How Nicki Minaj’s Booty Started A Juicy Debate

If there is one thing that America loves, it’s a good ol’ scandal. Put race and a butt in the middle, and you get the buzz of the month!

Nicki Minaj is currently under fire for releasing the very racy art cover of her latest single “Anaconda.” From social media to online publications and even national news, everyone seemed outraged by the rapper for posing in a pink thong, leaving close to nothing to the imagination.

nicki anaconda

How was this exactly shocking news, when the show business industry has clearly made it a rule for entertainers to go naked or go home? This is the very question that Nicki took to her Instagram. For the first lady of rap, the nature of the controversy was strictly racial and she posted recent magazine covers to make her point.

Sports Illustrated

When white supermodels bare their booties for the world to see, it’s acceptable. When Nicki flaunts hers, it’s a massive attack. The rapper thinks society’s tendancy to hypersexualize black women is to blame. To her point, black women have been misrepresented in the media for centuries, and rarely portrayed as anything other than sexual objects. While she is bringing a crucial and usually silenced issue to light, is Nicki’s argument really relevant here?

Compared to the daily dose of female body images I am exposed to as a Millennial, the Anaconda art cover isn’t too different. But it does bother me more. Why? Because I do hold music – and especially hip-hop – to a higher standard than fashion. I don’t expect to be intellectually stimulated when I grab a magazine, but I do when it comes to music. That’s what the “Bootygate” scandal should be about. If the chorus of a song is “Oh my Gosh, look at her butt!” then what do you expect the visual to be?

The source of the problem is the content of the music, which is what Nicki Minaj, sadly, won’t take responsibility for. Like pioneer female rapper MC Lyte recently pointed out when asked how could hip hop be more substantial: “It would sound a little bit more realistic. It would be more reflective of the struggle that’s actually happening. It would be the reporting of truth. And right now, it’s a big party.”

If Nicki is going to compare the uproar her Ananconda cover caused to anything, why not mentioning Lady Gaga’s latest single cover instead of women that have nothing to do with the music industry?

gaga single

In that case, Minaj’s argument would be more powerful: it does seem like we are given free ratchet passes to white female artists. Her peer Iggy Azalea, who interestingly just dropped the teaser of the J-Lo remix “Booty,” is the perfect example.

But whether the raciness is served by a black or a white female rapper, the truth is hip hop lovers like myself are over it. We want to be lyrically challenged. Nicki Minaj may be the queen of punch lines, but the day of a punch song about something other than her booty (implants) is long overdue.

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7 thoughts on “How Nicki Minaj’s Booty Started A Juicy Debate

  1. Pingback: This Week, Only In The USA – Vol 8 | Liv For The City

  2. Good read, I think Nicki Minaj as far as I know has always been about being provocative in terms of sexuality, hence the Lil Kim comparisons (and subsequent beef). I just see this cover for her single as the next step in that comparison. And yes there is and always will be a double standard for white and black artists, unfortunate but true.

    • Yes Lil Kim or Foxy definitely did the whole sexual thing before, but they were less “pop” than Nicki so I guess it was less talked about. The disapointing thing for me is the way Nicki tried to defend herself by comparing the hip hop industry to fashion. It’s irrelevant and shows how superficial rap has gotten.

      • You want rap with substance? You’re gonna have to listen to underground artists. Mainstream hip-hop will remain vain because that’s what the majority want to hear.

  3. I definitely don’t expect mainstream rap to be mindblowing, but still think it should be respectful of hip hop as a culture. I guess I have unrealistic expectations lol. I don’t know if that’s what people wanna hear, I think it’s a vicious circle to put it that way, but I do agree it’s easier for new rap artists to do the sexy pop thing in order to make it. But Nicki though? She doesn’t need to be more ratchet, I think she has gained a status that allows her to come out with something real and still have an audience. She has the potential and talent, she’s not using it though.

  4. Well well well… interesting article and definitely telling the truth. But you know I have that sad impression that rap is definitely “my mind on my money and money on my mind”. The matter is the dough and not to spread some realistic message. It is not anymore. We are in the entertaining period. Our world want to be entertained and people want to show off with whatever they can have to do so. Mostly, their body. That’s why selfies and so on. I can’t prevent myself from thinking about my own article about the belfie phenomenon when I read your article. It’s in french, but well you did not forget your mother tongue right 😉 So if you’re interested in reading it :

    Anyways, I hope that hip-hop will find again some dignity. Even if, let’s not dream too much about the past. There were a lot of “bootys” and “bitches” too in many songs. But fuck yeah, you had some great lyrics too. I am positive, that will be back. If there is demand, one day there will be offer right ?

    • Thanks for sharing your article, I actually read it when you first posted it! Butts are everywhere lol. I agree, it’s pointless to romanticize old school hip hop, sex has always been a part of the music; after all “having fun” is one of the culture’s foundation. But I think we are entitled to ask what the hell happened to peace, love and unity?

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