Nicki Minaj may be gaining new fans from her E! reality special My Truth, but the self-produced series has also earned her some harsh critics. During the 22-minute special Nikki took time out in front of the camera to discuss her public image and her status as an artist.
“I feel like people purposely don’t see the strides that I’ve made for hip-hop and just for black women in general,” she expresses. “I feel like I’m an easy person for people to ridicule and tear apart.” She also shared the opening lyrics to her new single, “Freedom,” a song she says helps to describe the aspects of her life she juggles.
“They’ll never thank me for opening doors/But they ain’t even thank Jesus when he died on the cross,” the song begins. Minaj’s eagerness to paint herself as a messiah has upset some critics. Dodai Stewart of Jezebel.com questioned whether Nicki’s pop persona and appearance are “a rejection of blackness.”
“Sometimes I find myself disappointed in her choices. Do I want a black female rapper to succeed? Absolutely. Do I wish she were doing so while embracing her natural hair? Yes,” Stewart writes. “Maybe it’s not fair to hold her to a certain standard — it doesn’t bother me when Gaga wears wigs, for instance — but it’s hard not to. Because I wonder how Minaj’s fondness for blondness impacts little black girls.”
Beyond the TV show, Nicki further expanded on why she believes she lacks the support of older black women in an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon.
“People hear me talk sometimes and they think I’m trying to be cocky. No, I’m trying to be real. I’m trying to give facts. Me coming out and having and album that went number 1 in Japan,Australia, U.K, and the U.S.; name one female rapper that’s ever done it,” Minaj said. “You can’t. When I say things like that, I’m not discrediting anyone. Again I want to say I respect and love every female rapper that paved the way for me, okay, but I do think that people don’t respect the roads I’m now paving for others.”