Conversations about "The Conversation"

What seems to be the issue now? Do you have a problem with me referring to the people Malcolm X was ready to pull his gun out on as Lookin Ass Niggaz? Well, I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single. I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass Niggaz and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!! It is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy. I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. The word “nigga”causes so much debate in our community while the “nigga” behavior gets praised and worshiped. Let’s not. Apologies again to his family. I have nothing but respect and adoration for u. The photo was removed hours ago. Thank you.
— Instagram: Nickiminaj

     According to Nicki Minaj, the new single "Looking A** N*ggas" is "just a conversation." She describes this single as an anthem intended to empower and encourage women to talk about men in the same manner men speak about women. But controversy sparked when a photo of Malcolm X (pictured: right) was released as the unofficial art cover for the track. Fans, critics and advocators attacked Nicki and challenged her motive [for selecting this iconic photo] and understanding of what Malcolm X was fighting for. Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to release the above apology and quickly removed the photo.

     Nicki Minaj's affirmation for selecting this photo was loosely tied to the photo's actual meaning. I can understand where an image of this nature would create conflict and controversy, however, that is not my primary concern. I am concerned with the fact that a song of this nature, with its assaulting punchlines, can be deemed as "empowering." With lyrics like, "Can't get a job so you plotting how to rob ..." and "Talkin' 'bout "it's paid off" but it's financed, lyin' ...," Nicki Minaj has proved her character to be no better than the same men she describes in the song. This "conversation" is filled with explosive put-downs, which are masked by the repeated use of the N-word. Does this not signify the same *n-word* behavior she spoke of in her apology? What are we preaching if we are doing the very same thing we [women] find offensive [disrespecting, insulting, and degrading]?

     This song opens doorways to allow other artists, like Cassidy and Trey Songz, to take shots at women with slanderous labeling and derogatory descriptions. Not to mention, the sexual use of guns sends the message that gun violence is acceptable. Nicki Minaj is an ill lyricist with knowledge that the English language is composed of copious adjectives. I think she could have chosen a better epithet to convey her message.

     There are a lot of things "wrong" with this "conversation." Communication is key. This record is an apparent display of the needed repairment of conversations between men and women.


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