When I started making those weird voices, a lot of people told me how whack it was,” she says, “‘What the fuck are you doing?’ they’d say. ‘Why do you sound like that? That doesn’t sound sexy to me.’ And then I started saying, Oh, that’s not sexy to you? Good. I’m going to do it more. Maybe I don’t want to be sexy for you today.

Nicki Minaj (via hotsenator)

Nicki Minaj is my whole heart and seriously, she’s shaped most of my definition of feminism. When I started listening to her music and watching her craft her public persona, I saw this huge attempt to bash back, to refuse to perform for people the way they expected, to refuse to let others define her sexuality or her femininity or what made her pretty, and I’m so glad that she’s finally starting to get buzz for all the middle fingers she constantly throws up.

Sorry to be a hipster about my Nicki Minaj feminism; I really want it for everyone, I’m not trying to hoard it.

That whole interview is here, and it’s probably Nicki’s first blatant declaration of her desire to dismantle the way the music industry views female artists and their sexuality, which has been illustrated so clearly in her more recent singles.

Sometimes I tell ‘em I love ‘em because I just wanna fuck ‘em
I never love ‘em, or cuff ‘em and when we done I’mma duck ‘em
He Ferragamo the buckle, he Louis V on the duffel
The pussy wetter than puddles, I ride his dick like a shuttle
I said real niggas let real bitches cum first
And real bitches been bad bitches from birth


I. love. the. Anaconda. video. but the writeups I’ve been seeing keep referring to Drake as a co-star, which I think misses a big part of the point.

The reason this video rules is because Drake is an extra. Drake is a prop. Drake is a bro in the comfy-casual clothes that he rolled up to the set in, who has no lines or purpose other than the be ground upon, and whose face is obscured by shadows most of the time.

This is not a continuation of the Drake/Nicki/Rih media narrative. This is a dank-as-fuck feminist power play. This is, “Drake is whatever to me.” And this is a man who, if he isn’t at the top of his game, is close to it. A huge celebrity. And here is Nicki looking fucking amazing, tormenting him into a boner, then swatting his hand away and walking out of frame.

Your anaconda don’t want none unless she got buns, hun? Maybe she doesn’t want your anaconda. Maybe she’ll do whatever the fuck she wants with her buns, and it doesn’t matter what you think or feel.

Yes, Drake is totally a prop in the Anaconda video. But his presence is important. This is Drake being confronted with a powerful, in-control version of female sexuality and wondering if he’s totally comfortable with it, wondering whether or not he wants it because he’s also wondering if he’s even capable of getting it.

Nicki didn’t want that character to be a random dude. She wanted him to be someone people could look at and recognize immediately that someone they considered powerful was in awe of Nicki Minaj and the control she had over the situation. Nicki wanted people to recognize that she was dominating someone important. And I honestly think the reason Drake is in this video, the reason it’s one of Nicki’s closest and oldest friends agreeing to play this part is because not a lot of other top-of-their-game rappers would be comfortable expressing that kind of discomfort and uncertainty that conveys, mostly, a sense of being overwhelmed, and makes it pretty clear that Drake is the one who’s out of control in a sexual situation. Not Nicki.



this is a great article by julianne escobedo shepherd and you should read it.

"Throughout Minaj’s career, I’d argue, every outfit, every shift in aesthetic, has been intentional. The “Anaconda” art is a response to the criticism lobbed toward Minaj from all sides, a retort to those who consistently still say she wears butt pads, or has a fake booty, photoshop be damned. "Anaconda" is an ode to her own ass (née "A$$”) and, by extension, to all the women who have some. The humor to “Anaconda” (“I let him hit it cause he slang cocainnnne,” Minaj raps) might serve to dilute its purpose, but when she outros with “fuck the skinny bitches,” she positions herself quite clearly: this is a song about elevating oft-maligned big booties. She says she’s on some “dumb shit,” but her side-eye on the cover art says all: go ahead and try it.

Moreover, her g-string-and-Jordans look actually highlighted her glorious 2014 makeunder.”

Yes, this is an accurate analysis.

