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YMMV / Nicki Minaj

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The song Roman's Revenge was criticized for featuring Eminem rapping his typical homophobic and misogynistic lyrics. Some critics believe that Roman Zolanski's revenge is on Eminem. Even more likely since she revealed in a interview that Roman Zolanski is gay.
    • Some believe that the video clip for ‘Anaconda’ is a continuous Deconstruction of the Male Gaze, celebrating female sexuality in the hands of women and Big Beautiful Women; two highlights often noted are when Nicki is in the kitchen, cooking in a sequence designed to resemble a sex act with a banana and some cream, before chopping the banana apart and throwing it away, and the end of the clip, in which she gives Drake a lap dance and walks away the second he tries to touch her, without giving him so much as a single line of dialogue worth of power on the situation. Others think it was a mere mess with typical half-naked women dancing in a sexually charged atmosphere and any symbolism exists solely in the minds of viewers who are seeing symbolism that wasn't intended.
  • Awesome Music: Many fans (at even some non-fans) consider her verse on Kanye West's "Monster" to be one of her best, considering she changes accents and flows effortlessly a dozen times during it. Even Bon Iver said it was.
    • Her verse on Trey Songz's "Bottoms Up" isn't too shabby either.
    • "Moment 4 Life" is beautiful.
    • Super Bass is successful and well covered for a reason...
    • Her single, "Starships", is just plain fun.
    • Even people who hate her think the long descending note she hits in "Turn Me On" is bloody wicked.
    • Pills N Potions seems to have found her perfect blend of hip-hop and pop
    • In the same vein as "Starships", she also has some other poppy-sounding songs on her second album that are all as equally fun to dance to: "Masquerade", "Whip It", "Automatic", "Va Va Voom".
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: A lot of detractors attribute her success to her frequently-exploited sex appeal rather than her talent. Nicki herself seems to feel this way about her early career:
    "[Before Beam Me Up Scotty] I was OK, but I wasn't focusing on the music. I was doing pictures and stuff like that, so people knew me more for pictures than my music."
  • Broken Base:
    • With the album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The album itself seemed destined to be divisive; almost exactly one half of the album is Hip-Hop with some R&B thrown in, and the rest is straight dance-pop in the vein of "Starships". Several high-ups have called Nicki a sell-out which led to a dust-up at the Hot 97 Summer Jam in 2012, in which she pulled out after Peter Rosenburg insulted her pop-leanings.
    • There's also the debate over whether or not "Anaconda" is feminist.
    • The Nazi imagery in the "Only" lyric video. Several people criticized it, feeling it was a tasteless both in its appropriation of nazi imagery and its release on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht (a remembrance of a particularly brutal Nazi push against Jews). Minaj apologized for the questionable imagery, but the video's producer, Jeff Osborne, defended it. He stated that nazi imagery is a perfectly valid trope that's everywhere in popular culture, and to single them out specifically was hypocritical. A third group wondered what exactly a song about Nicki Minaj's sex life has to do with the Third Reich.
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    • Whether or not she's in a Dork Age as of the end of 2018. Her fourth album Queen did fine critically and commercially but the blithering diss record by Remy Ma and the rise of Cardi B impacted her status.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Your love, your love, yeah, your love, your love, yeah, your love, your love, yeah, your love, your love, yeah..."
    • "Oh wha-oh!"
    • "Ruh, ruh, like a dungeon dragon!"
    • "How do you that shit? How do you that shit? How do you? How do you?..."
    • “Plates say Chun-Li, drop the Benz off!”
    • "Boy, you got my heart beat running away, beating like a drum and it's coming your way! Can't you hear that boom-ba-doom-boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-bass, he got that super bass!"
    • "You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe!"
    • "Y'all want the full Roman?"
    • "Dick in yo' face,put my dick in yo' face!"
    • "Take your medication Roman, take a short vacation Roman, you'll be okay..."
    • "Bitches ain't shit and they ain't say nothing, a hundred motherfuckers couldn't tell me nothing. I beez in the trap, bee-beez in the trap"
    • "These girls fall like dominoes, dominoes..."
    • "Starships were meant to fly, hands up and touch the sky. Can't stop cos we're so high, let's do this one more time."
    • "Banging my drum like dum da dee day, i know you want it in the worst way, I wanna hear you callin my name like hey mama, mama. Hey mama mama.
    • ALL OF "ANACONDA" COUNTS. But especially:
    And he telling me it's real, that he love my sex appeal
    Say he don't like 'em boney, he want something he can grab
    So I pulled up in the Jag, and I hit him with the jab like
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: "Super Bass" was promoted to a single due to its massive popularity and promotion from Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Miley Cyrus after the "What's good?" incident. A good demo of the split is that Nicki's fans call it an Awesome Moment, Miley's fans call Nicki out for not letting Miley respond and for purtting twitter beef on blast on live TV, and fans of both or neither just call the whole thing blown out of proportion.
  • Fetish Retardant: Similar to Lady Gaga, part of Minaj's divisiveness comes from her highly over-the-top and sometimes tongue-in-cheek sex appeal, which is not helped by the fact that certain detractors feel that she is of more looks than abilities. "Anaconda," in particular, was very much criticized for being too sexual to even take seriously as a song.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Double Entendre of the song "Truffle Butter." While the song uses "truffle butter" correctly referring to the food, it's also the term describing...well as Urban Dictionary defines it as....note 
  • Growing the Beard:
    • With her third album, The Pinkprint. It features more rapping, fewer pure pop songs and a more introspective tone than her previous albums, and has received the best critical reception of her studio albums so far.
    • Among her mixtapes, Nicki herself considers Beam Me Up Scotty to be this:
      "[...] with the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape, they have to take me seriously as an artist. So, I would say maybe a year ago, I started sharpening my skills."
