Nicki Minaj is not holding her tongue in her cover story interview for Marie Claire‘s November 2016 issue. While the Trinidadian rapper has never exactly been shy in front of a mic or interviewer, it’s become a rare occurrence that a celebrity will speak with honesty on matters of race when talking to mainstream media (or counting sponsorship money). But Nicki gets points for doing just that in her conversation with Janet Mock, touching on everything from women’s empowerment, media double standards, and police brutality from the perspective of a black woman.
Here are the highlights:
On young women’s life goals
“Nowadays, I feel like [young women] see marrying into money—I think that’s a big thing now. I don’t want that to be a woman’s goal in life. I want your goal in life to be to become an entrepreneur, a rich woman, a career-driven woman. You have to be able to know that you need no man on this planet at all, period, and he should feel that, because when a man feels that you need him, he acts differently.”
On the double standard for women of color in the media
“When Kim Kardashian’s naked picture came out, [Sharon Osbourne] praised it, and my fans attacked her for being such a hypocrite. So it wasn’t trashy and raunchy when a white woman did it, but it was when a black woman did it? It’s quite pathetic and sad, but that is my reality, and I’ve gotten accustomed to just shutting it down.”
On police brutality and violence in our community
“We tend to not remember the black women who are mourning these men and who are thinking, Oh, my God, what am I going to tell my child now about where his father is, and the struggle it is for black women to then move on after they lose their husband or their boyfriend … The strong women in these inner cities often go unnoticed … no one really ever puts a hand out to them.”
On competing in a male-dominated industry
“I don’t need to read a book about [business]. I can look at someone’s career and just pinpoint the dos and the don’ts, and the one person I’ve done that with for my entire career was Jay Z. He did such a great job being an authentic street guy and a businessman, and I was like, Why aren’t there women doing that, taking the success from rap and channeling it into their empire? I felt like anything he could do, I could do.”
There’s also interesting imagery that accompanies Nicki’s interview, which can either be looked at as the rapper dominating white male privilege/making white men her slaves, or an odd display of sexism or sexual dominance that would’ve been better executed with black male models, as some of the rapper’s fans argued on her Instagram page. In Nicki’s defense, she does pose with one black male model, but as for the other criticisms, we’ll let you be the judge.
What do you make of Nicki’s interview and this imagery?