I have been repping so hard for Nicki Minaj ever since I first caught wind of her mixtapes. When she hooked up with Young Money and became the hottest woman in the rap game, I was psyched to hear her on the best tracks on the radio. I followed her on Twitter, I asked other female MCs for their opinions on her, and I rolled my eyes when anyone hated on her. She seemed to be so authentic, putting herself out there as a fierce female with lyrical talent and unafraid to be open about her bisexuality.
So now I’m being forced to question it all.
Just a month after telling Details magazine that she thinks hip-hop is becoming more gay friendly, and acknowledging the part of the question where they mention she is “an openly bisexual rapper,” Minaj has told Black Men magazine it is not true.
Before I even address the fact that she’s recanting, I’d like to say that I know many fans will think she is lying, and that’s certainly a possibility. Artists surely feel pressure, especially in certain musical communities or even in their own personal lives, so it’s possible that when she said she doesn’t date or have sex with women, she felt the need to lie. It was, after all, Black Men magazine. While sometimes men are titilated by two women together, others can feel threatened. Perhaps Nicki’s signing of breasts and very Sapphic lyrics have some men under the impression she’s untouchable, and not in a good way.
Assuming that Nicki is telling the truth, that she’s not really bisexual, this is certainly a huge issue. A large part of her appeal and her career has been her innuendos. In her collaboration with Usher on “Lil’ Freak,” she says:
She sure loves Cassie, doesn’t she?
Back in February, Slate asked “Is rapper Nicki Minaj really a gun-toting, bisexual, British madam—or just a theater enthusiast from Queens?” They write:
Despite rumors that she was once a stud who made a video about sleeping with rapper Remy Ma, there is no actual “proof” (for lack of a better word) that Nicki has ever dated a woman. It’s not necessary that we know if she has — it’s only necessary that she not profess herself to be bisexual if she is not. We have very little visibility in hip-hop. Out rappers have a very difficult time being taken seriously and achieving certain levels of success in the larger hip-hop community. Take God-Des and She for example; or Kin4Life. We may know them, but does the average Top 40 listener? Probably not. But do they know Nicki Minaj? They do now.
If we take Nicki’s statement that she doesn’t date or sleep with women as a truth, than I think it is fair to be disappointed if not upset how she portrays herself as an artist. She spits lines like “I only stops for pedestrians, or real real bad lesbian,” signs her female fans’ boobs and makes reference to bedding other women. At the same time, she wants people to buy her albums and buy into her as an artist.
So if you buy her album, you are buying into fauxmosexuality, in the vein of one miss Katy Perry. The last thing we need is another straight woman pretending to identify with our sexuality to lure us as customers or straight men into thinking they are their dream girl. “I’ll kiss a chick — but what I really want is you, baby. You’re so manly! Should I bring her home with us?”
It looks like we’ll still be waiting for a real female MC in hip-hop to be out and proud and heard by millions. Go buy albums by Lady Sovereign, Psalm One and the others I mentioned above. They are worthy of our time, support and money. Nicki, please refrain from speaking for us in the future. Thanks.