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17 December 2014, 15:56
The "Anaconda" and "Only" artist has received a lot of criticism recently - where do you stand?
Even before the release of her new album The Pinkprint this month, Nicki Minaj has managed to generate some pretty large scale media coverage in recent months.
Firstly, there was The Game's appearance in "Pills N Potions", then there was that "Anaconda" video and, most recently, the backlash from her controversial lyric video for 'Only'. Then let's not forget her new 2015 calendar, which won't just break the internet, it might just break your wall as well.
There's no doubt she's become a Queen at grabbing the headlines, but now there's strong debate about whether she's attracting the right kind of attention.
Both sides of this debate have been captured in two separate articles by Pitchfork and Jezebel. And it's the former that believes Nicki - arguably the world's most prominent female rapper - has failed to live up to her potential of an artist in her position.
In a post for Pitchfork, Kris Ex postulates that it's time to stop caring about Nicki Minaj - not as a person, but as "an artist and corporate action".
"Nicki Minaj is far from the only artist spreading anti-love, disharmonious messages in her music, but she is spreading anti-love, disharmonious messages in her music and that needs to be taken to task."Kris Ex
And he might have a point - Nicki has been celebrated a lot recently for her messages of feminism and body positivity, especially after the way she owned her own sexuality in "Anaconda". But at the same time, she is letting guest vocalists Drake and Lil' Wayne dominate her in 'Only' - her own track - with pretty sexist lyrics about how she "act like she need a d*ck in her life".
Yikes. Not exactly female-empowering. And is that fixed in the video just by putting her in a role that looks incredibly, controversially, dictatorial? Kris Ex says no.
Meanwhile, over at 'Jezebel', Hillary Crosley has countered:
"We have to relinquish the idea that just because someone is famous, they are better than the rest of us, or have some cosmic understanding of how to navigate the world more efficiently."Hillary Crosley
And this is a valid point - one which Nicki has addressed herself infamously in the past. There are a great deal of expectations put on artists to be representative of any given thing at any time, while still trying to be true to themselves. And that's hard.
It's difficult to own your sexuality as a woman in the way Nicki has been, in a genre and industry that sometimes can appear to thrive on objectification and sexism. But at the same time, is there a line between how nicely you play with that industry when it's causing a LOT of moral compromise? Kris Ex believes that line has probably been crossed, and we should respond by casting our fave aside.
"At a certain point, the sound of a tuneful hook can’t be accepted as enough signal in the noise of disharmony. It’s simply on us to stop waiting for what Nicki Minaj could be, and accepting what she's actually doing and just move on."Kris Ex
What do you think? Is it important to accept that artists are evolving as people and criticise them where necessary, or do they only get a certain amount of chances?