All Articles Tagged "nicki minaj"
We are not going to lie: Photoshop can definitely be a good thing. It can provide people with a little nip and tuck action without ever setting foot in an operating room. It can help when lighting and weather conditions simply aren’t your friend. But when abused, it can also become one of the most problematic tools in any editors’ arsenal. And celebrities seem to be baring the brunt of Photoshop catastrophes. So as 2014 chugs along, we take a look at some of the most egregious celebrity photoshop mishaps in history.
Being a celebrity definitely has its perks: lavish salaries, cushy dressing rooms and an arsenal of people hired to ensure your happiness, among other things. But even with all the extras some fussy celebs are just too hard to please. Their bad attitudes, outrageous demands and rude behaviors have branded them the worst of the worst celebrities to work with.
Casting directors beware! Here are 12 on-set divas who are notoriously difficult to handle on a professional level.
If you didn’t get the memo the first time, Nicki Minaj wants you to know that she, as my friends like to say, is “draping,” and despite her love of colorful wigs and extensions, has long and healthy hair.
Minaj took to Instagram last night, and without a caption, warning or real reasoning (other than the fact that she just wanted to), posted a barrage of photos not only showing off her hair, fresh after a wash, but her body too. Posing in the mirror with her wet hair down her back, and also holding her locks up in a wet ponytail, it seems Minaj wanted to send a message about her real hair just in case her last few photos didn’t make folks a believer. Not sure why her chest had to be exposed to send that message, but hey, whatever works for her.
This isn’t the first time Minaj has posted a photo of her natural hair. Last year she gave slight glimpses of it while at the salon, but the pictures didn’t have her face in them. And of course, early last month she posted photos of her natural hair as she prepared to shoot the video for her controversial song, “Lookin’ A** Ni**a.”
Check out more pics of her hair on the next page, and let us know what you think about the photoshoot she dedicated to her silky strands.
Is Music By Female Performers Filled With Just As Much Man-Hating As Hip-Hop Is Filled With Misogyny?
Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas has done a piece for Complex magazine’s website on the art of the male response song, particularly the many (and I do mean many) responses to Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin’ Ass Ni**a,” and how it all exudes extreme “butthurtness” as he calls it. Damon Young also writes that all the responses are redundant and comical, considering how those in hip-hop address women in their music.
Of course, the comment section is full of folks who weren’t trying to hear that “respect women” bull crap. As one commenter noted:
“I’m also very suspicious of men like you who (rightly) point out instances of misogyny in rap, while at the same time, try to excuse, or turn a blind eye to the slew of misandric/ female supremacist material filling the catalogues of artists like Beyonce & Taylor Swift.”
I have heard this reasoning before: Female singers and rappers have as many man-hating songs as rappers have their woman-hating hits. But is it true? A casual listen to the radio would say, hell no! But in the name of pseudo-science, I decided to find out if songs performed by women in music were equally “misandrist.” The answers will surprise you – but likely not.
For this research, I decided to focus on the two “urban” radio stations here in Philadelphia. WUSL, better known to listeners as “POWER 99FM,” is owned by Clear Channel Communications. As evident by its signature, “Bangin’ Hip Hop and R&B,” Power 99 caters to those who listen to hip-hop as well as those who listen to R&B music. And according to the station’s marketing material, its audience is 54 percent women and 44 percent men. Therefore, if I were to find misandrist music anywhere, it would likely be on a station, which appeals largely to women.
The other station is WPHI, which is known locally as Hot 107.9 FM. Like POWER 99FM, WPHI is known as an urban station. Although demographics on the station were hard to come by in the short amount of time I allotted for this study, judging by the similar musical format, I assumed that its audience is also reflective of that of 99FM – with slight variations.
