Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj’s “Only” and the Aesthetics of Fascism: A Clueless Appropriation of Potent Imagery

Hey, there’s a new Nicki Minaj lyric video! And unlike most other lyric videos, it’s not just a bunch of words flashing up on your screen! There’s a whole animated storyline that goes with it, in which Nicki is presented as… um, the ruler of a fascist dictatorship that looks awfully like Nazi Germany! The lyric video for “Only,” a track that’s weird enough in and of itself, appeared over the weekend, and predictably enough given its subject matter, it’s gone down with the Internet like a granite dirigible. The clip was greeted with outrage from the likes of Gawker, BuzzFeed, and also, amusingly, outlets not a whole lot less right-wing than what they’re condemning. Minaj is hardly the first to use fascist imagery in the name of art, but she’s the first in a while to do so in such a terminally clueless manner. … Read More

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Nicki Minaj and Drake Are Trolling You on “Only”

Perhaps your outrage entry point into “Only,” the Pinkprint track Nicki Minaj dropped yesterday, was Chris Brown. Before you heard Brown relegated to hook-boy status within Nicki’s hip-hop power shift, maybe you questioned why she would bring in such a divisive character (who doesn’t even get to be in the single artwork). But once you’ve actually heard the song, Brown’s tame vocal contributions are far from the takeaway. I lost my goddamn mind the first four times I listened to “Only,” for four different reasons. And that’s exactly the point. The song is catnip for the kinds of listeners who read rap verses and trust them as accurate representations of the stars who recite them, instead of what they sometimes are: juicy stories. … Read More

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Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’: How Effective Are Pop Album Reissues?

Iggy Azalea, the Australian rapper whose inescapable “Fancy” was officially named the Song of the Summer, announced today that she would be dropping a reissue of The New Classic. The update, which was announced just five months after the original, will include six new tracks, and at least one of them will continue Azalea’s trend of pop collaboration, this time with Ellie Goulding. With “Fancy” still all over the airwaves, and recent second single “Black Widow” sitting comfortably in the No. 6 spot of the Billboard Hot 100, a reissue seems like kind of a curious move. But, maybe not. … Read More

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MTV VMAs 2014: The Year of the Class Act

No pop-star threeways, no meat dresses, no speech-crashing, no boob jiggles, no compacts thrown, no assless pants, no shade, no “This World Is Bullshit,” and definitely no twerking. This year’s MTV Video Music Awards, airing living from The Forum in LA on Sunday (August 24), were downright tame, even snoozy. That is, until Beyoncé and Miley shook things up in the last half hour. But the two pop juggernauts did so without controversy — an approach that seemed to trickle down to define this year’s ceremony. Even a Nicki Minaj wardrobe malfunction, which she handled beautifully mid-performance without revealing more than her navel, came to define the rapper’s three performances during the night, including celebrations of the ass during opening number “Anaconda” and a booty-bumping moment with Usher. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Official VMAs 2014 Drinking Game

Happy one-year anniversary to the moment Miley Cyrus killed twerk! Oh yeah, and there’s another Video Music Awards upon us. They air at 9 p.m. Sunday (August 24) on MTV, and the performers include Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, and more. Here are a bunch of ways to drink along with the VMAs. … Read More

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A Guide to All the Gratuitous Product Placement in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Video

Nicki Minaj and her team deserve a Clio Award for the ad they just made for asses. But the “Anaconda” video also serves as an advertisement for many other products, some of them officially linked with Minaj and others that may signal new deals. Let’s delve in. … Read More

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Divas Being Leaders and Blowing Things Up in the Desert: A Music Video Treasury

Are you a badass lady with either an impressive vocal range, enviable rap flow, or some flashy couture you’ve been dying to wear under the oppressive heat of a thousand suns? Does your song have a sick beat? Do you want to prove your absolute, unassailable diva-hood by leading troops of loyal followers through the desert, then standing alone in a wide shot, sand and chaos swirling about you, while you remain calm as ever in the eye of the storm? Alternately, do you like music festivals and fluorescent colors? … Read More

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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Nicki Minaj, The Knocks, Merchandise

It is August 8th and there are three late-season contenders for Song of the Summer included here. I’d say “stop the madness,” but the tunes are too good. … Read More

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