Look, I’m not a “Barbie” (a Nicki Minaj “Stan”), but I am a woman so I’m questioning why so many people are going so hard on Nicki Minaj this year?
It started with her single, “Lookin Ass” which had its video release date on February 14, 2014, such a sweet song for Valentine’s Day, right? Right. The track first sparked controversy because of the cover art which featured the late human rights activist, Malcolm X. I absolutely did not agree with Nicki’s choice of imagery for the single, but I was not against her lyrics. Other people, especially men, did have a problem with her aggressive tone, raw and “disrespectful” rhymes, and had the nerve to say she was emasculating men. *Scratches temple*
Please have a seat!
I’m trying to figure out how the million and one records (and counting), where rappers use misogynistic lyrics with ease and repeatedly objectify and degrade women is acceptable, but the one song where a woman gives her opinion about some “lookin ass n***a” is a problem? I’m sure there’s a rapper in the studio right now talking about his b*tches and h*s. So please have several seats, gentlemen (that word is used very loosely in this context). Needless to say, the record got very few spins on the radio.
Just last week, Nicki released her artwork for Anaconda, a single which is set to drop next week. In the photo, Nicki is squatting with her legs open, looking back, while in a G-string and sports bra. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the picture. It’s Nicki Minaj! It’s a part of her brand! What did people expect?! Oh wait, were they confused because she was once singing about Starships?! I guess I understand. People thought she ventured into the bubble gum, pop world and was suddenly a role model for young girls. But this is the music business. Nicki released the pop tracks to gain mainstream success and now she’s converting back to her hip hop roots. And with that, comes the hip hop related images.
I agree with Nicki Minaj in that she thinks it’s a double standard that when a Black woman pose seductively, the photo is looked down upon. So during the uproar, she posted pictures on her Instagram of women with the same type of clothing and similar pose, but it’s supposedly “acceptable.” Black women are constantly side-eyed for their voluptuous physiques while other women get a pass.
But not only is this a double standard between the races, there’s also a double standard in hip hop culture. Yesterday, the owner of AllHipHop, Chuck Cheekmur, penned an “Open Letter from a Father” to Nicki Minaj. In his letter, he said, “Now, the most popular, current Black female rapper starts overtly pushing her hyper-sexualized image again? Just my luck…Is this the path you want to lead impressionable kids down? Make no mistake about it, you are a leader now.” Can we pause for a moment? Why are men always giving advice to women on how they should behave?
Please have a seat.
I totally understand where Cheekmur is coming from, but his role as a parent is to guide his child. As long as you’re a great parent and instilling positive values onto your child then she will not be easily mislead or negatively impacted by such imagery. As a child, I saw the same images of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown and you won’t catch me squatting with my legs open to the camera or going around talking about my “ill na-na” because my parents taught me better than that. His daughter will see the photo whether he wants her to or not. Not only that, I’m wondering if Cheekmur has ever penned an open letter to any male hip hop artists, asking if they could use appropriate language when discussing women. Because this is about his daughter…right?
In all, I’m not saying I’m a fan of Nicki’s photo, but I am saying that she’s a grown woman who is comfortable with her body and sexuality, so why shame her for it? She’s an entertainer who’s obviously doing her job of entertaining her audience and keeping them on their toes because we sure are talking.
Let the female MC have the same rights as the male MC. If they can rhyme about their h*s, then let her rhyme about her experiences with “lookin a*s n****s.” If they can have women in their videos that are scantily clad and shaking their derriere like they just don’t care, then let Nicki squat and embrace her curves, too. This is a patriarchal society and Nicki is trying to do things her way in a male-dominated industry. I think some people should stop singling her out on some of her choices and just have a seat.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think Nicki Minaj’s photo for Anaconda is unacceptable? Do you agree with Chuck Cheekmur? What did you think about her song, “Lookin Ass”? Feel free to discuss in the comment section below!