Why Nicki Minaj is Actually Good for Music

This post is filed under “fuck your feelings” (Seriously, look at the “labels”). So, enjoy the show.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…a young woman asked Scotty to beam her up. While I’m mixing up my star-related jokes, the mixtape was solid and drew many eyes in onto this young woman. She combined the brashness and cockiness of a Lil’ Kim with the realness, at times, of a Lauryn Hill. On top of this, she had a bit of a Trinidadian pop tinge to her and had the equivalent of hip-hop DID poured onto of a sometimes-y Auto-Tuned singing extravaganza! This woman, of course, was (and is) Nicki Minaj.

As with The Weeknd, as Nicki started to blow up, people started to question if she went pop. In some ways, she kind of flatout did. I mean, “Starships,” while a feel-good song, is almost as bubblegum as you can get. However, she still remained an artist that people had to watch out for. When she spat, she spat. When she dropped fire, you’d best run for cover.

And then, somewhere along the line, it became less about music and more about thirst traps. At least, that what I think they were (sorta, because it was more a “hey, I’m hot” thing versus a “hey, I’m hot. I need your attention!!!” sort of thing). There was the Halloween costume. Then the shower selfies. Then, we got “Anaconda.”

Plus, it gives me a reason to post this.

People started to say “oh, hey. This woman’s even more sexually explicit than we thought. Shield your eyes and cover your ears.” Some fans revolted, calling the song “trash.” Non-fans and fans alike began to fap furiously over the GIFs from the video and/or make viral spoofs of it and its cover art (hi Miley). It was, to say the least, controversial. When The Pinkprint dropped, we got an album that was a combination of “Sexy Nicki” and “I’m sitting on a stoop outside in Brooklyn Nicki.” While it wasn’t her best collection, it was still somehow her most cohesive project.

Which brings me to my point: Nicki Minaj is good for hip-hop and music as a whole.

Yep, I said it.

Because of Nicki, there is a focus on female artists to try and find “the next Nicki.” Out of that wave, we’ve gotten artists such as Rapsody, DeJ Loaf, Azalea Banks, and Tink. These artists only share biological similarities, but their prominence has been aided by the Nicki Factor. Either people want a counter-Nicki or they want someone who’s kind of like Nicki without being full-on Nicki. Female artists aren’t all seen as menacing women who could probably kick every dude in their crew’s ass (not that those female rappers are bad. It’s just Minaj helped re-break the stereotype brought on by jokes at the expense of legends such as Rah Digga, Lady of Rage and more). Because of Minaj’s influence, OG female artists such as Missy, Eve, and Lauryn can get their kickbacks and reemerge from the shadows with people clamoring to anything new they put out. People are once again more accepting of a female artist waxing their male counterparts on a song.

Now, before you think I’m throwing “shade,” let’s keep in mind that:

  • Lauryn barely did songs with other people… 
  • Missy usually collaborated with Timbo and appeared on songs from artists such as Tweet and…
  • Eve has been more successful as an actress recently than an artist, so she’s kind of on her LL Cool J tip…kind of. 
Therefore, Lauryn, Eve, and Missy, while amazing and trailblazing artists in their own right (one could say without them, there’d be no Nicki and be 100% correct), are in different lanes from Nicki. 
So, in closing, I reiterate: Nicki Minaj is good for music and hip-hop. Yes, Nicki Minaj is comfortable with being sexual and, sometimes, she’s pretty in-your-face about it. I’m no woman, so I can only speak from a heterosexual male who identifies as male perspective, but I see nothing wrong with embracing one’s sexual nature and sexuality. We need more people in “The Game” who are open about what they do. And, as mentioned, because of Nicki, people are paying more attention to the Ladies of Hip-Hop. And said ladies are bringing it, which means more music for everyone. Like a good twerker twerking to a good twerk song, when is that a bad thing?
Be sure to check out some of the other artists I mentioned in this post. You won’t be disappointed (especially Rapsody).
Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on speedonthebeat.com. Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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