So I recently had this debate with a friend on the validity of Nicki as a rapper in the hip hop industry. I couldn’t help but sit back and listen to his arguments on why she could never be historical, so I told him I’d get back to him on it…in the form of a post. Without further adieu, lets get to it.
1. Shock Value
Unless you were living under a rock last night, you saw that God awful performance on the Grammys last night. I know, I know, it’s Nicki right? She gets a pass on doing stunt moves right?
WRONG RIGHT. Last nights disappointment wasn’t about the demonic show and cracked out wigs, it was about pushing the envelope and pissing about 80% of the viewers off. Now, you may ask, why would anyone like Onika after some shit like that? Well, I will tell you the hidden secret to greatness….shock value. YES, shock value works. Madonna did it, M.I.A did it, hell, even Kreayshawn got a piece of that shock value action. But having a bit of BOOM isn’t enough right? Nah, you gotta push that envelope of coonery…do something the people will never forget, and that my friends…is what being remembered is all about. I mean, we gave Taylor Swift a pass for her performance of making us feel like we should go pick cotton right?
2. Star Power
So we all remember Nicki Minaj right. No, not the half ass drag queen we saw last night..you know..Nicki. Yea, she’s never coming back, and you know why? Because Ms. Minaj got a slight taste of popularity and used that bipolar disease of hers to her advantage. Star power is not about having talent, its about making that stage rock back and forth effortlessly. No matter how ridiculous Nicki gets she’ll always be the rapper girl who crossed over into the “other” lane. You can’t honestly believe that Meeka from the block can pull off that performance can you? Hell no, because Meeka doesn’t have the “it” factor. Having that hustle to crossover into the other lane takes courage and a little sell out ability. If you aren’t willing to sell out as a rapper, you aren’t willing to be a star. Keep in mind, that rap is in a whole other arena when it comes to being a star. When you are doing R&B, you can kinda, sorta, keep your soul and still be a star. But gone are the days when a female could sell a little sex and screw a few people to become a star. Nowadays these broads gotta sell their mind, body, and soul for this stardom and Nicki did it. She owned that. She has that star power.
3. 50/50 Club
Nicki is a part of a little thing I like yo call the 50/50 club. Kobe, Lady Gaga, and Carrot Top are also in this club, just to name a few. This is an area of entertainment when 50% of people absolutely loathe your existence, while the other 50% would have your babies and name them all after you. I, for one, am a fan of the first 50%, but it’s not about me is it? It’s about that 50% of people (aside from Baby) that buy 30 copies of her album just to support her. You know, the fans that died their hair rainbow colors not knowing that Minaj is a part of the lace-front crew. Nicki reaches a fan base that doesn’t know any better than to fall for her tricks, and who are we to hate on that? That’s the game…the gimmick…the lifestyle. Now I’m not saying its ok to prey on the weak, because lawd knows if I had it my way Jean Grae would be on top of the charts right now. But in this field of entertainment, its not what you can do, its how can you afford to buy your bosses at the label
slave masters , their million dollar brownstones.
4. Image “Do Over”
You know the funniest thing to me is the fact that everyone forgot about the Nicki Minaj that came out with her pussy popping and loving threesomes. How quickly we forget the infamous Lil Kim pose she hit us with back in 08. I remember reading an interview of her when she expresses her regret for that cover and how she wanted to get away from the slutty image. Well folks, guess what…she did it. She let us forget that she had every man in America scheming on finding out 101 positions Nicki Minaj could go, and that takes talent (and a good branding team). She redid what others couldn’t undo, making her the only female MC in the game that did it AND still have a meaningful (if not better) career. She knows she’s lost in this entertainment, but I think she’s comfortable with that, even if she puts out a whole song dedicated to her remembrance of old Nicki.
Welp, now we get down to it. The purest form of hip hop: lyricism. Despite her infatuation with the Teletubbies wardrobe, lil mama can spit. Lets not forget this is the same Queens chick who put out Sucka Free in 08, which was more gimmick free than Hammer pants. She is one of the few women who gave Kim a run for her money too, and you can’t deny that. I mean, Foxxy tried, but we saw how that ended up. I’m not the hugest fan of Nicki, but she gets off on some bars when she wants to, and she probably could have made me a believer is she kept growing lyrically. She lost her way, and I’m not sure if she will ever get back to it..but it would be unfair to ignore her relevance as a spitter.
In closing, I can’t stand Nicki as much as the next backpack fan, but I show respect when respect is due.