What Nicki Minaj Can Learn From Lebron James
Updated: May 9
On July 10th, 2010, Lebron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach. This moment in sport's history is simply known by two words, THE DECISION. After his announcement, Lebron James went from being the most liked athlete to the most hated athlete in America. The media used its 24hr programming to create false narratives about Lebron and questioned his legacy after every game.
Lebron Jame's responded to this negativity by embracing the "bad guy" role forced upon him by the media. In the famous words of Eminem, "I am whatever you say I am".
Eight years later we now have #HipHop media using the same tricks the sports media used against Lebron. They create false narratives and play with artist's legacies without any regard for the damage it might do to the culture. The victim this time is rap legend/pop star, Nicki Minaj. Like Lebron, Nicki Minaj decided to embrace this "bad guy" role the media wanted her to play. But, while the Hip Hop media was all too happy to accept her "bad guy" Chun-Li alter-ego, they didn't realize that Nicki Minaj was already beating them at their own game. In August 2018 Nicki created a moment in Hip Hop history simply known by two words, QUEEN RADIO.
Last Friday, Nicki Minaj returned to Queen Radio after a short social media hiatus. The show was to promote her new hit single 'Megatron' and to get into some thangs. Those "thangs" consisted of:
Introducing her new manager and rescinding a cocksucker award
Being compared to other rappers
Miley Cyrus using her name for publicity
Being blackballed by the Grammys
Planning on getting married soon/have a baby
Interviewing rap legend Trina & reality tv star Blac Chyna
The show basically followed the same format it had during the Queen Era. It was Nicki being entertaining by calling out her foes and listing her grievances with the industry. While I found this was needed during the Queen era, I do wonder if the show can stay relevant with this clap-back format.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF QUEEN RADIO?
I think Nicki Minaj needs to figure out what is the long term purpose of Queen Radio. I understand that the show was started out of a need to counter the media attacks she knew was coming during her Queen era. But, now that we are out of the Queen era, I feel like Nicki should brand the show around the Hip Hop culture and not a cocksucker award.
Here is where Nicki can learn from Lebron James. During his first season with the Miami Heat, Lebron playing the "bad guy" ended up losing another NBA Championship. He not only lost a chip, but was accused of choking in the moment. So after the loss, Lebron really had to look at himself and admit he was not the "bad guy" the media wanted him to be. He had lost himself and it affected his play and more importantly his joy for basketball. To make a long story short, Lebron James returned the following season no longer playing the "bad guy" and with an improved inside game. He ended up winning two championships with the Miami Heat.
It wasn't just that James ceased so much of the on-court horseplay -- the dancing, the posing, the histrionics during introductions -- that was his standard when he was a Cleveland Cavalier. It was that it seemed like James would go days without even smiling.
As much as I like Chun-Li, she isn't a "bad guy" and neither is Nicki Minaj. I feel like Nicki needs to learn from Lebron James and let the "bad guy" persona go in order to keep Queen Radio relevant to the culture. Like Lebron, Nicki doesn't appear happy playing the "bad guy" role, and also like Lebron, she will not end up winning at the end if she doesn't move past this alter-ego. Queen Radio should not be used to respond to every wrong Nicki feels was done her over the past 10yrs. Nicki failed to follow Law #5 in the 48 Laws of Power: Much Depends on Reputation-Guard It With Your Life.
“Reputation is the cornerstone of power: through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips however you are vulnerable and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen."
As the saying goes, "If you don't tell your story, someone else will". Nicki Minaj allowed others to repeatedly tell lies, while she ignored them and grew her career. In the short run that worked out great. Nicki became an international superstar, while others could only get attention by mentioning her name. But, now Nicki is dealing with a media that has no motivation to tell the truth and the public is too lazy to do a Google/Youtube search. Nicki did not guard her reputation with her life. In fact, she put her reputation in the hands of the media & worse her enemies.
Now, I am not saying Nicki should never address any false narratives about herself. Her not addressing certain narratives is why she is in this mess. But, I do think Nicki should be smart about what she does respond to and how she responds. Like sometimes I feel she should just respond in a freestyle.
REBRANDING QUEEN RADIO
Well, what is Queen Radio without the cocksucker award.....EVERYTHING! We are in the middle of a female rap renaissance and Nicki Minaj appears to be watching from the sidelines. Queen Radio should be a mandatory stop for all the female rappers/singers. She should be having roundtable discussions with the girls about the state of the culture. I loved hearing Asian Doll and Kehlani call up. Nicki giving out Queen awards to Beyonce and Serena is better than any cocksucker award she ever gave out. She should allow new girl rappers to show off their freestyle skills on the show. I want to hear more female rap songs and less of "HEAVY ON THE SLEEZE". I'm still lost as to why she keeps playing that song. Nicki Minaj isn't signing artists right now but she can use Queen Radio to launch careers and allow female rappers to have a voice.
Most importantly, Nicki Minaj needs to go back to who Nick Minaj truly is. On Queen, Radio Nicki took phone calls from fans. One fan stood out because she really brought it back to who Nicki has always been. She is a woman who used her fame to preach the importance of education. Nicki always told girls they can do anything a man can and to stick up for themselves. Nicki motivated female rappers to push their own pens and we are seeing the results of that right now. Nicki loves music, she loves Hip Hop. Let's see that again.