By now, you've probably seen Nicki Minaj's controversial cover for her upcoming single, "Anaconda." The explicit photo of the rapper in a squatting position with her butt and g-string exposed to the camera has been raising a lot of questions lately. Mainly, 1. Why? 2. What about her younger fanbase? and 3. Is she feeling the pressure?
A voice we don't often hear when it comes to impressionable young children and rap is speaking out. Chuck Creekmur is the owner of AllHipHop.com, which was an early supporter of Nicki Minaj when she was still underground and on the mixtape circuit. He is also a father to a young girl. Noticing that Nicki may be going a bit too far back to the old Nicki has prompted him to write a letter to the entertainer.
In his letter, Chuck reveals that many years ago, he was contacted by Nicki's team to remove a super sexy picture of the rapper squatting down and licking a lollipop because she was no longer that girl and was changing her image.
AllHipHop has been historically uber supportive of the rapper Nicki Minaj. When I say historically, we can take it all the way back to when you had to stand in line to get into parties or those grimy underground videos you once pumped out on the streets. You know, that period of time before Lil Wayne and Young Money. Along the way, something changed. This isn’t the change everybody wants to talk about though. No hate there. AllHipHop had published an old image for some reason or another some years ago. You remember the one of you licking a lollipop and evoking the now-classic image of Lil Kim in all of her crotchiness? Of course you remember your version of that image, because you asked us to take it down, through a member of the team. The team member let us know that Nicki is no longer on that and is doing a lot to promote a new image - “blah blah blah.”
[This was during the time Nicki was blonde and all about wacky, colorful outfits. Her new marketable image captured the attention of young kids everywhere and, with songs like "Starships," Nicki catapulted to superstar status.]
For moment there, I felt like I had briefly peered into the deepest recesses of Nicki Minaj’s true inner self, a being that cares how this ratchet s**t affects my kid. I said to myself, “Self, how cool is this? Nicki is already evolving into somebody that my daughter may get to listen to on my watch. Maybe.”
I’ve been in the music game a minute now so I know how it goes. So, when I peeped the artwork for your latest single, I wasn’t even shocked. I was just disappointed. The song: “Anaconda.” The art: your booty in a thong. As a man, I can appreciate the virtues of your perfect posterior. The dad guy is not a happy camper, particularly now that is lil’ girl is transitioning into a young lady.
Now, the most popular, current Black female rapper starts overtly pushing her hyper-sexualized image again? Just my luck.
I’m trying to raise a young girl that will eventually grow into something greater than the both of us. I know that this requires great parenting, great education, great luck and an assortment of great influences. If sure you know the influence you wield but now. If you told the “Barbs” to scratch my eyes out, some would attack without thinking about it. I’m sure some will also replicate the “Anaconda” image without thinking about it too. Your original image already has 256,817 (and counting) likes under the original Instagram picture you posted so I venture that your average girl could strive to get a couple hundred likes from her friends. Is this the path you want to lead impressionable kids down? Make no mistake about it, you are a leader now.
Chuck went on to drop names of rappers such as Chuck D, Public Enemy and Ice Cube who influenced his upbringing, while also bringing up the recent passing of Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee.
They SERVED the people and they knew that, without that mutual love and respect, we both cease to exist. Ruby and Maya didn’t live perfect lives, but their imperfections made their greatness all the more clear. Imagine you being regarded in such a way? The way Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah and MC Lyte have been for their communities? I know, times have changed, but one thing is for sure: careers can come and go. Legacy stays.
After revealing that his daughter was exposed to Nicki Minaj on American Idol and knew the lyrics of some of her songs, Chuck ended his note asking Nicki six questions:
How is Onika Tanya Maraj doing?
How does she truly feel about Nick Minaj right now?
What is your higher purpose with young girls (and boys)?
What is the message you are sending when you determine how you will inspire these young people?
How will boys, already conditioned to sexualize girls at a young age, internalize this big booty of yours?
Where does the gimmick end and you begin?
Believe it or not, I care. I think you are dope. You've bodied some of my favorite artists on songs like "Monster." Yet the possibly of you transcending this gnaws at me, because I know you don't have to succumb to bottom feeding.
You can read the full letter over at Mommy Noire.
It's interesting to see the reaction from a man regarding the Nicki Minaj photo, however, it's not just Nicki who's pushing the envelope. All of the huge female entertainers seem to be going this route. Over the past year alone we've seen Lady Gaga posted up on a single cover in a thong, Rihanna's pierced nipples on the cover of a magazine, and even Beyoncé performing in concert in a thong bodysuit.
Nicki, meanwhile, seemed to take a more conservative approach earlier in the year when she ditched her wigs and costumes for good. When asked about her new look in an interview, she said:
I went so far to the other side that there's only one place to go from there. You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, 'Hey guess what? This will shock them even more. Doing nothing will shock them even more.
No, actually squatting in a g-string for a single cover will shock them more.
Tomorrow, Nicki Minaj will release her new single "Anaconda" and we'll definitely see if the song lives up to the hype of the single cover.
Do you agree with Chuck Creekmur's letter to Nicki Minaj?