Nicki Minaj Takes on Sexism in Hip-Hop
Sexism has long been an issue within the hip-hop community, and the lack of strong female MCs this decade has been even more disappointing than usual. Nicki Minaj, the lone lyrical female on Lil Wayne‘s Young Money label, could change all that. Lately, she’s been dropping strong, unique verses all over the place while also challenging fans with an overwhelming sexuality. In a recent radio interview, Minaj spoke on double standards in hip-hop culture when it comes to gender.
“Women are held to different standards,” said Minaj. “I mean that’s just the way it is. I always say, ‘Nobody tells 50 and Wayne anything when they’re taking their shirts off every night’. You could say that’s selling sex; that’s selling sex appeal. I respect Wayne and 50 very much, but if a girl comes out in a cute little outfit showing some boobs, she’s not a real rapper.”
Her complaints with sexism in hip-hop don’t stop there. Nicki was none too happy with the criticism she received for her BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher, where she spit a verse that was written beforehand — something that every other rapper did other than KRS-One. “How many people in that cypher do you think spit that off of their head,” she said. “I didn’t spit that off the top of my head. I can’t come up with those punch-lines, metaphors off the top of my head. Everybody else, besides KRS-One, who else can you name that freestyled off the top of his head?”
Finally, there’s the cluttered complaint that female rappers like Minaj are somehow incapable of writing their own verses in the first place. In Minaj’s case, her looks seem to cloud expectations about her writing skills. “They will tear apart a female like, ‘Oh, she did a good verse, but she wrote it,” she explains. “The only thing that matters is that I wrote it on a paper and memorized it. I don’t need a dude to write my s—. Wayne never wrote my s—. No one writes my stuff because it’s in here. It’s not about what you have down here [points to crotch] that makes you intelligent enough to write a rap.”