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Female rapper Nicki Minaj has faced criticism recently because she’s a black woman wearing weird outfits and wigs (unlike white ladies doing the same shit — what up, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga?) and also because people think she only got a big break because Lil Wayne wanted to fuck her.
Regardless, Minaj is a talented woman making her way in an undoubtedly male-dominated game, where she is actually being celebrated. Sure, calling herself “Barbie” sometimes isn’t exactly earning her any favor with feminists but her success is undoubtedly positive for women in the rap world.
Here, we present a break down of Minaj’s verses in one of Kanye West’s Good Friday releases, “Monster,” with a feminist perspective:
"Pull up in the monster, automobile gangster, with a bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka”
Can you just picture Minaj rolling up alongside the big guys in the game — Kanye and Jay-Z like she totally belongs there? What other female artist right now can claim this kind of acceptance?
"Yeah I’m in that Tonka, color of Willy Wonka, You could be the King but watch the Queen conquer"
Does this need further explanation? It’s like a feminist guidebook by verse two. That’s right, male rappers, you could be “king” but bow down, because there’s a new queen in town and she’s not just here to sit beside you on the throne: bitch is here to CONQUER.
"Ok first things first I’ll eat your brains, Then I’mma start rocking gold teeth and fangs cause that’s what a muthafucking monster do, Hairdresser from Milan, thats what monster do, Monster Giuseppe heel that’s the monster shoe"
In this verse, Minaj perfectly compliments fashion and looking her best with keeping her head about her and remaining smart. She’s going to eat your brains (your knowledge, your ability to navigate the industry) but while she’s doing it, she’s also going to keep dressing how she does. She’s a monster, the complete package, and she’s not here to muthafucking compromise shit.
"Young money is the roster and the monster crew and I’m all up all up all up in the bank with the funny face and if I’m fake I aint notice cause my money aint, So let me get this straight wait I’m the rookie, But my features and my shows ten times your pay, 50k for a verse no album out! Yeah my money’s so tall that my barbie’s gotta climb it"
This is where she starts addressing the haters, as one is supposed to do in any good rap song, but also since she’s got plenty of them, it only seems right. First, she acknowledges her acceptance into the Young Money crew, which for a woman, is a huge step. She’s made some impressive strides for women in the rap game and she’s letting everyone know it. She’s also laughing all the way to the bank.
"Hotter than a middle eastern climate, find it 20 mataran dutty whine it, while it, Nicki on a pit while I sign it, how these niggas so one-track minded but really really I don’t give a F-U-C-K"
This is where she talks about what was addressed in the intro to this piece: yes, if you’re a hot successful woman, obviously the men around you in your field are going to try and objectify you. They’re going to want to reduce you to being “hot” because they are “one-track minded” but if you stay focused, you can wade through all of that and earn respect as an artist.
"Forget Barbie, fuck Nicki she’s fake, she’s on a diet but my pockets eating cheese cake and I’ll say boy the Chucky is Child’s play, just killed another career it’s a mild day"
Sadly, even the dudes who want to fuck you on your way to the top can be jealous haters once you surpass them.
"Besides ‘Ye they can’t stand besides me, I think me, you and Minaj Friday, Pink wig thick ass give ‘em whip lash I think big get cash make em blink fast"
To be a woman who wants to get to the top of her field and needs to bust through a glass ceiling to do so, Minaj is saying you don’t have to compromise your individuality or appearance. Because she wears pink and has a thick ass, her raps aren’t to be taken seriously? She stands her ground as a talented rapper, not just as a talented woman and in the end, she “thinks big” and “gets cash.”
"Now look at what you just saw I think this is what you live for, Aaahhhh, I’m a muthafucking monster!"
So is Nicki Minaj a new feminist icon? Probably not. But her skills as a rapper, her ability to stand independently as a female hip-hop artist next to her male peers and her potential to open the door for other lady rappers in the future remain wildly impressive.
(Reblogged in parts from gabydunn.com)