She’s currently the most talked about rapper. Hands down. This little lady’s fame is rivaled only by the king of controversy himself, Kanye West. But when we talk about the female wave of rappers, Nicki has certainly staked her claim and made her mark.
Let me first say that I am a fan of Lil’ Kim. Like it or not, it matters. For the younger generation of listeners, Lil’ Kim is now just a played out “has been” as Nicki slyly addresses to a nameless target in “Roman’s Revenge“. But if you’re old enough to remember the most recent wave of female rappers (including Trina, Foxy, Eve, Da Brat, Missy Elliot and many more) you know how hesitant I might be to hand the crown over to Miss Minaj. And Miss Minaj herself understands my hesitance.
When Nicki first appeared on the scene, I was skeptical as most. I was, without holding back, comparing her bar to bar with Kim who will , in my eyes, forever be the Queen. You have to understand that for me, Kim was the first female to stand toe to toe with men on a lyrical basis. The only female who could get on a track with Notorious BIG, Jay-Z and the rest of them and hold her weight. To absolute annihilate the track. I mean, think back on Kim’s verse on “All About the Benjamins“. I challenge anyone to show me a hotter verse. Hers was the best verse in the whole fucking song. So Nicki had a lot to prove to me over time. I mean, I think we were all haters. I know I was and I highly doubt there is even one day-one Nicki fan. The girl is pretty and her looks have gotten her a long way in the game. Not to say that she can’t flow, but image is a a more influential part of Hip-Hop than it ever has been. Nicki might be the most attractive female Hip-Hop artist we’ve seen thus far. Although taste changes with time… we all have to admit that baby girl is BAD at a reported (but not verified) 34-26-45 which is astounding if she’s 5’2. & I LOVE that she’s 5’2. The baddest bitches are all 5’2, ya know: Jada Pinket-Smith, Eva Longoria(used to be)Parker, Salma Hayek….. & yours truly 😉 lol
“Everything I try to teach ’em, the gonna see it in time” in the appropriately titled “I’m the Best” which just so happens to be track #1. She’s come into the game strong and not only made her mark in the eyes of those within her Young Money camp, but respected lyricists like Mr. West & President Carter as to have been featured with them on West’s single, “Monster” (& she ripped the verse, might I say). Minaj also features Mr. West on her debut album in “Blazin’” where she attacks the beat furiously as she busts a BustaBust-like flow, addressing the situation I just described with charisma and a talented, playful way with words:
How could it be little me
had the power to be
the best B in the league.
But could it be?
Little me you was heckling me?
Now its monotony
when I regularly
when I regularly
I catch wreck on recreation.
So I exceed all your expectations.
Bitches aint got it in ’em.
I kill ’em and then I skin ’em.
The contact was signed
but I am the addendum.
You either love or hate her & her Barbie movement. But if you hate it, it might simply be that you don’t understand.
The whole album is crack
you aint even got to skip a track
I aint gotta get a plaque
I aint got to get awards
I just walk up out the door
all the girls will applaud
all the girls will commend
as long as they understand
that I’m fighting for the girls
who never thought they could win
cause before they could being
you told them it was the end
But I am here to reverse
that they live in.
that they live in.
I’ve mentioned this ordeal before in my post Black Barbie: The Baddest Barbie in the World, the unfortunate circumstance that throws young Black girls into a state of self-loathing because of their skin color. We are typically considered the bottom of the bucket and the prettiest of us are usually lucky enough to be “pretty for a black girl.” No matter how you phrase that, it always hurts. Like we can only be but so beautiful and our skin color is holding up back from this other level of attractiveness that we can’t seem to reach. That’s bullshit and I applaud Nicki Minaj for being a sista (although she is a phtoshopped and lightened version) and holding it down for the rest of us. Like she says in “Fly” ft. Rihanna (reviewed Rihanna’s Loud too, check it here)
Everybody wanna try to box me in.
Suffocating everytime it locks me in.
Paint they own pictures, then they crop me in.
But I will remain where the top begins.
Cuz I am not a word.
I am not a line.
I am not a line.
I am not a girl that can ever be defined.
I am not fly;
I am levitation.
I represent an entire generation.
The generation she speaks of is that of a multitude of girls (and women, even) who need a voice. We’ve been silent for so long. It’s been so long since we could stand side by side with men and hold our own (in the Hip-Hop world that is). There haven’t been many songs we could sing along to and exert as much passion and strength as our male counterparts can. For the older “Barbies”, it’s been a while since someone gave us an anthem to to sing to. For the younger Barbs, they finally have someone to call their own.
There is a smidgen of humanity in this album that I’m looking forward to hearing more of. We barely know Nicki. This album has shed a beam of light into a very dark hole. But there are still dark corners in there we have yet to see. The song that speaks the most truth and gives further understanding into the ugly beauty of Barbie World is “Dear Old Nicki,” where she literally speaks to the girl she used to be. I’m going to insert the verses here because I think it’s important that you read what she’s saying. I’m afraid there are few people listening to her. I know how that feels, it happens a lot to black girls.