I don’t know in what world Nicki’s verse for "Roger That" is judged as less good than her verse on “Beauty and the Beat,” like I find it offensive that both “Roger That” and “Knockout” were ranked so low, if only because of what they said about Nicki’s ability to anchor Young Money and shine past Lil Wayne. I mean the way she growls, “Asalaamalaikum, no oink for me./ And I never let a D-boy boink for free,” as a way of introducing all those Young Money also-rans is what introduced Nicki Minaj to most of her current audience, and it’s what anointed her as a rapper who could tear up the dudes’ tracks, and putting it this low is a little naive I THINK. I get that we’re ranking tracks where Nicki is so clearly better than the track she’s on, higher than some genuinely great ensemble tracks. But that “Beauty and the Beat” verse was probably something Nicki Minaj just mumbled under her breath on the way to the studio that day. It’s not in any way a true measure of her talent as a guest rapper.

Like her presence on that track introduced her ability as a comic actress to a pop audience, but it is so entirely short and spent almost entirely mocking Justin Beiber rather than boasting about herself, which is what a guest verse is pretty much supposed to do.

But the top twenty on this list are shockingly accurate, I approve, and I want to shout out the fact that the choice of winner is actually pretty astute. Her performance there is a direct evolution of the “Monster” Nicki and it showcases all of her best characteristics - the multiple personalities, the huge, mocking wide-eyed smile, the voices, the ability to laugh at herself in the face of criticisms she receives. The verses where Nicki is basically making fun of the track she’s on (“Out of My Mind,” “Dance A$$”) while killing it at the same time are just so classic Nicki, and I love that this list will hopefully help everyone learn that.

Because who could blame you if you were? It’s got to be frustrating for you that one of the hottest, most influential rappers in the game right now is a woman. Nicki Minaj is talented, focused, and has turned herself into a global brand since you were nice enough to let her into a party about a decade ago. She’s not just an artist anymore, she’s a fragrance, she’s a lipstick, she’s a nail polish, she’s a daytime talk show meme—she’s built herself an empire of glamor and female empowerment. And in doing so, she’s in full control of her image and public perception. Truth be told, she doesn’t really need you or AllHipHop anymore, not when she’s got Instagram. That’s got to sting.


Here’s the thing, though. When my imaginary daughter became a teenager, I’d stick her in a room and let her listen to nothing BUT Nicki Minaj. I would make her listen to Nicki Minaj growling, over and over, “I’m a motherfucking monster,” until she gets that it is perfectly okay, and in fact celebrated, to grow up as a woman who understands she owes nothing to any man. 

You don’t want your daughter to see that album art? Man, I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a world with dudes who aren’t comfortable looking at a woman’s ass in public and understanding that it might not be there for them.

People often lament, and Chuck what’s-his-name is no exception, that Nicki Minaj has not been the second coming of Lauryn Hill. Because like, a woman can only have a brain in one way. Nicki Minaj has never been aiming at any kind of Lauryn Hill throne. She can cover herself head-to-toe in exclusively Nicki Minaj-branded items before she leaves the house to go throw down a show-stopping verse. I’m not pitting her against Lauryn Hill in any way, because it’s not a competition to see which kind of women have the right to succeed. I’m saying that from the beginning, Nicki Minaj was trying to be a whole different thing. She has built an empire specifically so that she can be completely in control of her own image, in charge of her own brand. Because as a woman in the entertainment industry, that is more than self-preservation. That is a requirement. What could possibly be worse than letting my daughter look up to a young woman, sitting at the top of a billion dollar empire, completely in control of her own image and her expressions of her sexuality? Letting her listen to her daddy tell her that she might not become the kind of woman he wants her to be if she looks up to a woman like that - a self-possessed, smart business women like Nick Minaj.

The great part about this response is that it responds to the best part of that letter. There’s something hilarious about the way that letter starts out. "I’m Chuck. I’m the owner of" Like, fool, you’re already admitting that Nicki Minaj gives no shits about you. Nicki Minaj gives no shits if you’re the owner of She no longer needs She no longer needs them for publicity and she no longer has to listen to them tell her how or how not to be a rapper. 

