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Commentary: Nicki Minaj, the Ultimate Femcee?

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Days after the documentary "My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip Hop" aired on BET, people are still buzzing about the purple-pink-blonde-haired, big bootie cutie rapper Nicki Minaj. Whether you absolutely love her, or hate her -- everyone has an opinion... When it comes to Lil Wayne's Young Money protegee, to say the opinions are strong would be an understatement. Very few people straddle the fence regarding the self-proclaimed "Black Barbie" as the only female emcee currently starring in hip-hop. For some, the Queens-bred rapper with Trinidadian roots is the G.O.A.T., as rapper Kanye West described her. West, who has gone on record saying that she will be second only to Eminem, is also joined by Murder Inc. producer Irv Gotti, who shares the same belief. "This is just the beginning of Nicki Minaj. Her best is yet to come. In my opinion she is as talented as my other girl, Lauryn Hill," Irv Gotti commented. Then there are those on other end of the spectrum who, at the mention of her name, wince and cringe -- ask Lil' Kim: "This whole thing came about when she was first trying to come up and everything. I honestly didn't like it... she wanted to be like me." These are a few of the nicer words Kim has had for Nicki in recent months. Audiences of the aforementioned BET documentary witnessed that, although female rappers that came before her acknowledged her music, Nicki hasn't quite been accepted in the hip-hop femcee club with open arms. Truth be told, I can understand why. Without hating -- just stating -- with all that Nicki Minaj has accomplished in a matter a months, we must remember that we no longer live in the hip-hop era when talent makes you a star. While I am not cringing at the sight of Nicki Minaj, I do believe that the woman who rocks the mic looking like a British Frankenstein is over-sensationalized, and lucky to be filling a void of female rappers in hip-hop.   Take away the wigs, the (rumored) fake butt, lashes, accents, and bangs and is Onika Miraj really a rapper? Does she have what it takes to make statements like "I could have the other rap girls feed me fruit -- since they don't have anything to do right now." Isn't that an insult to the MC Lytes, Lauryn Hills, Eves and especially Lil' Kims who Minaj molded herself after?   It's touchy, because as soon as you denounce a successful Black woman you become a hater; an angry Black competitive woman who doesn't want to see the next woman rise. This is not the case. I can't relate to her -- hell, half of the time I have no idea what she's saying. It's not that I'm so far removed in age to not get it, it's just that I don't. The little girls who contextually shouldn't be grown enough to understand her lyrics seem to love her. I remain floored that she is this successful without an album. She says it best: "Who you know make a million off a mixtape?"   To her credit, from a monetary and popularity standpoint, she has done well. That, however, isn't evidence that she's the best. To compare her to Lauryn Hill or even Lil' Kim, who she obviously tries to emulate, is blasphemous. To think men are falling in love with her delivery and not her ass and baby voice is absurd. It's like Trina said in the documentary, as long as you look good, dudes couldn't care less what you're rapping about.   Minaj says she empowers youth, but I have yet to hear a lyric that does. She dislikes women who hate on her, but except for the lesbian relationships she raps about, many of her lyrics put women down -- as our little girls rap along line by line. It's funny how music works. Later this fall when her album "Pink Friday" debuts, I may be singing a different tune, but I doubt it. For now, I'm upset that there are so few women in hip-hop that the only female rapper relevant enough to discuss is Nicki Minaj, and I can't even bank on her being around this time next year.
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