*deep heavy sigh*
I’m not sure whether to laugh to keep from crying or officially bid adieu to my once-beloved hip-hop. But recently Queens-bred rapper Nicki Minaj dropped a new song that has me shaking my head and apologizing to the ancestors.
Titled “Looking Ass N–gas,” the single is a bass-heavy bombastic tune warning broke dudes against even thinking about stepping to Minaj.
Peep the first verse (via Rap Genius):
Look at y’all smokin’ ass niggas
After every pull, niggas start chokin’ ass niggas
Look at y’all bitch ass niggas
Stop lyin’ on your dick ass niggas
Look at y’all lookin’ ass niggas
Stop lookin’ at my ass ass niggas
Look at y’all lyin’ ass niggas
Talkin’ ’bout “It’s paid off” but it’s financed, lyin’ ass nigga
Bunch of non-mogul ass niggas
Frontin’ like they got a plan, Boost Mobile ass nigga
Nigga, nigga, look at y’all
Can’t get a job so you plottin’ how to rob ass niggas
I ain’t gotta check for y’all
But if I’ma check for y’all, I’ma need a check from y’all niggas
I ‘on’t want sex, give a fuck about your ex
I ‘on’t even want a text from y’all niggas
I’m rapin’ you niggas
Look at this pic, look what the fuck I gave to you niggas
Ain’t feelin’ these niggas
Niggas want my time, call me Clinton, I’m billin’ these niggas
Basically it’s “No Scrubs” with about a million n–gas thrown in for emphasis.
Like many, I tried to count the number of times Nicki dropped the n-word in the two-minute-and-fifty-one-second clip, but I was woefully unable to keep up since every single sentence is peppered with the slur.
While Nicki’s use of the n-word might even make Quentin Tarantino blush, it’s her invocation of Malcolm X that has many upset.
The cover art for “Looking Ass N—ga” features the iconic image from Ebony magazine of Malcolm X peering out of his window while holding a M1 Carbine rifle just a year before he was assassinated. Unlike Nicki, Malcolm X wasn’t prancing around the desert trying to ward off broke “looking ass n*ggas,” he was protecting his family against those who would rather snuff out his life than allow him to continue to fight for African Americans.
Using Malcolm X’s powerful image to accompany such a subpar record that is devoid of any sort of empowering, uplifting, or valuable message, but instead encourages others (including Minaj’s largely White audience) to drop the n-word with reckless abandon couldn’t be further from El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz’s message.
Although hip-hop is often times irreverent and blurs the line between the acceptable and the profane (KRS-One used a similar image in 1988), I’d file Nicki Minaj’s song and cover art right next to her mentor Lil Wayne’s abhorrent Emmett Till lyrics.
Maybe it’s a Young Money thing, or perhaps Nicki is truly ignorant of Malcolm X’s legacy and what he died for, but she should be ashamed of herself for invoking our “Black shining Prince,” who proudly called himself an “Afro-American,” not a n—ga, to pedal such a vapid, mindless song.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always considered Nicki Minaj to be an intelligent, confident woman who—despite her over-the-top persona and pop tunes that weren’t my style—had a good head on her shoulders. But either she’s not as smart as I thought, or her team has led her astray. Either way, invoking Malcolm X to sell a song called “Looking Ass N—gas” (during Black History Month no less) is just straight up wrong.
Dear Nicki: Sis, you must do better.