On Tuesday, the VMA nominations were announced. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” received nods in the Best Female Video and Best Hip-Hop Video. Despite these nods Nicki felt like “Anaconda” also deserved to be nominated in the top category as Video of the Year. Her other video “Feeling Myself” was shut out completely. After the nominations Nicki took to twitter to share her thoughts.
What I found interesting about this whole situation was it centered on appropriation of black culture. Nicki Minaj was speaking out against how mainstream culture will take black culture and admire it but won’t admire or give credit to the people behind it. She was speaking up because she felt like she was getting snubbed for her controversial video where as other entertainers have been rewarded for it. Marie Claire said perfectly in their article, The Truth About Racism In The Music Industry:
When Britney Spears got naked and covered herself in sequins for Toxic, she was nominated for Best Music Video. When Emily Ratajkowski got naked next to Robin Thicke in Blurred Lines, he was nominated for Best Music Video. When Miley Cyrus stripped off and broke a million health and safety rules by riding a piece of construction equipment, she wasn’t just nominated for Best Music Video of the Year – she won it.
So why isn’t Nicki nominated? Is it because the music industry truly does not value the body types Nicki showed in her video, is her body too raunchy compared to naked Emily Ratajkowski in Blurred Lines? Today’s society loves to not only capitalize and take from black culture without taking on black peoples struggle but in addition to this media loves to categorize black women. After speaking out, Nicki was dubbed the “Angry Black Woman”. These posts pinning her as the bully and a sore loser when she was just speaking up about racism in the industry is irritating. I think this scenario is just one of many examples on the appropriation of black culture and I find it shameful that I can recall many similar situations where black cultures has been taken but not given its credit. Like Paul Mooney said, “Everybody wanna be a nigga but nobody wanna be a nigga.”
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