People Need to Start Respecting Nicki Minaj

I love Nicki Minaj. I always have and I always will. She’s inspiring, motivating, and is always speaking her truth. 

It’s super troubling to me, as a fan (a Barb, if you will) to have people constantly trashing her name. It seems like everyday, there's a new male radio host or rapper speaking poorly about her. I’m annoyed! 

She’s one of the greatest rappers to date, just based on her writing and rapping skills alone. She released her first ever mixtape in 2007 and signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money records in 2009. She continued on to release four studio albums in the following years: Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, The PinkPrint, and Queen

Nicki has pioneered the modern female rap movement — not to be confused with me saying Nicki invented female rap. She didn’t, and there have been so many greats who have come before her. Nicki always gives these female MC’s applause for their legacies, such as Lil Kim and her idol, Lauryn Hill. 

So why, after all of these years in the industry, with a cemented legacy in music history, do people not give Nicki her respect? This is what is so troubling. 

I think that there is no denying the sexism in the music industry. In rap alone, it is almost impossible for a female rapper to not be compared to Nicki when they’re up and coming in the industry. However, I believe that this sexism has become streamlined to target Nicki specifically. 

New female rappers have gone on record saying that they don’t respect Nicki or idolize her. In addition, radio hosts across the country have made it their mission to not give Nicki any play time on air. The “Nicki Hate Train” has become a term that is used to identify this scrutiny. Many people blame “The Breakfast Club” radio host Charlamagne Tha God for initiating this hate train. 

An example of this is the comparison between Nicki and Cardi B. Nicki has shown Cardi so much love, but Cardi has not done the same. Nicki was extremely hurt by this because, again, in such a misogynistic environment like the rap world, pitting women against each other is only adding fuel to the fire. 

People constantly compare Nicki and Cardi because they are both successful in the rap industry. However, Nicki’s career has encompassed all of the 2010’s era, whereas Cardi only came out with her debut album in 2018.

You cannot compare two rappers when one’s career has been astronomical for a whole decade, and the other has not. Nicki writes, produces, and raps her own music always. She always has control over the message in her music. Yet radios are more likely to play Cardi and show her more love!

This is the problem. The industry has ostracized Nicki to the point where people don’t even want to acknowledge Nicki’s legacy. 

Regardless of this, Nicki always rises above. Her career has been monumental, especially since many credit her for the resurrection of female rap. 

It has always bothered me that there are so many male rappers that always get the credit they may or may not deserve. However, these men have made it almost impossible for more than one female rapper to even exist in the same genre. What is aggravating is this internalized misogyny in rap is pointed toward Nicki. Because of how hard she's had to prove herself, coupled with the constant sexualization and degradation of her work, Nicki has worked unbelievably hard to get to where she is. People think that because she wants respect for the movement she herself has cultivated, that she ultimately wants to be the only female rapper in the industry. 

This is also not true. Nicki has encouraged female rap since forever! Women like Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, Trina, Azealia Banks, and Kash Doll are all females who cite Nicki as their influence, along with lists of others that all love Nicki. 

More than anything, I think the underlying message here is that people need to respect women. Women have made moves in every aspect of life that go unrecognized, and rap is a case where this is especially true. 

Nicki is an icon for women worldwide. She always has been. Her commitment to speaking the truth and for inspiring others to do the same will always be why she is one of my role models. Stream Queen

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