main·stream - the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.
In true Nicki Minaj fashion, her recent comments on her contribution to Hip-Hop has the internet buzzing.
Not too long after XXL dropped their 20th Anniversary edition were Ms. Minaj's words reposted, picked apart and taken completely out of context.
Mainly because I too was on the brink of a thumb war via Instragram comment section, however, after viewing several comments I put my phone down. I let them have it... they were speaking with emotion and I know that logic hardly ever trumps emotions.
From Remy Mafia to Lil Kim's Beehive and even the ole school fans, shots were being fired. But why?
I told myself that I was gonna leave this one alone, that regardless of the comments/opinions made on the topic, I wouldn't get amped up and write about it.
Obviously I lied...but even more obvious is how oblivious and selective people are when it comes to assessing a situation in full. People would much rather be mad, feel some type of way, or argue about something simply because it contradicts what they believe should be facts.
In this case, people 'hate' Nicki Minaj so much, that they've completely disregarded factual information.
Giving Nicki Minaj credit for her accomplishments doesn't discredit the achievements of those that came before. In the same way that Nipsey Hussle describes his catalog, the journey of the female MC is essentially a marathon.
Until the female MC catches up to her male counterpart in terms of respect, we should be cheering for everyone in the race.
When speaking on Wu-Tang's longevity in the game Method Man quoted the famous Batman line 'you live long enough to see yourself become the villian,' and it appears that Nicki Minaj has gotten to that point of her career.
In her interview with XXL, Minaj stated that her role in Hip-Hop has been, 'reintroducing the female rapper to pop culture' which pissed more than a few people off.
Had she said that she introduced the female rapper to pop culture I would understand the criticism. A bold statement like that would be discrediting those that came before her, but that's not the case.
After reviewing the musical timeline of female rappers, Nicki Minaj's statement is correst, she really did reintroduce the female rapper to mainstream.
This goes beyond the girls you knew in high school that mimicked her style, wore pink hair, and called themselves Harajuku barbies. Her wave traveled beyond that, beyond just music, beyond the United States and into a worldwide brand.
There wasn't a dominant presence of female rappers in 2010 when Nicki Minaj's wave really started to take off.
The major female rappers active in music at the time were Eve and Trina. Trina's Amazin' dropped in May 2010 and Pink Friday dropped in November the same year, and outside of Lip Lock in 2013, Eve's most recent album was Eve-Olution in 2002.
The year prior in 2009, B.E.T's best female rapper category nominations only included M.I.A, Lil' Mama, and Trina. Besides a few singles from other female rappers, Nicki Minaj was the primary female rapper with a platform releasing content at that time.
Despite popular belief, it wasn't the pink hair or 'gimmicks' that got Nicki Minaj on. If that were true, the industry would've mass produced her long ago.
It was her confidence and most importantly her skill. To me, the thing that makes a rapper great is their ability to tell a story using the beat as their canvas and the lyrics as their brush.
Artist such as McLyte, Queen Latifah, Eve, Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj were able to break through the male dominated world of Hip-Hip due to their ability to tell stories with their rhymes.
Nicki Minaj's now infamous verse on Kanye West's 'Monster' along side Jay Z and Rick Ross is a perfect example. Was she the first female rapper to outshine her male counterparts on a record, no, but her contribution to the record not only made it stand out, but also awed critics and reminded the world that not only could women spit but they could spit just as good as the guys.
Anyone who genuinely believes that all it takes for a little black girl to become a superstar is a fat ass and a pretty face probably voted for Trump. Even so, none of the arguements against her success negates the fact that the moves she's made in her career has pushed female rappers forward in pop culture.
What about Hip-Hop culture? Pop culture IS Hip-Hop culture and whether some like it or not, Nicki Minaj played a major role in that. I'm sure her profit margins increased the creation and amount of budgets labels have for female rappers.
You can not like her all you want. Hell, outside of her record with DJ Khaled and the freestyle she dropped I didn't care too much for the music she she put out between The Pinkprint and her verse on 2 Chainz Realize, but I could never not give her credit for her contribution to the culture.