When he’s asking her to somehow transcend what people expect of her, this hits back to what society, and those writing the checks (“I own”), have been always been asking women to do - what they want them to do. Strong displays of female sexuality are only okay when they are under the control of the man getting the cut. Sell yourself as a sex object, but only the way we tell you to. Be smart, but not smarter than we are. Be pretty, but don’t threaten us.

Man, we all need Nicki Minaj because Nicki Minaj laughs in their faces and says FUCK NO. I’m a motherfucking monster.

We want everything from Nicki Minaj. We want Nicki Minaj to spit incredible bars. We want Nicki Minaj to be the biggest pop star in the world. We want her to never pander yet still appeal to her “core fans” of real hip-hop heads and also her “core fans” of teenage girls (and a ton of other people) who love sugary pop. The more Nicki does one of these things, the more we want her to do the other.

As much as I love Nicki—as the best, most inventive rapper working right now, as the fantastically over-the-top, frenetically varied pop persona—I will admit that she has achieved this perfect balance, this ideal melding of everything she represents, exactly once, on “Super Bass.”

Nicki Minaj Released “Pills N Potions” and is About to Conquer the World with Heartbreak - Kyle Kramer for Noisey

Substitute “women” for “Nicki Minaj” in that quote and understand why she means so much to me. Then substitute those specific nouns and verbs with anything from your own life and understand why she should mean so much to all of us.

Nicki Minaj released a break up song that is mostly about drugs and getting over your bruised ego for your own selfish reasons, that is a rap song with a pop hook that’s also kind of a motivational anthem and you can hear Ester Dean all over it.

It’s not exaggerating to say that if I don’t like The Pinkprint, personally, it will ruin my year because I will still spend the rest of my days defending it too loudly in bars by calling everyone who hates on it a misogynist.

Like, I just really hope I like it.



I wrote about the way that Nicki’s incredible feminist statement of a music video for “Lookin’ Ass Nigga” is being conveniently ignored or misinterpreted by those that are angry about the Malcolm X single art. In my opinion, it’s really about Nicki not being “real hip-hop” or whatever (and a woman, duhhhh) and as a result, she’s not given the benefit of the doubt.

"In short, black pop has a long history of co-opting revolutionary imagery, and it’s curious that the buck stops at Nicki Minaj, an ambitious, complex female rapper who, hey, also happened to make a radically feminist video. Ignoring and misreading such an overtly political music video to start a campaign about how irresponsible and disrespectful she is — based on an image tossed onto Instagram and nothing more — feels intellectually lazy. In Nicki’s case, though, it seems particularly absurd, given her inarguable skills as an MC, her rarefied role as an empowered woman in hip-hop, and the release of one of the most explicitly feminist rap videos the mainstream has ever seen."

Gonna get all that tattooed on my forehead so everybody I see has to read it.

I’ve written a lot more words on Nicki Minaj than I really had time for today. Maybe this weekend I will edit them down and take some of the emotional language and commas and superfluous likes out of it and publish them here. But I just wanted you guys to know that yep, I do have thoughts on it. And obviously, nope, not ever gonna be mad about a video where Nicki’s dressing like that and pointing a bunch of guns at an anonymous white male face.

I’ve written a lot more words on Nicki Minaj than I really had time for today. Maybe this weekend I will edit them down and take some of the emotional language and commas and superfluous likes out of it and publish them here. But I just wanted you guys to know that yep, I do have thoughts on it. And obviously, nope, not ever gonna be mad about a video where Nicki’s dressing like that and pointing a bunch of guns at an anonymous white male face.

There’s a general level of respect that we as a rap-loving community should have when addressing a young woman who’s accomplished as much as Nicki Minaj, the same consideration blindly given to her male peers in the face of their respective missteps. When critics don’t offer Nicki at least that much courtesy, I understand why she isn’t shy to bring gender and race into the conversation—because what else could it be? You have to be mad that a black woman can do whatever the fuck she wants to have a problem with Nicki Minaj.

… We should applaud how that helps hip-hop add to a larger doctrine of great, powerful female artists. Purists should congratulate Nicki the most. It’s like rap nerds pulled an inside job by placing Nicki Minaj in the pop leagues.