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Up in Flames" has the line "Imma violate y'all asses like Chris Stokes" which is a reference to the director and manager Chris Stokes who was accused of molestation in 2007. This already puts it in poor taste, but it's especially harsh after Nicki's brother was accused of repeatedly molesting and raping a 12 year-old girl in 2015.
    • A year after Nicki wrote "We Miss You", her cousin Nicholas Telemaque was shot and left to bleed to death. Even more eerily, the lyrics describe someone being shot and left to bleed to death.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: After Nicki's diss-laden verse on Gucci Mane's "Make Love" sparked an ongoing feud with Remy Ma, it's ironic that Gucci's own verse has this line:
    I look down at the beef, that shit childish to me
  • Hype Aversion: Many people got tired of hearing her all over the radio. Plus many feel that she's all looks and no rapping skills.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: A lot of her old fans don't like the direction she's taking with her newest album, as there's a lot of singing and mid-tempo tracks as opposed to harder rhymes and beats. There's a lot of accusations that she's just toning down her style just to appeal to pop fans.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Miley, what's good?!"
    • Comparing Minaj to the Pokémon Jynx, which superficially (and unintentionally) resembles a Sassy Black Woman with long blonde hair, especially in its original design where it had black skin.
    • The single cover for "Anaconda" has been endlessly parodied online.
  • Narm:
    • Roman's Revenge may be a pretty strong diss, but the general silliness to some parts makes it hard to take seriously.
    • "Anaconda" is so overtly sexual that it can come off like she's trying way too hard. While it's clearly at least partially tongue-in-cheek, the lyrics are so goofy and sexual that they're impossible to take seriously.
  • Narm Charm:
  • Never Live It Down: People are already calling this in regards to Nicki tweeting that she "believes in what the bible says"(I.E. being against gay people) in regards to why she did not tweet her support for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The fact that Nicki began tweeting advertisements for her music and blocked people pointing out how offensive she was being did not help. At all.
    • Zig-Zagged. Nicki's extreme usage of Nazi imagery and decision to compare herself to Hitler in her *Only* lyric video has also proven unsurprising hard to live down amongst those aware of it (though media was happy to kind of let the whole thing blow over without a word, meaning that a lot of people who likely would have taken this stance don't actually know about it)
    • Many hip-hop fans have also called this following Remy Ma's diss track "Shether" in 2017. Compared to the vicious, 7-minute long character assassination Remy delivered, Nicki's response with "No Frauds" was criticised by many for being too short and lyrically weaker, as well as too late to arrive. Many felt it damaged her claim to the title "Queen of Rap", and the fact that the single didn't do very well on the charts made things worse.
    • Her decision to slutshame Cardi B for a history of pole-dancing has prompted even more backlash, given how hypocritical and sexist such behavior is. The fact that Cardi B's so-called "crime" to warrant this behavior is.... getting a #1 single with a song that wasn't a Nicki diss-track does little to help, making Nicki read as whiny and bitter more than anything.
    • Arguably her collaboration with 6ix9ine, a rapper who has plead guilty to sexual misconduct, on the track "FEFE" left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The music video for Stupid Hoe is disturbing.
    • In "Massive Attack", there are some double jointed soldiers with white eyes generally acting creepy in the jungle.
    • In the video for "Monster" she gets awfully violent and sexual with... herself?
    • The video for "Turn Me On." It involves her being a clockwork porcelain robot coming to life.
    • Her weird maniacal laugh from "Anaconda".
    • The imagery in the lyric video for "Only"
  • Older Than They Think: Nicki is generally thought of as an artist of the 2010s as her first massive mainstream hit was "Super Bass" in 2011. However, she actually released her first mixtape in 2007, and has been making music as far back as the early 2000s, when she was a part of rap group The Hoodstars.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Why yes, she did have a guest spot on Lil Wayne's massively popular Da Drought 3 mixtape! How nice of you to just notice!
    • Some WWE fans are still surprised when they found out she performed vocals for Victoria's theme "Don't Mess With" back in 2004.
  • She Can Really Act: Her cameo on The Other Woman and her voice-over on Steven Universe as Sugilite show she works really well in acting and puts her training from her early career days to work. This also comes through in some of her songs when she raps in a different accent or persona.
  • Sampled Up: Those not in the know were surprised to hear that "Right Thru Me" sampled Joe Satriani's instrumental tune "Always With Me, Always With You."
  • Signature Song: "Super Bass", "Starships", or "Anaconda".
  • Snark Bait: She may have a wide degree of fans, but her hatedom is one of the bigger ones, too, which was fueled after the Roman Reloaded album.
  • So Bad, It's Good:
    • The music video to Stupid Hoe, not to mention the song itself for some.
    • Anaconda qualifies too, to a limited extent. See Misaimed Fandom above.
  • Tear Jerker: A good portion of The Pinkprint qualifies. The first three tracks are all ballads about Nicki's destroyed relationships in her love life and family troubles. The album becomes more upbeat after that, but around Pills N Potions it slopes right back into depressing. The Standard Edition ends with Grand Piano and Bed of Lies, both the farthest you could get from something like Anaconda
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Of course, she gets comparisons to Lil Kim, who is probably the Trope Codifier for female rappers. There's also comparisons to Lady Gaga.
    • Some people feel this way about "Anaconda" sampling "Baby Got Back." Interestingly, Sir Mix-A-Lot himself approves of the song.
  • Uncanny Valley: Her Stupid Hoe video. Have fun getting this out of your mind.
    • Nicki Minaj's ass. Viewable in flashes in the above video... that's just not natural.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Averted as of 2014, since she has taken on a more natural look as her previous weird style has gone out of fashion (displayed by most artists abandoning said fashion, and the few who continue to use it having diminished sales).


Example of: