Bow Down Nicki’s Back

Written by Crystal (@crystalleww)

Nicki Minaj continues her string of revolutionary yet highly enjoyable verses
in the remix of Young Thug’s “Danny Glover.” In a week that opened with Macklemore
receiving accolades for his white-splained condemnation of homophobia in
hip hop, Nicki showed what being subversive really looks like. Her verse
contains casual bicurious undertones by at hinting making a pass towards
Jessica Biel while threatening the sexuality of Justin Timberlake. Unlike
America’s Favorite White Rapper who’s compelled to stress his
heterosexuality on “Same Love,” Nicki proclaims “I am not gay” before
explaining “but let’s be precise / Cause if she pretty then watch it / Cause I
might be fucking ya wife.” By labelling herself then saying something
contrary with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that’s not “precise” at all, Minaj
demonstrates sexuality’s fluidity and the arbitrariness of such labels and
boundaries.

Last week, her verse on YG’s “My Nigga” remix signalled this revolutionary
yet enjoyable direction. Nicki Minaj switches the black bro love of “my
niggas” into her own empowerment phrase with “my bitches.” White
feminists, and conservative cultural critics, tend to single rap out for
misogyny when rappers call women “bitches” and “hoes,” but Nicki, a
successful black woman, take the degrading and anonymizing power away
from the word and give it the power of comradey. Her ad-libbing at the end
calls out to the kitchen not as a site for male taunting but as yet another
place where Minaj can assert her dominance. Never fear: it’s not an adoption
of white feminism; Minaj commandingly ends her verse with a loud and clear
“My nigga!”