Since radio today tends to be repetitious (which might have something to do with the fact that only six companies control 90 percent of mainstream media), I limited my research time to two hours. To be specific, I listened to 99FM on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. The playlist was as followed: YG, “My Hitta (My N-Word) Remix”; “NaNa” by Trey Songz; Drake feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “All Me”; Young Thug, “Stoner”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; T-Pain feat. BoB, “Up Down”; Rick Ross feat. Jay Z, “The Devil is a Lie”; Rich Homie Quan, “Type of Way”; Miguel, “Adorn”; “All of Me” by John Legend; “Que” by OG Bobby Johnson; ScHoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”; Rico Love feat. Trey Songz, TI and Tiara Thomas, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, feat. Jay Z, “Drunk in Love”; Mack Wilds, “Henny”; and finally, Sage the Gemini, “Gas Pedal.”
What struck me the most was in spite of 99FM’s listening audience being slightly more female, its playlist for those two hours was heavily dependent on male-performed content. Because of that, I decided to tune in again on Sunday, from 11 to 1 p.m. The only other differences were old school songs Like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” as well as the following: Mack Wilds, “Own It”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Part II (On the Run)”; Wale feat. NickiMinaj, “Clappers”; Chris Brown, “Loyal”; and French Montana, “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’.”
On 107.9FM, which I tuned in to from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, there was more of a gender balance in the playlist, but only slightly: Rico Love, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, “Yoncé/Partition”; Janelle Monae, “Primetime”; Tamar Braxton, “All the Way Home”; Aaliyah, “Try Again” (throwback classic); Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, ”Part II (On The Run)”; “Happy” by Pharrell; Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller, “The Way”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, ”Drunk in Love”; Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown, “It Won’t Stop”; Rick Ross, “Sanctified”; August Alsina feat. Chris Brown and Trey Songz, “I Luv This S**t”; John Legend, “All of Me”; Bruno Mars, “When I was Your Man”; Jay Z feat. Rick Ross, “F**kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt”; Jhene Aiko, “The Worst.”
In total, I heard 32 unique songs in a span of six radio hours. Despite the gender imbalance of both playlists, quick research showed that the playlists were more aligned with the national top 20 lists for popular urban music. Therefore, this was as good as it was going to get. In terms of misogyny, here are some of my observations as followed:
- Nineteen out of the 23 unique male-performed songs referred to women as either b**ches or hos or a combination of both.
- At least 10 of the male-performed songs had direct themes revolving around using money as economic power over women, particularly using it to lure a woman home or entice them to shake body parts. “Gas Pedal” gives you that much in the title without even having to cite a single lyric. Equally as direct was T-Pain, who reminds us that “she don’t even like girls but a stack will make her kiss her.” However, Trey Songz was a little more smooth in how he financially finessed himself closer to the “NaNa.”
- At least half of the male-performed songs were keen on establishing boundaries for women, and usually of lesser importance, even when the song itself had little to do with male-female relationships. For example, Chris Brown tells us directly about how he “done did everything but trust these hos” in “Loyal.” However, Young Thug, who focuses most of his lyrics in “Stoner” on his drug use, takes a bar or two to make clear that you can “can suck my banana, but I won’t eat your pudding.”
- At least 12 of the male-centered songs contained lyrics, which treated women as possessions, in particular, collectible items. For example, in “Devil Is A Lie”, Rick Ross brags about “switching old b**ches for new b**ches” and more. Whereas ScHoolboy Q couldn’t see women outside of disembodied body parts (“Titty, a**, hands in the air, it’s a party over here”) in “Man of the Year.”
- While not necessarily misogynistic, at least 10 of the male-centered songs had lyrics, which focused on non-committal relationships with the opposite sex. In “They Don’t Know,” Rico Love tells us about the very special yet secret relationship he has with a side jawn, who he is willing to wine and dine, just as long as she keeps her mouth shut.
- Only five of the male performed songs featured lyrics that were non-authoritative, combative and expressed healthier sentiment with the opposite sex. The majority of those songs were R&B, including Miguel’s “Adorn” and John Legend’s “All of Me” – or duets performed with a female performer. Even when the topic was about heartbreak, male-centered R&B songs were more likely to engage in self-reflection compared to their rap counterparts. The unique exceptions to that included R&B singer Chris Brown, who blames the cheating girls he willingly has relationships with in “Loyal” for his trust issues and rapper Big Sean, who seems willing to own up (slightly) to his paranoia in “All Me” with the following lines: “Like I got trust issues, I’m sorry for the people I’ve pushed out. I’m the type to have a bullet-proof condom and still gotta pull out. But that’s just me, and I ain’t perfect, I ain’t a saint but I am worth it…”
So the misogyny is well-documented, but what about the misandry? Well, according to my observations:
- Out of the nine female-performed songs on the radio, I found two examples, which could possibly be interpretative of misandry: the first is in Jhene Aiko’s “The Worst,” when she says of her deceiving significant other, “Please don’t take this personal, but you ain’t sh**t…” The second is Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Clappers” when she says,“Where your money? Let a b***h evaluate. If you ’bout big money, elaborate.” However, Minaj’s lyrics on “Clappers” seemed to be aligned with misogyny more than man-hating in that particular song.
- The vast majority (eight in total) of female-performed songs involved themes of love: how to get it and how to keep it. In “Drunk in Love,” Beyoncé told us sordid tales of all-night sex and drinking babies (as she also did in “Yoncé/Partition”). Tamar Braxton is so in love in her song she thinks about her man on her drive all the way home. Ariana Grande’s track was about being in love, as was Sevyn Streeter’s.
- All of the female-performed songs were more likely to focus on keeping and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex as opposed to their male-performing counterparts, whose songs were on varied topics (note: I included Janelle Monae in that number because “Primetime” was a duet with Miguel).
Again, this is not to sit in judgment of the artists and their individual songs, but rather, to smack down the silly notion that female-performed contemporary music is filled with just as much misandry as hip hop is filled with misogynistic lyrics. The most interesting side note to this experiment is that if you take the female-performed songs and put them between the male-centered songs, you get an interesting mix of mostly men saying, don’t trust these girls – unless you can pay them to dance and have sex with them – while female performers are begging these guys, who don’t seem to care about them at all, to stay. I guess it is true what Beyoncé says, “who wants that perfect love anyway – cliché, cliché…”
When you think about it, we don’t know too much about Nicki Minaj’s mom. Aside from the abusive relationship she shared with her father, we typically don’t hear too much from her. But all of that is about to change. Nicki’s mom, Carol Maraj has a new gospel song that’s coming to iTunes. Yes, gospel. It’s called “God’s Been Good.”
The single hasn’t been officially released yet, but you can check out this 30 second snippet in this SoundCloud clip below.
Interesting right? There’s a lot of auto tune involved in this but we have to admit that her voice is not half bad.
There’s being a fan and then there’s taking things too far. These fans decided to show their undying loyalty to their favorite celebrities by professing their love in ink…unfortunately.
The Ciara neck tattoo
She may be engaged to Atlanta singer/songwriter Future, and thus taken, but that didn’t stop one man from getting Ciara’s face tattooed on his neck. The die hard C-squad fan club member showed off his ink on social media and the soon-to-be mom reposted it on her instagram page with a shout-out to her faithful follower. No word yet how Future feels about the tattoo.
Wearing weaves and lace fronts is nothing new in the entertainment world. All of these years, our favorite female celebs have changed hair colors like we change lipstick, and we’ve all either been in awe, or damaged our own hair attempting to attain the “it” hair color or hairstyle of the moment.
In their line of work, fake hair is almost a must because it’s a great way to save their hair from constant styling, frying and dyeing. Which leads many of us fans to wonder what exactly lies beneath the wigs and the weaves. And to pacify us, many celebs have taken to social media to show off their real hair.
But what’s the big deal about famous women revealing their freshly washed natural hair if it’s being held captive under an expensive and exotic sew-in until it tangles into a A$AP Rocky-inspired mess? And why do fans want to see said hair? We’ve all got hair under the “hair”. No matter if it’s you, me or Gabrielle Union, there is some sort of hair sprouting from our scalps whether or not we choose to let it be seen regularly.
When we get hair reveal photos, the starlet is usually at the salon. This means our favorite celeb has her real hair out for probably all of two hours. Seriously? Usually, there’s not enough detail for you to see the person’s hair and face at the same time. Plus, the celeb whose real hair is in question usually ends up bragging the length and luxurious texture of their real hair (which they are showing for five seconds), while reiterating how it’s naturally similar to the Peruvian hair they are about to get re-installed. It’s definitely interesting with a side of annoying to see or hear a celebrity trying to prove to the public that they’ve got plenty of thick, healthy hair on their head. Again, we all have hair. Yawn.
So knowing this, why do we get so excited about celebrity hair reveals?
I guess you just wonder what they’re really working with sometimes. If it looks great, we fawn over them even more than we did when said starlet was rocking a weave, and all is well in the world of social media. However, if Ms. Starlet’s hair is less than stellar, she gets dragged. Secretly, in a mean girl way, we’re relieved to find out someone fabulous has edges that aren’t so fabulous and see-through ends underneath their fancy lace front. We’re also fascinated to know if a celebrity we stan for looks just as good rocking her real hair as she looks when she’s working the red carpet. Through all of the social media bragging, we do hope there’s an element of pizzazz—a shimmer of glamour in her natural beauty, and a beauty that she actually loves.
Most of all, we want to know if she looks like us.
Does her hair look like mine? Does she have a ‘fro? Is she relaxed with a classy, shoulder-skimming bob? Does she wear her wrap at night? Does she use a product I’ve heard about and can get my hands on? It really comes down to this: What do we have in common and can I relate to her ‘real’ life outside the cameras?
In the “off season,” when a celeb isn’t promoting a film, new album, going on tour or living a lifestyle requiring excessive manicuring, there’s not a real reason (other than maintaining a particular aesthetic) to wear wigs or weaves. We should say to them: “Girl, wear your messy ponytail–or better yet, your headscarf–to the grocery store like the rest of us.” Because we do, in fact, want them to be relatable. That’s why we are so curious to find out what’s under those expensive hairpieces. It’s like seeing a sneak peek of the real her.
When it comes to celebrity hair “reveals,” sometimes we just like to know that underneath the expertly applied makeup, expensive designer clothing and worldwide stardom, there’s someone normal. Someone who was once a nice girl from a medium-sized city. Someone like us.
Beyoncé, Gaga, Nicki, Miley: Patti LaBelle Finally Identifies Which “Divas” Actually Deserve The Title
Diva is NOT the female version of a hustler anymore, guys. According to Patti LaBelle, a diva is either someone with at least 25 to 30 years in the game or a woman with real, undeniable talent.
Of course, Patti has made her distress clear in the last month or so over female performers being called “divas” so soon, and when so many can barely hold a note. And I can somewhat agree with her grievances, especially since every lineup for the VH1 Divas show since the golden days of Mary J Blige and Whitney, Aretha and Tina Turner, have been divas-in-training like Demi Lovato, Keri Hilson and Jordin Sparks.
On Watch What Happens Live, LaBelle was given a cow bell to ring when the image of a performer from today flashed on the screen and she didn’t agree that they were the divas people had pegged them as. I guess this was done to finally put some names and faces to who the modern-day divas are and who has falsely been labeled as one.
Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift were featured, but I’ll let you check out the video to see who she said was diva-worthy and who wasn’t. But LaBelle did reiterate her initial complaints when defining what a “diva” is:
“These heifers have to get on stage and show that they can perform. Not with 20 people up there with them. No.”
So what do you think of the women LaBelle believed were true divas? There are some surprises, right? Talk about it below.
Nicki Minaj made a major misstep when she used a historic photo of Malcolm X as the artwork for her new single and juxtaposed it with the title of the song which uses the “n” word. She upset fans and Malcolm X’s family.
“Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy,” Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz said in a statement to the Associated Press.
It took several days for Minaj to apologize and pull the artwork. Still the damage to her brand had been done.
PR crises are a reality for companies. But the key to your brand’s survival is how you deal with the backlash.
When you find yourself in a similar predicament as Minaj, first examine the situation. “If your brand did nothing wrong… then there’s no reason to withdraw any of your campaigns or apologize for a wrongdoing,” explains Small Business Trends. When Cheerios introduced its first campaign featuring an interracial family, there was major uproar. But the company realized that while it offended some, the commercial was not offensive. So it stood its ground and went on to expand the campaign.
Understand the difference between offensive and controversial. All controversial ideas aren’t offensive. Controversial campaigns can actually spark much-needed discussions. Think PETA’s anti-fur ads or Benetton’s multi-racial ads.Take an objective look and view it through the eyes of the general public. “Review the promotion in question and the individuals offended. Is it a large group or only a few individuals? Try to objectively evaluate the promo from multiple perspectives and with fresh eyes and note your initial impression,” branding expert Aniesia Williams, CEO and founder of the GOTO Ladies, tells MadameNoire Business.
But if your brand has erred, don’t wait like Minaj did to address the issues. “Reach out and explain,” says Williams. “Remind your audience of your brand’s values and how the promo spoke to those values.”
Next, apologize and remove the offensive material. It took a threat of a lawsuit before Minaj withdrew the artwork. ”State the intent of the promo and apologize for how the material was miscommunicated/misunderstood. If necessary, remove the material,” advises Williams.
But in some cases it is better to say nothing–addressing the issue might just escalate matters. “Sometimes it’s better to stay quiet and avoid making the situation worse than to try and give a lengthy explanation and apology,” reports Small Business Trends.
Once you have decided on your PR crisis strategy, then it is time to move forward. “Address lingering concerns and then shift to focus on the next campaign–don’t shy away from promoting your brand because of this,” says Williams. But be sure not to make the same mistake twice. “In advance of the release, review subsequent campaigns from various perspectives to determine if and how the promo may be viewed as offensive,” says Williams.
Look at all aspects of your new campaign and consider how it will be perceived from all angles. And the same can be said for you as an individual. Assess your ideas, statements, and correspondence before you fire off something that can land you in hot water. One bad controversy and the mere mention of your name will always be linked to “the incident” when people talk about you going forward.
The way you deal with a PR crisis can make or break your brand. If done right, you will be viewed as professional, humble and reasonable.
There is no denying that Nicki Minaj has people tight right now and I’m really not quite sure why.
Oh yes, the misappropriation of one of the black community’s most iconic figures on the artwork for her latest unofficial single, “Lookin Ass Ni**a.” Not only is every third-person in my various social networking feeds miffed at the rapper, but apparently, so is the family and estate of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, who has not only called the artwork “tasteless,” but even threatened legal action if the image was not removed (it was pulled later). According to the Daily Mail UK, the estate’s attorney added: “Any disparagement, infringement or disrespect of Malcolm X, and his name, image, likeness and proprietary rights will not be tolerated.”
I can certainly get behind that. If anyone has a right to say how and in which way the image and likeness of Malcolm X should be used, it is definitely the family, who made the ultimate sacrifice to the cause. However, some of the criticism and reaction from the general public has been short-sighted and selective – to say the least, and aggressive and flat-out misogynist to say the most.
What I’m saying is that while we are dragging Minaj through the mud with endless commentary about how she is the epitome of what’s wrong with the black community (and black women in particular) and what Malcolm would have said to her if he was still alive (talk about misappropriation considering that he is no longer around and there is no telling how he might have responded to Minaj in this controversy), can we stop for a second and be honest for once about how hip-hop, in general, has a long and silent history of misappropriating Malcolm X’s image and likeness?
Hip-Hop historian and critic Davey D has a wonderful list of some of the more conscious and thoughtful commemorations of X’s legacy through hip-hop by everyone from Afrika Bambaataa, who would X’s speeches during mixes, to Public Enemy. However, rappers have longed used the slain activist’s likeness in questionable ways, as demonstrated by this slideshow created by DJ Lord for BET.com, which features T.I. posing as Malcolm on a 2009 Vibe magazine cover, right before going to prison for weapons charges. It also includes Wale, who dressed up and posed like Malcolm, not just once but twice, including on the cover of a tattoo magazine where he made the claim that the new revolution was ink. And let’s not forget the cover art for Jeezy’s 2010 mixtape Trap or Die II: By Any Means Necessary, where he too tried out one of Malcolm’s most iconic poses.
