Updated: Feb 23
Drake is the poster boy for what has become the stats over rhymes era in Hip-Hop. Whenever there is a new stat to report on Drake, the Hip-Hop media's tail gets to wagging; their Lil pussies get to poppin; they get to giggling with excitement. The press loves telling us how many streams Drake has, how he dominates the charts, or how much he has sold.
"My Peers are a talented group, but even if you take all their statistics and carry the two, even if you rounded up the numbers and rounded the troops, there's still nothin' they could really do." - Drake in "Is There More"
With each celebration of Drake's statical wins, as the quality of his music declines, fans have come to accept that numbers are King/Queen. During Drake's beef with Pusha T, the media touted Drake as "too big to fail" due to his statistical achievements. Drake waved the white flag, and the majority of the press played Ray Charles. The optics were disgusting. Knowing that Drake was about to drop an album, the media did not want to offer any real critique in fear that it may stop Drake from "breaking speed records on roads these niggas paved." Stats saved Drake, not J Prince.
However, when it comes to Nicki Minaj and stats, all of a sudden, the media's tails stop wagging; their Lil pussies aren't poppin; their giggles turn to rumbles. Stats have never benefited Nicki Minaj when it comes to Hip Hop media. Sexism and Twitter Fingers takeover, and the male-dominated media create false narratives around Nicki Minaj and stats. The press takes far less caution before writing a story about Nick Minaj than they do Drake. The media does not care how they may hamper Nicki; in fact, it appears their goal is to stop her from "breaking speed records on roads these niggas (& bitches) paved." So when Nicki Minaj takes power out of the media's hands by posting her achievements, writers go out of their way to try to influence the public to feel suspicious about Nicki's motives. Nicki Minaj cannot merely be posting her stats because it is a strategic business move or because the media often ignores or frames her successes in a negative light. Nicki Minaj highlighting her victories must be a diss to other female rappers.
LABELS LOOK AT NUMBERS, IT'S STATISTICS
Nicki Minaj is a woman in a male-dominated industry that is reported on by another male-dominated industry - Hip Hop media. So, I was not shocked that Keith Neslon Jr., who is a writer, leaped to the assumption that Nicki Minaj was posting her stats due to a fear of being dismissed once new girls enter the game. That is the kind of rationale I would expect from a man who obviously watches Nicki but doesn't listen to Nicki. A man who has no clue what it is like being a woman in a male-dominated field.
I can relate to Nicki Minaj because I work in a male-dominated field too. So, at the beginning of my career, I would get asked questions that were clearly designed to inquire about my ability to do a simple task that I knew were not asked of my male peers. So, to avoid stupid questions, I came up with a plan...BUY FRAMES. I framed all of my diplomas/certificates and hung them on my office wall. Hell, I think I even framed my first place in a middle school art competition. It did not matter. Once these men saw all those sexy frames on my wall, their tails started wagging; their Lil pussies got to poppin; they got to giggling with excitement.
I did not do that because I gave a damn about any of those diplomas/certificates. I figured out that I needed to speak their language. Their language is degrees and, most importantly, degrees hanging on walls. After I did that, I no longer felt like I was being viewed as a token. I showed I was qualified to do the work...PERIOD. I did get asked if all the diplomas/certificates were mine. Ok, so I still got asked stupid questions. Back to Nicki...
When I see Nicki Minaj post her accomplishments, all I see is a Black woman speaking the language of business. She is hanging up her frames. She is letting brands and the public know that she is not a "token female rapper." Her accomplishments are on the same level as her male peers,
and she is profitable. Nicki Minaj could assuredly post her cars, and jewelry like a lot of rappers do, but that would only impress the randos on Instagram. Since it's not common to see female rappers do the same numbers as their male peers, it's imperative that decision-makers and upcoming female rappers see what Nicki is accomplishing. We all know Nicki has proven that women can hang with the men on the mic; the stats show that we can do it in business too.
*By the way, Keith Nelson Jr.'s tweet was in response to a video by Russ. Russ was not talking about Nicki Minaj. That is how much Nicki's stats are running around in some men's heads.
CALL ME ARETHA, I WANT MY RESPECT
Besides the business aspect of Nicki Minaj posting her accomplishments, there is that intrinsic need for
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If the press is not ignoring Nicki Minaj's
accomplishments, then rap fans are treated to poorly written articles that try to diminish her achievements. A great example of that would be an article written by Aaron Williams of Uproxx (Warner Bros owned). The article was supposed to be about how Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj's song, Hot Girl Summer, becoming the first female collab to hit #1 on Rolling Stone's Top 100. But, from the first sentence, I knew I had been click baited. The article's opening sentence is, "Nicki Minaj has finally returned to the No. 1 status she craves thanks to her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion on “Hot Girl Summer” — even if it’s not quite the way she expected." This is a replay of what Keith Nelson Jr. attempted to do with his tweet. Aaron Williams was so bothered by Nicki Minaj getting another #1, that he wrote a story trying to minimize Nicki's accomplishment. He chose to make his article about how Nicki "craves" a #1, instead of about how two dope female rappers came together to top the charts. The article was not only disrespectful to Nicki Minaj but Megan Thee Stallion and fans of female rappers.
Aaron Williams and writers like him would never write a story about how Drake makes playlist albums because he is chasing the charts. Keith Nelson Jr., would never randomly tweet that Drake is so stats driven due to Kendrick Lamar's success. The Hip Hop media roots Drake on as he tries to “live on the charts“ over making quality albums. So what if Nicki Minaj was "craving" a number one song,
what is the problem with that? A female rapper is not allowed to be as tunnel-vision as a man? With writers like Aaron Williams and Keith Nelson Jr. is there even a question as to why Nicki Minaj feels the need to post all her wins? If Nicki Minaj did not publicize her successes, then the public would think the most successful female rapper in history, is statistically losing to all the men. When Drake got "more slaps than the Beatles," the media plastered the news all over as if they were Spotify, and Drake celebrated by getting a tattoo of him walking in front of them. When Nicki Minaj rapped, "I got more slaps than Aretha," social media called her a liar.
Female rappers need to follow in Nicki Minaj's footsteps. Do not wait around for the male-dominated media to acknowledge your wins. You should post your successes as often as possible and do it while your tails are wagging; your Lil pussies are poppin; loudly giggling with excitement.
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