By now, much of the American public is acquainted with the Nicki Minaj/Taylor Swift Twitter feud, while the rest of us may have heard something about Nicki’s calling out of Miley Cyrus at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards.
While we may not agree with Minaj’s public approach singling out Swift and Cyrus in an abrupt, hold-the-phone manner, anyone with a bit of perception can see the issues she addresses within the music industry. That which Minaj has not mentioned has seen coverage via #BlackLivesMatter.
For those who are not aware: the media favor white people. One reason black people are often assigned the tropes we all know and love/hate is the media. Black people are just beginning to receive the variety in representation that white people have experienced for decades. We are moving in the right direction, but it does not mean there isn’t need for improvement.
We may not all like Nicki Minaj—we may not even respect her work—but we can acknowledge her feelings and experiences, and the fact that she is making a legitimate point.
I have never thoroughly enjoyed her brand or her music, but despite my preferences and taste, I understand her frustration. I may not know it as she knows it, but I empathize and, more importantly, I believe her.
For those with criticism: we can ask ourselves whether we should with sharp awareness examine the views of someone who acts, and perhaps thinks, entirely differently than us. The answer is that we certainly can and ought; yet, and this should go without saying, one should still see a valid point from a mile away. Logic and facts are still logic and facts, regardless of the source.
The question that presently weighs on my mind is whether or not pop stars should be our primary informants of and motivators for social activism. Of course, it never hurts for popular media figures to profess opinions of equality, bring inequality to our attention, or adopt sound political and social opinions, but should they necessarily be boasted as our leading role models? Or, as some might argue, are they simply filling a post since they’re already in the public eye?
The greater, and slightly peripheral, dilemma that will take adjustment time is whether or not we will one day recognize people with achievements other than fame—and furthermore, bring notoriety to those who do great things for society. It appears we are moving in this direction, but this will only improve gradually and with persistence from all of us.
For now—and I never imagined I would say this—we should really listen to Nicki Minaj.