration at http://www.datpiff.com/Keys__Infiltration.m123049.html or follow her on Twitter @ Keys_TheProblem.