The problem with Nicki Minaj: Out female MCs on being real in rap


God-Des, of the duo God-Des and She, agrees — being authentic is a huge part of being an MC. "I don’t judge anyone for the approach they take to achieve success. I think it is kind of annoying that both Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj areusing lesbianism to make hits," she says, "but they can do them, and I will do me."

God-Des says misogyny is more of a problem in the hip-hop industry, and that being a masculine woman just feeds into that, saying, "Because feminine women like Nicki Minaj can make gay references all day and people dig it."

Minaj might not have aimed to express love for women in the romantic and sexual sense, but maybe it’s because fans expect artists to be representing themselves in their music, especially as a new artist who is making a name for themselves and moving up the ranks. But unlike Shunda, God-Des or Melange, she isn’t doing it for the greater good of a movement: she’s looking to find fans for herself.

San Francisco-based rapper JenRO says it’s frustrating when someone like Minaj will make statements or allow for innuendo suggesting that they are into women, but then later retract it.

"If she is bisexual then so be it. But I don’t think you can say one thing on the record and then go back and say you’re not. That’s what we call frontin’ and inhip-hop you can’t front because people will pull your card and question you about it. She probably figured that you can’t just be a "fake" bisexual for attention without fans and the whole world asking you about it. If she is down with women, I’ll let you know where ourdinner date will be."

As the only woman on Rhymesayers Records, Psalm One could be carrying a burden like that of Nicki: Prove yourself amongst the men on your label, and use your feminine wyles to do so. But Psalm, an out bisexual, is able to straddle the line: be clever and cunning with lyrics that reference her orientation, but not having to spell it out to later defend or distort it.

"I think some people have to play the game the way the mainstream dictates," Psalm says. "It’s a tough road when it’s a gay, or even a bisexual road. I thinkNicki has sugar in her tank, as do I, but Nicki has to use sexuality in her game. It’s necessary for her survival. It’s necessary for alot of sex rap careers; but the thing is, you have to be the girl other chicks want to be, and the girl other dudes wanna f–k. You can’t marginalize yourself if you want record sales. At least that’s the general theme in the high stakes game of major label mainstream big boy hip-hop."

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