Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” (NSFW)

So the phrase “appropriation of culture” for benefit and profit has been thrown around a lot lately in reaction to music videos by pop starlets Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and recently Taylor Swift. All 3 have been criticised of adopting stereotypically Black (specifically African-American) portrayals of women as highly sexualised, objectified beings into their videos for entertainment value (and possibly further scorn). Earl Sweatshirt was pretty vocal about Taylor Swift’s use of this yesterday. But then rapper Nicki Minaj just dropped this video shortly afterwards. It features amples and amples of butt shots (seriously, even Sir Mix-A-Lot would blush). There’s also twerking and other suggestive behaviour by scantily-clad non-white women, and the internet’s response seems to be excitement and applause. Now, I’m not playing favourites here but isn’t this a bit of a double standard? Are you saying it’s only okay if another Black women does it? The portrayal of women beyond sexual objects is a subject matter that will come up time and time again. And while I acknowledge Minaj’s assertive reclamation of her body in the lyrics, the video ending with a lapdance for Drake just leaves me a little…uh…uncomfortable. I don’t see many male musicians parading around in their thongs to prove their ability to sell albums. Why is Earl Sweatshirt not calling out this video? Over 3 millions views in under a day later, where is the line? Directed by Colin Tilley.

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