I still think Nicki Minaj dresses like a ghetto clown or a Barbie gone wild, but today I decided to rewind myself, open my mind and really look deeply into this young lady. Well, as deep as I could, using only the internet.
Celebrity is a funny thing. As fans or those looking at a celebrity from the outside in, we really don’t see much other than an image, an illusion, a creation, a persona and an alter-ego or maybe multiple alter-egos. What we see is not always reality. They let us see only what they want us to see and the rest of what we see comes from tabloids, gossip, relentless paparazzi, rumors, speculation and our own imaginations.
After watching a video of Nicki Minaj speaking of her past and also watching several interviews, I realize that this chick is no hoodrat or dummy. She is focused, empowered, intelligent in her own way, creative and a business woman, but she has also not forgotten where she came from.
I wanted to really give Nicki Ninaj the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to look beyond the wigs, weaves, false eyelashes, make-up, crazy outfits, funny faces, rainbow colors, booming booty and bouncing tatas. So, who is this young woman who has captivated the world in a swirl of color, sexuality and fierce beats?
I first listened to and watched several of her music videos and there I saw the influences of Missy Elliot mostly and a few others artists. I can say one thing for Nicki Minaj and that is that she’s unique. She is like a walking, talking pop-art collage.
Some say she’s the New Lil Kim, but their styles are very much different with just a few slight similarities. Today I’ve decided that Nicki is her own woman and not actually a carbon copy of anyone in particular, but maybe more of an intricately woven tapestry of a lot of other artists, but moreso of herself.
Long gone are my club days, but I can imagine that a lot of her songs are certified club-bangers. I close my eyes and imagine a club full of people screaming for a power-beat and “Massive Attack” comes ripping out of giant speakers with the sub-woofer thumping. The last time I went to a club “Pass the Courvoisier” was thumping and when it came on, the crowd threw their hands in the air and I heard a chorus of “that’s my song” all around and errbody got on the floor.
So, who is this Nicki Minaj chick? Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj and she was born in 1984. She is American and of Trinidadian descent. She was first discovered by Lil Wayne and has since had a platinum album, become the first artist ever to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time and she’s received a few awards. Not bad, Onika! Her real name is actually kinda cool, but I see she twisted it up a bit from Onika Maraj to Nicki Manaj.
Nicki was born in Trinidad and Tobago and her parents were of Indian and Trinidadian descent. After spending part of her childhood in Trinidad with her grandmother, her parents moved her to Queens, New York. She went to a performing arts high school, played the clarinet and was a bit of a bad girl when she was young.
According to her, her father was a volatile individual and she escaped into her head to avoid her parents arguing during her childhood. This is where her odd personas derived from and how all her alter-egos manifested themselves. Okay, I can understand that.
Nicki collaborated with several artists before coming into her own. Okay, so she paid her dues.
She seems larger than life on-stage, but she is only 5’4″. She is a beautiful woman with an amazing body and a gorgeous face, which she often hides behind her theatrical outfits and make-up and huge, oddly colored wigs. Is she talented? Yeah, but she is not a female rapper that goes as hard as some of her predecessors such as MC Lyte, Rah Digga, Lady of Rage and yeah, Lil Kim. Can she sing? Yeah, but not like Mariah Carey or Beyonce but no worse or better than Rihanna. She can definitely hold her own.
Okay, so now I’ve gotten past the alter-egos, the theatrics and the crazy faces and what I see is an entertainer, who is creative, edgy and giving the fans what the like best…something different.
There has been some speculation and she’s hinted in a few songs that she is bi, but she says she’s never been with a female in that way. Technically, we all have the potential to be bi-sexual. These days a lot of female artists hint at being bi-sexual, but I’m not sure why. Nothing wrong with it, but why use it as a marketing tool. If you are, you are, but if you ain’t, you ain’t. To each his or her own I always say.
Am I a Nicki Minaj fan yet? Nah, not really, but she’s wearing me down slowly but surely.
(By the way, who is the dude in the “Right Thru Me” video. Anybody? Thanks for the eye candy, Ms. Minaj.)
Video (Very deep and honest clip about her past):
My previous articles on this entertainer (okay, so I was little rough on homegirl):
Nicki Minaj & Lil Kim Beefing:
Nicki Minaj “Clowning” on VH1: