photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Sir Mix-A-Lot should be proud. Back in 1993, somewhere in between the hip-hop’s Native Tongues and 36 Chambers, an independent rapper from Seattle dropped a sexually explicit anthem glorifying the shapeliness of Black women’s backsides. The uptempo beat and outrageous video was hard to deny. So was the message. The intro to the video said it all. Who could forget the story told in those first 30 seconds? Two white girls grossed out by the thought of a rap guy admiring that disgusting, big Black butt.
A double platinum single and a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance later, Sir Mix-A-Lot had made his mark on Rap Music. Yes, he had other mildly successful records (“My Posse’s On Broadway”), but it’s “Baby’s Got Back” that will continue to get played at weddings across America for years to come. And as explicit as it is, it was also very telling. As one of the Beckys put it at the beginning of the song, “those rap guys only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute.”
In 2014, Sir Mix-A-Lot’s hip-hop classic “Baby’s Got Back” is alive and kicking. Not just because it has provided both the beat and the concept for Nicki Minaj’s controversial “Anaconda” single, but also because those rap guys still glorify dat arse. My, my, my…how the hip-hop world has come full circle. Nicki’s “Anaconda” video is sexy and fun—nothing more, nothing less. But it’s also nothing new. She’s a female rapper exploiting what male rappers have exploited for years. True, maybe the subject matter, the song, and the visuals would have been better suited for Trina’s career. But for Nicki at the height of her career? The thought is that Nicki should be above this. That she’s a far cry from where she started. Remember, she came in the door with explicit lyrics and the image of her licking a lollipop with her legs spread. Few expected her to do as well as she did. Now she’s a rap superstar, and has grown into a business, proving her singing, rapping and acting talents along the way. She’s obviously earned the right to do what she wants. And she obviously wants to show her rear.
Not that her rear is any less worthy of mention than her other contributions. It looks rather round and perfect in every shot. It is, in itself, a work of art. Ironically, it makes the girls from the original Sir Mix-A-Lot video look like they lack back. The Colin Tilley-directed “Anaconda” actually borrows a lot from the original. The tight booty shorts, the sped up stripper butt jiggle, the spinning fruit—it’s all there, and then some. Nicki is, and has been, a sex symbol, and “Anaconda” is really just another record that keeps the rap dudes interested in her. Did you really think they liked “Pills N Potions”?
For Nicki, who has properly teased this song (and Drake) with the cover art and Instagram leaks, the controversy and the butt pics have successfully done their job. On the first day “Anaconda” premiered, her video earned over 10 million views on Vevo. Mission accomplished.
So why the big debate? Nicki is not going to change what hip-hop represents. She never asked for the weight you put on her shoulders. You gave it to her. She is making it clear that she is not the messiah sent here to save women in rap. There probably won’t be one. True, maybe an overweight, out of shape female rapper (or even one with a flat ass) with exceptional mic skills and a positive message may get a 250-word article in a rap magazine, but the buck stops there.
Nicki is no fool. She knows exactly what she has to do to keep that red carpet lifestyle.
Either you’re going to be white and fancy, or have an incredible ass.
She’s got buns and she’s using them the way you taught her to.
You want women to wear granny panties when you have been buying them thongs all along? You want them to stop giving lap dances when you only look for them at strip clubs? It sounds like you want to turn a ho into a housewife.
Sorry, not when hoes is winning. For twenty years, rappers have been telling girls that bitches ain’t s**t. That they should shake it like a salt-shaker. So they did just that. And like Drake, your Anaconda should be wayyyy up now. This is what Nicki has been doing to get your attention, and now you want her to cook you dinner and read your kids a bedtime story. Why? So you can leave her for some Becky that used to call her a prostitute?