Our offices have been buzzing since the announcement of Nicki Minaj’s "Pinkprint Tour" and the show’s US dates. But aside from her knack for hook-driven hits, what really has our gums flapping is the “Anaconda” singer’s antics off stage. We’ve essentially come to realize our office is split into two camps: those who think Nicki Minaj is crazy, and those who do not.
Minaj: A Study in Bananas
1) Picks fights on Twitter with everyone’s favorite purveyors of pancakes:
2) May have threatened Mariah Carey with Physical Violence
Back on the twelfth incarnation of American Idol, whereupon Minaj was a judge alongside Carey on the popular reality show, rumors surfaced of troubles at the judges table. Allegedly, the two divas had words more than once. And with this clip, we can see that Ms. Minaj just does not want to share the spotlight, mic time, or pretty much anything else.
My point is, you can’t out-crazy Our Lady of Butterflies and Unicorns, so you’d have to actually be crazier than Carey to even try. I actually kind of feel bad for Keith Urban in this clip, and my feelings on Keith Urban are rarely sympathetic.
3) Once Got So “Method” She Practically Brained a Fellow Student with a Rotary Phone During Drama Class
It looks as though Ms. MInaj has been chasing stardom a while, and before she made it big in hip hop, she didn't back down from an acting challenge. She sure knows how to ... emote.
Minaj: Only Crazy Successful
I honestly don’t think Minaj is crazy at all. In fact, she strikes me as exceptionally bright and an intensely successful product of her own design – a well-honed publicity machine that delivers on every promise that our culture of consumption demands from our celebrities: controversy, catchy hits, and enough sexuality to keep us watching. (Yes, like that banana scene in the Anaconda video.) What’s more is that Minaj seems to be entirely self-aware; she’s not just in on the joke, she’s the one telling it, and challenging many preconceptions in the process.
Nicki Minaj, nee Onika Tanya Maraj, crashed onto the hip hop scene in 2007 after being signed to Dirty Money Entertainment on a short contract. Lauded for her incredible flow and intensely visual lyrics, Minaj was named Female Artist of the Year at the 2008 Underground Music Awards, and produced three critically acclaimed mix tapes with Dirty Money Records before getting noticed rapper by Lil Wayne, who brought her aboard his own production company, Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
Capitalizing on her incredible talent and voluptuous figure – itself the subject of much speculation – as well as her penchant for fashion with bite, Minaj launched her debut album with Young Money in 2010. Pink Friday, which showcases Minaj’s killer flow and knack for metaphor, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Minaj herself was the first woman included on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List that year and was the first solo female artist to have 7 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 concurrently.
Of course, her commercial and critical success has been occasionally overshadowed by her public persona. Whether it’s being accused to threatening Mariah Carey with violence on the set of American Idol or throwing shade at Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj is no stranger to controversy. She’s quick to snap back at foolishness – such as IHOP’s recent and ill-fated attempt to cultivate #brandengagement (something we social media marketers are constantly harassing otherwise well-meaning individuals with) by changing the lyrics of Rae Sremmurd’s “No Type” to accommodate for some flapjack-related puns.She will give your lazy attempt to say something relevant no quarter, dearest International House of Pancakes! (Seriously, though, no shade from this lady, that is legitimately how I make my living, too.)
What is remarkable about Minaj, and what makes many folks uncomfortable, is that she’s wholly committed to her goals. Sure, we’ve all seen that video from Onika’s time in high school wherein the young drama student/method actor lobs a telephone at a fellow student, but who hasn’t? My point is, Minaj is not now nor has she ever been out of bounds of nuts. She’s a driven businesswoman, a talented performer, and a commercial goldmine. When our society lampoons women who refuse to cow to our culture’s expectations as “crazy,” “bitchy,” or otherwise, we undermine their success. You can call Minaj crazy if you’d like, but I’m pretty sure she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Get your tickets for "The Pinkprint Tour" now.