nicki minaj

What Nicki Minaj Means to Black Women
by Regina Bradley

I’m not a fan of Nicki Minaj. Yeah, I said it. Her voice and “characters” already took my last nerve. But with her much anticipated freshman release Pink Friday dropping November 22, Minaj is in the mouths of fans and haters alike.

I’m not concerned here, however, with Minaj’s lyricism or talent. I’m interested in what Minaj’s multiple identies suggest about women in hip-hop.

During the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards, DJ Khaled introduced self-proclaimed entertainer Minaj as “Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj, and Nicki Minaj.” As Minaj began to speak, she significantly altered her voice five times to show her “multiple personas.” People cheered.

Whether in the capacity of video models or (f)emcees, women in hip-hop are so underrepresented that they are always fighting against the current. In the powerful (and long overdue) documentary My Mic Sounds Nice old school artists like Roxanne Shante, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, and Yo Yo talked about the need to lyrically keep their game up. Battling for them was a way to be acknowledged, heard, and visible.

Continue reading @ News One

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About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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