Is Nicki Minaj Out for Pop or Hip-Hop?

Nicki Minaj (Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)

While traditional rap cuts from her new album are sure to hit Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart eventually, Hillary Crosley writes at Ebony that it's clear where the pop star's bread and butter can be found.

Touting sponsorship deals with Pepsi, M.A.C. Cosmetics and O.P.I. nail polish, the first lady of Lil Wayne’s Young Money label is also releasing a fragrance and a clothing line. Bouncing her ample behind in a cage — a slight nod to Sara Baartman with or without knowing it — in the “Stupid Hoe” clip, Minaj has become a controversial poster child for feminism in 2012 by helming her career in an exacting manner. Her success has inspired record label executives to sign female emcees — and few would be surprised if Minaj appeared in a film or as a recurring television character following her upcoming world tour. Still it’s clear that descriptions like “pop,” though linked to mainstream money, are dirty words in urban culture where authenticity remains king.


Me … I can’t listen to “Starships.” I am happiest when Ms. Minaj raps and literally eats the microphone. With her lyrics, voice inflection, beauty and kooky imagination, Nicki Minaj could’ve become the biggest female emcee in history but her path shows that she’d rather emulate former tour mate Britney Spears over Foxy Brown. I don’t begrudge Ms. Minaj her fame and fortune, I just want an album I can play all the way through.

Read Hillary Crosley's entire piece at Ebony.

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