Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
And yes, that implies that Nicki Minaj had the power. She was on Shonuff status until Bruce Leroy (basically her own ridiculous antics and hubris) came in the door wavin’ the .44, all we heard was what the f*ck is wrong with Nicki Minaj.
Not since the Great Lauryn Hill FreeFall of the early 2000s have we seen one person go from being heralded by many (hate her or love her, she had songs all over Billboard, one of the best verses of the year in “Monster” in 2010, was the darling of YMCMBYMCAURBYOLO, and had pop culture on lock…AND she had an album that outsold Kanye West) to being given the “ewl, Nicki, we’re over it, bring me more Adele” treatment. But that’s where one Onika Maraj sits right now. And it’s fascinating. Mostly because it speaks as much about fandom and fame as it does about her.
To be fair, it’s all her own fault. I don’t know what it is about artists and this belief in their creative vision above all else. Look, I’ve arted plenty of sh*t in my day. Granted, I’m not one iota on the level of a Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Nicki Minaj, but I’ve also never been so far gone in my thoughts or conviction that I couldn’t be talked down off the insanity ledge. At the end of the day, pop stars need fans. That’s the root of “pop”- fandom. Why these artists risk all of their fans by creating confusing art work, music, and images is beyond me. Then again, that could be why I’m typing this from an orangutan’s layer because my wireless stopped working when my next door neighbor moved. Or went to prison. It’s one or the other.
Anyway, so Nicki Minaj was on top of the pop world and working her way into becoming a Black Lady Gaga. Young white kids knew Nicki. And still do obviously. And then she starts getting weirder and weirder. But she’s made it through an album cycle. It’s time to release new music.
She drops “Roman In Moscow”. And no, you don’t remember it. It sucked. Then came the video banned by BET “Stupid Hoe”. Another clunker. It wasÂ perhaps unfairly banned by BET but for once I’ve got to give the station credit for taking a stance that wasn’t all the way stupid. Granted, it’s BET. But moving on. The true test turns out to be YouTube where folks actually don’t like it, despite its sexual innuendo and Nicki wearing nothing. Sounds like a win. Except it wasn’t.
Then comes the motherf*cking Grammy Awards where she shows up with enough sacrilege to make Mel Gibson jealous. Seriously, what’s with Black women artists and trying to piss of Catholics? Don’t they know that Catholics are the real Illuminati!!! Didn’t anybody read the DaVinci Code?? Oh yeah, everbody did. So again, what’s with Black women artists trying to piss of Catholics? It’s bad enough that Lauryn Hill chastised the pope IN THE VATICAN! Then Nicki decides to run thru the Grammy’s with more questionable religiuos symbolism than two Satanists trying to build a Baptist church.
And here’s the interesting thing: people probably wouldn’t be so down on her antics if the music was any good. Ask R. Kelly or Chris Brown. You can piss on little girls and beat chicks senseless but as long as you keep spitting that hot fire like Dylan you can stay winning. But her performance at the Grammy’s for “Roman Reloaded” was so terrible that you were forced to listen to the song which, badaboom badabing, sucked more donkey nuts than Donkey Kong at his mistress’s house.
The backlash was swift and vengeant. No clue if vengeant is a real word or not. I got no red lines though, kimo. I feel by this point most people were kind of in their “take her or leave her” mood. See, she’s a musician first and her music sucking makes it hard to want to deal with her nincompoopery. Plus, she’s a pop star so while she’s on the way up, she’s also part of the disposable crew of artists. A pop artist’s only hope is to transcend music to such a point that people forget that you haven’t released music for eons but they still love you. She ain’t there yet.
THEN comes the ultimate slap in the face. “Starships”. It’s one hundred percent pandering. Not only does it sound like EVERY OTHER song that’s been on the radio in the past year (think “Buy U A Drink” by T-Pain, except the opposite of how good that song was) except it isn’t good and sounds like a forced attempt at reclaiming radio. It may work. Like I said, it sounds like every other song out there. But it prompted Peter Rosenberg to call her a sellout. And he’s right. Then again, as a pop star your goal is to sell out.
Have you noticed that I’ve only mentioned hip-hop once in this entire thing? I just noticed. That’s the biggest disappointment about her. Not that we’re all clamoring for a hip-hop siren of sorts, but she was dope. Now I couldn’t care less if Nicki Minaj dropped off the planet and never picked up a microphone again; her music has been the step right past lackluster and her persona has become annoying and uninteresting.
She’s trying too hard and we can all tell. She wants that pop success while maintaining her fanbase of 12-year old girls. Except when you go so far left, nobody can follow along. Next thing you know, you’re where Nicki is right now.
A fading pop star.
Nicki could stand to take some lessons from Lauryn Hill’s book. At least Lauryn really seems to have lost (and regained) her mind. Nicki is just making bad decisions. On purpose. Maybe she needs to piss on a little boy. Or beat up Drake. Then record a duet with him. Or something. But she needs to figure out who she wants to be.
Maybe Pink Friday track 6 was a request, not just a song.
Nicki Minja? Give thee any f*cks? Did you and did you lose thine f*cks?
Talk to me.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. HOW DO YOU DO THAT SH*T aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3
Peep the flyer for the party in DC this Saturday, also serving as the official afterparty for The Musicianship Diane Grainger Tribute featuring Afro Blue (cop tickets now! I’ll be there)…holla at ya hustla!