Sure, in 2003, Lil’ Kim the Queen Bee said it: “Black Barbie, dressed in Bvlagari. I’m tryin’na leave in somebody’s Farrari.”
………. then in 2009, Nicki Minaj hopped in that open door, drove off, then perfected + personified “Barbie.” It miraculously took on a life all its own.
If Nicki Minaj had any plans on returning to her mixtape/underground/indie circuit and persona that she once had (before stepping onto the scene as “Nicki Minaj” (as Barbie), it [was like that song would say] “it’s too late…to turn back now…I believe, I believe, I believe, I’m falling in love.”
They were hooked…Hook, line, and pink…I mean:
There’s Beauty and THE Beast…and Then There’s a Beast–Behind the Beauty: Nicki.
The Barb movement and following was much too strong (to turn back now)-about the most she could do through her Barb persona was make sure that through the eye candy; she was able to lace the world with her incomparable punch lines and lyrics that still kept true to her underground/mixtape roots. Because the fact of the matter is, there is a beast behind the beauty and she’s not just getting by on looks, that+ Barb makes her a rap triple-threat…
The Barb persona however, (for traditional hip-hop lovers) would through you off. You had to be skilled at, and have an ear for the fact that through all the candy; Nicki Minaj could still spit fire, “Barbs” and “b!tches”…
There’s an eerie irony in this:
It’s been all over the Internet: (the actual) “Barbie” turns 55 next month yet, still manages to appeal to little girls everywhere—no matter the race, creed, color, or nationality. Barbie’s “brand” was set in stone way before the word “brand” became commonplace in the world of social media many decades later (despite a/any “brand” always, still, being a brand beforehand).
When you’re trying to fight an image that little girls (turned teens, turned women) from every generation grew up on, compounded with the fact that her lyrical prowess, and music weren’t exactly no slouch; it’s hard to beat that-no matter how good you are (or….were)…
Because the moment that Nicki Minaj hopped in that “Ferrari,” she slammed that blessed door shut: Hard… and dammed the rest.
Five years have passed since her reign of takeover-ness, and although unknown if indefinitely, or for however long; Nicki Minaj just recently shed her Barb image and opted for a style that morphed her right back into her upfront, grass roots, underground flow and style that (if you’re paying attention)… symbolically, yet slowly opens that slammed door for all female rappers who since her, could not take their place in the game since she’s been in it.
All those [who were] bumping their gums and bustin’ their guns, will soon be out of excuses not to hop right on in (and grab a lane).
With all due respect, sure, I know it may sound like I’m giving too much credit to one woman for a whole rap genre of women, but I’m not. It’s been five years proven already.
As Nicki presses “pause” on “Barbie,” it opens lanes for other rap beasts (like “Nicki Minaj”). For five years now, no one has been able to step in and go toe-to-toe with her (no matter how good they are). To step in with her as Nicki/Barb is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. (The past five years has been tried and tested). Nikki personified and perfected the moniker and the image from the moment she hit the mainstream gate. She then took that and made it a movement in which girls the world over emulated. What stood at the forefront and embodied all that Nicki was and set out to be was that delicate “Barbie” was in front of a beast of a rapper.
Barbie—(who, before Lil’ Kim, before you, before me, and before “Nicki Minaj”), had a life…SHE (actual “Barbie”) was bigger than all of us such that whosoever stepped in to personify HER to perfection could do nothing but win.
Don’t Drive Too Fast Just Yet, ‘Cause We Don’t Have the Answers
I blogged that Paris Hilton would soon be label mates with Nicki. And with Nicki’s new change (this week), we do not have the answers as to whether or not she’s going to let Paris borrow “Barbie” and stick with busting her original lyrical prowess indefinitely, or if this recent change is merely for the upcoming YMCMB compilation due out in March.
Whether she does or not, her new look and new song could very well open the gates for female rap to be put back on the map.
Should the new Nicki image and rap style remain, she’ll be the PIONEER of a SECOND MOVEMENT: Re-opening the game for other rap dames to get back in and do their thang.