For whatever reason, it feels like Nicki Minaj has become somewhat of a target. Even after delivering one of her best albums in Queen, Minaj appears to have been brushed to the side, painted as a villain in the mainstream media. In many ways, the shift in perception was sad to witness, and its impact wasn't exactly lost on Nick herself. In truth, her many milestones and legendary run should have been cause for celebration. Yet when new voices join the choir, people seem all the more comfortable in casting the past aside. Perhaps that's why Nicki opted to seize control of her own destiny, taking to Instagram to reflect on her twelve-year run in the game.
"12 years ago I dropped my 1st mixtape," she begins, sharing an image of Playtime Is Over. "Wrote every single word on every single song. I was so proud of that." Perhaps it's simply her native New York energy, but it's clear that hip-hop purism is an important tenet of her artistry. Likewise is paying respect to the legends who came before, something she feels the younger generation are unwilling to do. "I always shouted out my influences in my interviews. Now a days, it’s become cool to pretend u weren’t influenced by other artists," she writes. "S/O to the ones big enough to do it: Kash, Asian, Cuban, Saweetie, Meg, Malibu, etc."
Neilson Barnard/Getty ImagesWhile Minaj has worked with several legends in the game, including OGs like Lil Wayne, Eminem, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Cam'Ron, and 2 Chainz, Nicki has seldom shared the stage with a female presence. "No female rapper (other than Trina) did a song w/me or congratulated me on my billboard accomplishments," she continues. "I didn’t mind. I never felt they were obligated to do so. Just like Beyoncé isn’t obligated to congratulate or collaborate with Normani, etc."
She also alludes to the blogs, as many used the opportunity to kick Minaj when her public perception was at its lowest. Now, it's possible that Nicki has no love lost for this very publication, but let it be known. Respect must be paid where it is due, and Nicki has earned her keep, having long cemented her place in the hip-hop pantheon. "I never had a group of men in the studio writing my songs for me so it took a while between albums," she continues, warning the naysayers accordingly. "Please stop these write ups about what I didn’t do. Y’all are rlly sick & ima call y’all out one by one on Queen Radio."
Though her message does feel borne from a place of resentment, we can only hope that Nicki can find peace in her accomplishments, and know that there are many fans who appreciate and admire her work. Do you remember listening to Playtime Is Over?