Will Fans Ever Get To See Behind the Personas?
2:30PM ET December 7th, 2011
Contributor : Jecquea Howsie
A Rocky Williform Company
Nicki Minaj crash landed onto the pop culture landscape a few years ago as a fresh-faced 24-year-old draped in jeans, a wife beater and Jordan’s, but just four short years later, the Barbie-clad emcee traded in her ‘around the way girl’ outfits for fried chicken necklaces, neon wigs and Strawberry Shortcake dresses.
Although her alter-egos initially had me laughing and guessing what she would come up with next; now I believe she’s nothing more than a gimmick.
Is it possible that Nicki and her Barbie mobile are nothing more than the remixed version of the ‘90s Queen Bee she desperately tries to distance herself from? Or is she the focus of a calculated marketing plan?
It’s fair to say that as artists progress musically, they also start expressing themselves the way they see fit. Lil Wayne went from Hot Boy to rap-rocker, Chris Brown went from teen pop star to pseudo-rapper/R&B tough guy. Whatever path an artists’ career takes, most still stay true to who they are at their core. Even during his early days with Cash Money Records, Wayne always displayed a willingness to experiment with different genres of music. And after the ‘Rihanna scandal’, Chris waved goodbye to the squeaky-clean image and embraced his anti-hero persona.
Questioning, or implying that Nicki is just as manufactured as her predecessor Lil’ Kim is an educated assumption, considering that Biggie practically modeled and shaped Kim into the artist she is today—even going as far as to write her rhymes early on in her career. However, one thing Kim has that Nicki lacks is relatability.
Usually there is a clear distinction between an artist’s on-stage persona and who they are in real life. So it’s no coincidence that Nicki Minaj is just one of the many characters Onika Maraj plans to unleash on the industry during the lifespan of her musical career.
The true answer probably lies in the fact that the world has yet to actually meet the real Nicki Minaj. Maybe the characters she portrays are a made up sum of who she thinks she is, or hopes to be.