Tuesday, November 23, 2010
5 Reasons Why I Do Not Hate Nicki Minaj
However, Nikki Minaj is a girl rapper, and as much at it bugs me, I usually feel inclined to jump in and offer some sort of opinion when people start to totally berate her for being average. That said, here are 5 Reasons Why I Do Not Hate Nicki Minaj.
#1- She is not the official representative of all female rappers.
And it's unfair and downright silly to expect her to be. She's just yet another example of the overwhelming need for more female rappers (and actually, artists in general) to have the opportunity to have support and exposure. Then, we could actually pick and chose who to like. Of course, all of us hip-hop folk can probably name a good five female emcees that we dig--Eternia, Stahhr, Boog Brown, Jean Grae and the like... but the bigger issue here is that if more female rappers were allowed to shine at the same time, Nicki could far more easily be put into her proper place, or her music could be kept in perspective. As it is, since there are no other female rappers doing it at her level currently, she is scrutinized and looked at as either the savior of girl rap (if you are one of her Barbie supporters) or the epitome of why people don't like female rappers. In all honesty, both assessments are unfair.
Look at it this way-- in the male world of hip-hop, or just in hip-hop since it's so dominated by dudes, the need to categorize it as "male" is redundant, you can name off the top at least 10 rappers who are huge--with mainstream radio-play, endorsements, etc. etc. You can name another 10 rappers who are underrated, another 10 rappers who are your current favorites, another 10 who are all-time favorites, and the lists go on. The cool thing is, the lists can realistically feature different rappers. You'd be hard-pressed to name 10 legit female rappers period, let alone have the audacity to try to make up lists. If the only rapper I was forced to listen to was Talib Kweli, or T.I., or Jay Electronica, it would be boring and terrible--and that's obviously not a swipe at any of them. I'm just saying, making one artist carry the weight of an entire genre is never fair.
#2- She doesn't even make music for me.
When Nicki Minaj began referring to her fans as "barbie dolls" and posing in pictures with obscene amounts of pink looking like the next installment of Bratz dolls, it became immediately clear that she was not making music for any woman over the age of 22, so why would I be offended that I can't relate to whatever it is that she says? It's silly, really.
I mean, if I were going to spend my time and energy being offended by Nicki, it would probably be because she's not a proper role model for young girls. But then, that opens up another can of worms because which one of these young, slutty, delusional poptarts is? Breast-baring Rihanna? Lap-dancing Beyonce? Acid-induced Lady Gaga? Nicki's primary demo is young, attention-seeking girls and non-black girls looking to validate their coolness by listening to whatever hip-hop is popular at the moment. Like, Kim Kardashian is probably bumping the Hello Kitty out of Pink Friday as I type. There are enough real issues to get worked up over in life; Nicki Minaj just ain't one of them.
#3- She's mildly entertaining, like a skinnier, less-talented version of Missy.
I know that Nicki had beef or whatever with Lil Kim. I never cared enough to follow the specifics, so I don't even know what it was about, really, but whatever. The Kim comparisons seem a little off to me. As she's released more music, really, Nicki reminds me more of Missy Elliot than anyone else. The animated voices, the wild characters in the videos and performances, the general presentation on the mic. Of course, Missy is a great talent, so I'm not daring to compare the two talent wise, but I see a lot of Missy influence on Nicki. And admittedly, I find her relatively entertaining for 16 bars. Or, if I had to compare her to a dude, she sort of reminds me of a way less lyrical Ludacris--sexual, silly, one-liners. At any rate, she's not terrible if taken in moderation. Have I downloaded her album yet? Nah. Will I? Eh, probably not. As I just mentioned, she's not making anything I'm interested in hearing at length. I'm just saying. Which leads me to my next reason....
#4- She is no worse than Gucci, Dorrough, Lil B, Jim Jones or Lloyd Banks.
Or any other mediocre/terrible rapper to achieve some measure of popularity or success. No need in attacking her for basking in the mediocrity that by and large, has dominated mainstream hip-hop for the past 10 years.
#5- She's not interesting enough for me to hate.
That kind of emotion requires a depth of feeling that I just don't have for Nicki Minaj, or really, any rapper at all. Maybe if she ever said or did anything that was really profound, or exuded depth beyond the carefully constructed hollow image she's created (and I do believe it's carefully constructed because she's a very bright woman), I could muster up some energy for her. As it is, I just can't. Just as I can't muster up the energy to hate any other rapper, male or female, who hasn't done anything besides whine about life and brag about themselves. It seems unfair that people get so worked up about hating Nicki when again, she's not doing anything different from most rappers of her caliber.