What is this, the millionth time Nicki Minaj doesn’t get the credit she’s due? What is it about Nicki Minaj that gets people so uncomfortable? Is this what being one of the greatest rappers of all time feels like? By constantly being put under a microscope on every “Hip Hop” debate. And yes, I placed those commas on purpose. In view of that, some of these “Hip Hop” discussions are perpetually initiated by “Hip-Hop heads” that always invalidate a female rapper’s influence. Supposing that female rappers should keep away from and feel as if they have to hide when these debates occur.
Just a few days ago, a topic I thought had been concluded by the public reignited on Twitter feeds. As you will remember, last year one of Spotify’s biggest playlists RapCaviar crowned Nicki Minaj, Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar 2010s Hip Hop Mount Rushmore heavyweights. Then Rap-Up did a full coverage of this social media uproar discussion. The article said this, “Nicki Minaj has earned the fourth and final spot on the Spotify x RapCaviar Mount Rushmore of the 2010s.”
What did Nicki Minaj Influence?
When Nicki fast-tracked to her mainstream career with her debut album, Pink Friday. She instantly obliterated the rules of how a female MC has to sound on a rap album. Prior to her debut release, it had been a while since a female rapper released music. Nicki Minaj took a stand and became the face of music.
Her music crossed over various genres such as pop, techno, reggae, R&B, and EDM. If we’re being honest, she unintentionally competed with big pop stars and veterans in Hip-Hop. Nicki Minaj transformed the definition of a female rapper into the mainstream. By putting in the work to become a mogul, a brand. In one of her lyrics, she says, “Nicki ain’t a rapper, Nicki is a brander.” These words have stood the test of time. She headlined her own tours worldwide, broke countless musical charts, had more Billboard Top 100 entries than some of the male rappers, and topped Forbes Richest List every year to this day. For goodness’ sake, Nicki Minaj still holds the title of “the best-selling female rapper” 13 years into the music industry. How else can a person prove oneself?
The Re-heated Mount Rushmore debate
Nearly a year later, we are back to this conversation. Why are we reheating this debate? A tweet from Dreamville fan pages said, “Who’s the fourth?.” The list had Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole. The tweet then said Big Sean deserves the spot. Not to invalidate Big Sean’s influence in the game, but compared to Nicki’s discography–it’s not close. Let’s not forget that in 2015, HipHopDX shared an article that mentioned “The Four Kings of Hip-Hop” which had Kanye, Drake, Kendrick, and Nicki. The article said, “yes she out-rapped everyone on “Monster,” and you have a formidable resume. Coupled with labelmate Drake they were able to carry the banner for Young Money into a second decade-long after the heyday of Birdman and Wayne.”
Last year, once the debate had settled, Nicki became the 4th contender. There were murals in multiple states of America. It was clear the GP was content with the outcome. The recent tweet split Twitter into two groups: people agreeing with the tweet, and those against it. A content creator and music enthusiast Bobby Foster uploaded a video on TikTok and said, “Why am I seeing this? We already went over this.”
He then continued, “It is obviously Nicki Minaj. Everything she’s done for Hip-Hop, female rap.” I couldn’t agree more. I think some blogs, or rather “Hip-Hop” centered websites, crave clout so they have these boring, repetitive, redundant conversations repeatedly. We’re tired, please. We need high-quality hip-hop journalism. Let’s dead this conversation already.
“Https://Twitter.com/Teamdreamville/Status/1528785655597174784.” Twitter, twitter.com/TeamDreamville/status/1528785655597174784.
“Lil Wayne (Ft. Beyoncé & Nicki Minaj) – Sweet Dreams.” Genius.com, 31 Oct. 2009, genius.com/Lil-wayne-sweet-dreams-lyrics. “Nicki Minaj Crowned 4th Artist on RapCaviar’s Mount Rushmore of 2010s.” Rap-Up, 1 June 2021