Do you hate Nicki Minaj? Do you have no idea why?
A few weeks ago, I also hated Nicki Minaj and I also had no idea why. To be completely honest, it was probably due to her success and partly at how she sexualises herself and is completely fine with it. Then I watched a documentary on MTV called Nicki Minaj: My Time Now, which was aired on January 17th 2010. Yes. This documentary was aired 5 years ago and I have never heard any of my friends mention it. After recommending it to those same friends, they also had no idea it existed, which makes me question the relevancy of MTV and whilst being shocked at people not being aware of the documentary itself, I also questioned myself and why I hadn’t heard of it either.
The documentary leaves no stone unturned about Nicki’s past and her childhood is very much the sole subject throughout. However, the particular part that changed my whole opinion on her was at 23:40 where the cameraman asks if her grandmother got to see her perform live before she died, to which she shakes her head and begins to cry. These brief few minutes made me realize that behind the cool, confident, nobody-can-hurt-me façade, Nicki Minaj feels pain like us. There is nothing that makes her superhuman…not even her confidence can stop her from missing people who have passed away. It’s always nice to see a celebrity get emotional as it proves to the general public that we are all on the same journey, maybe not the same pedestal but we experience the same feelings and family tragedies.
Shortly after she breaks down, the documentary then shows Nicki returning back to Trinidad for the first time in 7 years to visit friends and family. Amongst screaming fans and crowds of people flooding to see her, you can see Nicki Minaj inside a shop where she encourages her family members to pick up whatever they want and it will be bought for them. It’s a selfless thing to do and it made me respect her values when it comes to family.
I watched this documentary both expecting to and wanting to dislike Nicki Minaj even more however I came away with completely different emotions and gained complete respect for what she represents and how she got to where she is. This made me realize that sometimes as the general public, we forget that huge superstars still retain human feelings and are just as vulnerable as us. They are not invincible and they cannot be expected to switch off their feelings every time a hateful comment is thrown towards them. The person on stage is a character, which makes it easy for us to disregard the feelings of that particular individual on a pre-based judgment. Each celebrity has his or her own story and just needs someone to listen, which is why interviews are the most important part of an artist’s career.
So even though I still disagree with how Nicki Minaj sexualises herself, I also understand that she is playing the music industry and giving them what they want which allows her to provide herself and family with a better quality of life. I realize that she doesn't agree with sexualising herself, as the documentary shows many clips of Nicki walking around in sweatpants and a t-shirt with no make up on, but it’s clear that she understands it has to be done if she wants to stand out and have a successful career.
I almost admire her now whereas before I couldn't stand the sight of her or the sound of her music. I now listen to Nicki Minaj’s music in a different way and think of how well she has done to come from a poor background and become a worldwide phenomenon. I don’t love her just yet but I have gained total respect for her being a woman in a male dominated genre and industry.
You can watch the full documentary below.
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