Elton John has worked with a vast array of hip-hop artists, from Eminem to even appearing on the legendary posthumous 2Pac song ‘Ghetto Gospel’; the British singer and songwriter has played a part in hip-hop to a minor extent. However, in an NME interview, he revealed that Nicki Minaj heavily inspired some of his songs.
During the making of his 2021 album, The Lockdown Sessions, John unveiled that he studied Minaj’s songwriting abilities and was astounded at the way she was able to construct songs.
Explaining why he was amazed by rappers such as Minaj, Young Thug, and Lil Nas X, who all feature on the album, John revealed, “[They take] snippets of things and make them into songs. I’m a traditional songwriter, but I’m fascinated with the way people write songs now.”
He even told his core fanbase (who aren’t hip-hop fans) that it is impossible to write off their talent, stating, “Don’t tell me these things aren’t valid. If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t write it off as rubbish. If you don’t understand it, fair enough, but don’t knock it. It’s fantastic stuff.”
The ‘Rocket Man’ musician worked with Minaj and Young Thug on the song ‘Always Love You’ and was “just blown away” by Thug’s magic. During the conversation with NME, John disclosed, “I mean, I’ve seen Marshall [Mathers] do it in Detroit, but I’ve never seen someone like Thug come in and do that.”
He continued, “It was just an amazing moment in my musical life. I have no understanding of how rap records are put together, and it’s fascinating to watch.” John expressed his love of hip-hop and the ingenious ways some rappers are able to construct rhymes.
‘Always Love You’ was not released as a single in 2021. However, The Lockdown Sessions reached number one on the UK Album Charts and stayed there for eight weeks in total. The project was an interesting example of John working with younger artists who inspire him. You can listen to his track with Minaj and Young Thug below.