Nicki Minaj Is Lookin’ in the Wrong Direction (EDITORIAL)
Nicki Minaj decided to release her song “Lookin Ass Nigga” a week prior to the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination. Why the anger and outcry? It shouldn’t be that big of a deal considering people break out the non-ironic David Allan Coe playlists, corn liquor and
burning crosses Confederate flag t-shirts specifically for February.
What angered most people was the use of the iconic 1964 photo of Malcolm holding an M-1 rifle and peering out of his window bracing for attack on his family as single artwork. She is, however, an “artist” and “a human beeeeeeeeeeeeing,” so I waited to hear the song, see the video and read her statement before my inner militant black man raised a fist and started headhunting Cash/Young/Handy-Capable/Nouveau Riche Money’s first lady. Boy, was I NOT disappointed in the “wtf” department. I’ll not debate the use of the word “nigga” as that is a different issue entirely, but I want to address something being said in response to the backlash:
“..in the same sense she’s giving the world a new topic of discussion as far as race, sex, respectability and gender politics are concerned. And all press is good press (Rap Genius).”
Thanks, Rap Genius, for basically confirming why the name of your site is not “Hiphop Genius.” I assure you, Nicki was not attempting to spark debate and dialogue with “Lookin Ass Nigga.” The song is her talking shit, plain and simple. Which, you know, is fine if that was how it was being billed. But to retroactively brand it as a significant cultural statement or as (artistically or socially) revolutionary is beyond laughable. To let her tell it, “This is a conversation. Not a single.” Word? let’s have that discussion, then. On race:
Nigga, nigga, look at y’all Can’t get a job so you plottin’ how to rob ass niggas I ain’t gotta check for y’all
So, it’s not “won’t” get a job ass niggas, but someone who can’t get a job? Now, I’m certain 2-4 minutes is way too limited of a time to discuss the lack of quality jobs or education to get said jobs. But if you’d like me to see eye-to-eye with you, Ms. Minaj, try not downing someone in a less fortunate position than yourself. Just a thought, since these would be the same niggas robbing your newly purchased pink Barbie mansion. On sex, respectability:
I be damned if I fuck a non-man ass nigga I will, I will, I will never fuck a non-man ass nigga I would never lie Even if that nigga flew me and my bitches all the way out to Dubai
“Non-man?” This one confuses me. Is it a man that’s not well-endowed? Is it a trans-person? I’m sure your myriad of gay and trans fans would enjoy an explanation of that one. Wait! I think it’s because if he cannot fly Nicki and her bitches out to Dubai, then he’s not a real man. We’re equating wealth and a willingness to trick on a group of women with manliness. Now it all makes sense; she almost went over my head with that one. Aaaand gender politics: Also of the above line, it sounds as if she’s forgoing the proverbial ring and telling this guy to put a price on it. Devaluing the vagina by selling to the vagina to the highest bidder. Nicki Minaj is a feminist and source of immeasurable wit. To be fair to Nicki–er, Ms. Minaj, if you’re a lookin ass nigga– did issue an apology claiming the artwork was unofficial. She also cited the scene in the video where she is shooting an M4 (at what I assume is the scariest pack of lookin ass niggas ever) positioned off-screen:
“I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass Niggas and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!! It is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy.”
If that is the case, she probably should have avoided using Malcolm’s image in the context she did and all of this would have been avoided. February was Black History Month and Nicki is a black woman from New York. Perhaps a classy photo of Betty Shabazz as artwork and a song about supporting the cause and being a strong lady? No, that’s kind of high-concept. Fuck it, I guess that’s too much work. If I may be so bold, I vote for a photo of Ms. Minaj’s posterior with a stack of money laid upon it in the foreground and a single, lonely, bloodshot eye as the background. Same foolishness inside, but with an accurate label of the goods being sold. Guess we’ll have to do with having tasteful pictures of our heroes in books…y’all remember those? The Buddha has spoken.