Outside of visual images, there are no shortage of misappropriated, and in some cases, distorted usages of Malcolm’s words within hip-hop. Like when Drake made an awkward comparison between being scouted by record companies and Malcolm’s transition to Islam (“Whoda thought a country-wide tour be the outcome? Labels want my name beside an X like Malcolm”) in “Forever.” Or in “Good Morning,” when Kanye West reminded us of Malcolm’s less spoken about legacy to the fashion world with the line: “Good morning, on this day we become legendary. Everything we dreamed of. I’m like the fly Malcolm X – buy any jeans necessary.” He also shouts Malcolm out again in “Black Skinhead,” when he says “My leather black jeans on. My by-any-means on…”
Or how about Shyne, the former Puffy protege turned convicted trigger man in a well-publicized club shooting, who mixed a portion of Malcolm’s The Ballot or the Bullet” speech in with his 2010 diss track to 50 Cent? I might be missing something, but what does talking about Curtis Jackson being a phony in these streets and how much more authentic your street credibility is have to do with Malcolm’s calls for more direct lines of black empowerment in addition to legislatively? Equally confusing is Wale, Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ “tribute” to Malcolm’s message in the single, “By Any Means…,” which in the video to the song features Ross posturing in front of mural of the slain leader, grunting out the songs chorus of: “Pork on the fork (HUH), white in the pot (HUH). By any means, if ya like it or not (WHOO). Malcolm X (WHOO). By any means. Mini-fourteen stuffed in my denim jeans (HUH). As-Salamu Alaykum, Wa `alaykums-salām. Whatever your religion, kiss the ring on the don…”
Malcolm was anti-drugs and other unnatural stimulates at the time of his transition to the Nation of Islam as well as during his transition to Sunni Islam. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that when the dearly departed brother talked about getting freedom, justice and equality “by any means necessary,” he was talking about through the trap game, which unequivocally has done more harm to the community as a whole than what has been gained for its individual “by any means…” champions.
And it is unlikely that when Malcolm stood looking out of the window with an assault rifle in his hands, in protection of his family, he meant for it to become some sort of trend among rappers to use to justify their own non-family protecting and non-revolutionary exploits. In fact, if we were to go by most of hip-hop’s previous tributes to Malcolm’s message – from Jay-Z (I’m tryin to be calm but I’m gon’ get richer/through any means, with that thing that Malcolm palmed in the picture.”) to 50 Cent (“Like Malcolm by any means, with my gun in my palm”) - it would appear the only real take away many rappers received from it is some sort of Wild West/John Wayne faux machismo about guns and individualistic (non-community centered) empowerment. That’s kind of a shame considering that his message was so much more than that.
The family’s legitimate claims to his image notwithstanding, there does seem to be a clear double standard on who gets to misappropriate and even re-conceptualize Malcolm in both words and in visuals. Had this been a bunch of male rappers misquoting, sampling and posturing like Malcolm (like we have seen in the past), would the distortion of his legacy go viral, spur international headlines and cause petitions? If the past is any indication, likely not. If not for Minaj’s scantily-clad, double assault weapon posturing on a song, which ironically calls out men, and possibly her male rap counterparts for all their phony posturing, would we likely care? I honestly have a hard time believing we would.
For what it is worth, Minaj, with her insistence on calling women gorillas and nappy-headed hos, is not an easy character to defend at times. And the double standard in the debauchery still doesn’t make any of the distortions of Malcolm X any less debauched. As far as I am concerned, all of this phony Malcolm X-vanity deserves to be called out. But we didn’t say anything in the past, and we don’t call it all out now. I’m going to need people to get this upset over it all the time – and not just when it comes in a skirt and a colorful wig. After all, few of these artists today attaching themselves to Malcolm’s likeness would be willing to give up their Maybachs, appearance fees, Barney’s partnerships, other creature comforts and even their lives to perform any real revolutionary work. That would be too much like Malcolm.