Wherein the press secretary of a Philly City Councilman waxes poetic about the image of a young female rap star, and how it threatens womanhood.
Ever since we ran the Jay-Z/Illuminati cover waaaaay back last year, we’ve gotten a few emails a week that touch on other conspiracies in music we should be keeping an eye out for. This is one of them, written by Michelle P. Wilson, director of communications and press secretary for City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. (!). It’s an open letter to Nicki Minaj, written Def Jam Poetry style, and concerns the feminist implications of the bootylicious rapper and the impact her image—plastic Barbie/sex doll, raging, fire-breathing robotic lunatic—has on female youth, and speculates that Minaj has been put in a position of power by men seeking to broadcast her image to young women who will be irreparably harmed by it (we think). You’ll find an adept knowledge of subject—Nicki lyrics and song titles quoted throughout—from Wilson, who has a few nieces, and says of Minaj “her explicit image prompts an examination of the female emcees we hype, and allow our daughters and nieces to admire” when we asked her what this was all about. Read it and know this: They ain’t jammin’ out to “Monster” or Pink Friday up in Councilman Jones’ office when Wilson’s around! (Brian McManus)
Dear Nicki Minaj,
I have to admit, at times your silly lyrics make me want to say you’re “such a Barbie.” But we are not plastic, and what you are doing to our young girls is so drastic. Why are you letting them trick you and fix you? They doing you in, earlier than they did Ms. “Lil” Kim.
I am not asking you to be Lauryn [Hill], ‘cause even she got “doo woped and that thing.” Just stop with the ASSimilation and allowing the MANipulation.
If this piece upsets you, I’m going to need you to collect that anger and dispense the “Massive Attack” on this pen and paper with a vengeance for your image, because they are playing you not just on the radio, but your industry administration is exploiting your menstruation.
I am going to need you to rip off the wigs and expose your “brains” and “fangs” and show them you are lyrically a “MONSTER” beyond their image of an Urban Prima Donna. I am not asking you to be my musical hero, but show me you are subliminal, prove to us that your deliverance is tangibly incredible.
I want to listen and examine your raw and gangsta thoughts, not just these pop pink gloss hooks and jaunts. I was initially feeling you until I realized you just wanted some girls to feel up on you. I was listening when you told me “that your girl Kandi/ Saw your man out in Miami/ Up in the Camry/ With a car seat like he started a family.” I was reminiscing and hoping you would bring the pain, you rappin’ Mary Jane.
So many of us are rooted in impoverishment and destitution, where everyone is searching for retribution. My people are not reading, there is a lack of leading, but they are consuming your music and influences, so I need you to mature on the wax, but not through another stage of bras and tats.
It may feel like an awkward stage for you, but it’s adolescence. Show me your puberty and produce more rhythmic and rhapsodic fruit to bear. They may want you naked and unrobed for the world to stare, but give the girls more sound to share. Have them shouting in their joyous delirious facial spasms and voices “you could be the king, but watch the queen conquer.” But then again “these niggaz so one-track minded ...”
This is not fiction, but you are a contradiction. Who are we to eject you? We are trying to digest you, and it is hard to swallow this force fed, empty, bright, plastic, aphrodisiac you are serving. Our men are observing.
OK, so you gave into the gimmick, and sold nursery themed, “I get higher than Rapunzel, keep the Snow White” rhymes and risqué visions and tracks for my nieces to accept, but now that you are on top and all are attentive will you “Still I Rise?” We want to “see the real Nicki,” the “chill Nicki.” This is not a “haters tell ‘em ‘Hi’” message on your obtainment of Gucci or Fendi, just a dialogue of inquisition regarding your position.
Wait, maybe I am being too judgmental and you are not that influential. I thought you were here to dominate, that you were prominent, not a blowup doll for a formal. Ms. Nicki, please just tell us what exactly is your message, your image, your reason for presence. And furthermore, what should be your remembrance? We are just in need of getting to your significance, as if this microphone is attached to your essence; the nitty gritty, you “Itty Bitty, Piggy.”
I apologize if you find this to be informal, but with the crown comes critics. You need to prove your majestics and “shawty, Imma only tell you this once, that you are the illest.” How could you allow them to tell you any different? I need you to be the “Biggest Freak” on these lyrics, and have the world orgasmic with your passion to be the “bestest.” If not, we shall all continue to “See Right Thru” you.
Yes, you, and all my ladies deserve to have “epiphanies” all up in “Tiffany’s.” However, you are damaging our allure. Give me more. I am going to need you to take it all. Sustain the industry from penetrating your beauty and infantry ... “Roger That.”
Very truly yours,
PW's Music Issue 2014