Nicki Minaj Considered (No, really!)
The A.V. Club has a great feature called “Hatesong”, in which a famous person talks about a pop single that really annoys them. This got me thinking about what I would choose if I were well-known enough to be interviewed for this feature. I was having some trouble, but then the repressed memory of Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Hoe” came crawling back into my mind. If you don’t know of it, you can experience the horror of the video, below.
I still can’t get over what a staggeringly awful “song” it actually is. It’s so asinine that it almost defies analysis, but through the red mist of rage, I’ve written some semi-coherent thoughts about it, and Minaj in general.
It’s hard to believe that Minaj is a real person. For starters, she looks entirely CGI, but also her whole career seems feels like a cheap marketing ploy. I’m sure that a few years ago, in the offices of Global-Hyper Records, some middle-aged record executives had the following conversation…
Exec 1: So how are the quarterly sales figures?
Exec 2: They’re great! Lady Gaga’s moving product by the truck load. Her insane antics and ridiculous dresses are such great publicity that people don’t care about her warmed-over Madonna impression.
Exec 1: Sure, but look at the demographics. She’s very popular with white females aged 14-25, but less so with African-American females. How could we rectify that?
Exec 3: Why don’t we sign a similar kind of artist who’ll appeal to the “Urban” market?
Exec 4: Are you saying we need a black Gaga?
Exec 3: Sure am! Now go out and find me a crazy African-American woman!
…and a few years later, “Stupid Hoe” was unleashed on an unsuspecting world.
It’s amazing that every single element of the song is bad:
- The melody? Shrieking awfulness.
- The rhythm? Irritatingly twitchy.
- The subject matter? Highly offensive.
- The lyrics? The ramblings of a manic.
Actually, I had to go and read up on the song because I had no clue what the lyrics were all about. Apparently the eponymous “Hoe” is Lil’ Kim, which whom Ms. Minaj had had some kind of disagreement. So this song is the musical equivalent of yelling at someone across a pub car park. Next time Nicki, if you have a disagreement with someone, just write them a letter and spare us having to listen to any of this nonsense.
Calling a woman a whore/hoe is one of the nastiest and laziest insults someone can use. But use it she does, by my calculations, fifty-six times! Seriously, the phrase “You a stupid hoe,” is repeated so many times that you think the record’s skipping.
Apparently, she has an alter-ego (à la Eminem/Slim Shady) called Roman Zolanski. During “Stupid Hoe”, she points out that she doesn’t want to be confused with the notorious Roman Polanski. Why did you chose an alter ego with such a similar name, then?!
About two-thirds of the way through, Minaj starts singing in this child-like melody, and you think she’s finally gone insane and regressed back to childhood. But no, she’s back to her old tricks soon enough.
In the song’s final salvo she declares, “I am the female Weezy”, which is a reference to Lil Wayne. Why she would want to compare herself to that cough-medicine-quaffing Gollum, I have no idea.
When I watch this video, I honestly feel like I’m viewing the downfall of Western civilisation. It’s like something that would be on TV in the movie Idiocracy. I’ve never seen such a piece of seizure-inducing nonsense in my life. I quite seriously believe it should feature a warning for those with epilepsy.
The whole thing looks like some 1980s nightmare. For people who can’t view it, I can best describe it thusly: Imagine the fevered dreams of a veteran of the Grenada invasion, who is undergoing a nervous breakdown brought on by cocaine psychosis.
I could bang on about the lack of concept or poor staging, but that isn’t exactly uncommon for a music video. What really gets me is her psychotic-looking stare. I can only image the direction she was given:
“Nicki, that was great. Let’s try it one more time, and can you try to look slightly more like a murderer, please?”
Towards the end of the video, when her eyes begin to grow wider, it goes from bizarre to fairly disturbing.
The only thing about this “Stupid Hoe” debacle that gives me hope for humanity is the fact that the YouTube video has many more Dislikes than Likes.
I take some small comfort in that.