Competing with the Anaconda: Black Female Rappers Be Like!

In a classic joke of observer bias, scientists of different nationalities studying rats ‘‘discover’’ in the rats the behavioral traits associated with the stereotypical conceptions of the scientists’ own nationalities. One group of scientists sees the rats operating in organized hierarchies, another group of scientists sees the rats responding to the impulses of the moment, yet another group of scientists sees the rats engaging in creative long-term adaptations to the environments in which they are placed, and so on. Each group of scientists sees what its members already ‘‘know’’ to be the nature of mammalian life. Each has difficulty seeing what the other groups of scientists observe. (Joshua Meyrowitz on “Power, Pleasure and Patterns: Intersecting Narratives of Media Influence,”  2008).

Crack Kills: On The Mediation of Booty by Black Female Emcees

Naw, i am trying to make no jokes about hoodrats with the quote above from a scholarly journal article. Instead, I am simply hinting at there are many ways to look at Minaj’s latest video Anaconda. But I would assert that when our biology is triggered with the sugar of sexuality, the choices start to get very narrow and dare I say hard.

Clearly black women see Nicky Minaj’s video Anaconda with a certain set of lenses. But it’s been interesting. It’s easy to find vlogs by black or non-black males on YouTube reacting to the video. I watched one video by HotNewHipHop, some random entertainment news channel on YouTube, that was utterly sexist in the man-on-the-street interviews with men and women including a lesbian woman. The interviewer asked if you’d trade a pair of Air Jordans for a lap dance with Minaj.

This was the first by a black woman. A vlog that really goes in deep with her entertaining analysis of the sexual politics of going the route of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s novelty song “Baby Got Back”. Watch!!



2 thoughts on “Competing with the Anaconda: Black Female Rappers Be Like!

  1. Interesting video. I think Nicki’s play was certainly aimed at provoking this much discourse to of course drum up interest in her music. Interest=sales=job security, success, the whole nine. She has not reached a level that she can dial it back. She understands that thi entertainment biz is a young womans game, and sex appeal dont last. Moreover, you are only as hot as your latest hit. This is typical of entertainment. Her concern is not so much her effectiveness as a positive role model. Let us as parents not give her so much power and responsibility. We must parent our kids and reinforce that hers is not the way to garner respect, although it will certainly capture attention. It is my responsibility to raise my daughter because I love and care about her. How could I expect someone like Nicki Minaj to love and care for my daughter when she clearly does not love herself? I will fight the good fight for my daughter’s innocence, purity, and soul. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

    1. Hey Lee, thanks for commenting and subscribing to my blog. Right now, it’s a place to just capture ideas and play with blogging about black girls on YouTube with a focus on twerking (sociology of self, online identity politics, digital media studies, sexuality, etc.). All in the name of continuing to study black girlhood.

      I think your interpretation of Minaj is predictable. It’s what we do to justify the behavior of male or female artists. The lack of accountability to the community in the midst of complicated lifestyle issues is curious to me now after the data I have been collecting. Everyday adolescent girls are driving the traffic and the sales of mega artists in a pernicious way and artists like Minaj and Beyonce don’t have to deal with the complicity of girls in their own subordination. There are serious patriarchal politics at work and female artists like Minaj or Beyonce, not a dad fighting the good fight one daughter at a time is going to turn the tide of decades of ideology that shapes and defines even how YouTube works. Most daughters will have to contend with some type of abuse even if just emotional which can be more damaging than physical at times. I don’t think we can stop the machine–but if we don’t say we want it to stop there is no chance to fight the good fight. That’s my opinion. And there’s really great research out there on girlhood and the ways that “innocence” is a trap. Do your homework on the studies to help you move powerfully though the wonderful journey your daughter will take you through.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s