I wasn’t going to say anything about the Nicki Minaj/Hot 97 debacle, but alas, the fundamental wisdom of Ms. Lauryn Hill spoke to my exact thoughts and feelings; again.
In short, for those that don’t know, here’s a short recap of the beef.
Nicki was going to perform at Hot97’s Summer Jam on Sunday. Peter Rosenburg, a morning show VJ proceeds to diss Nicki hours before she is schedule to perform. Lil’ Wayne gets wind, and “pulls” Nicki from the show. Hot97 staff is mad. The End.
When folks tell me they “love” hip hop, I usually assume that they love rap music. Folks that love hip hop need to be familiar with the history and social context of hip hop culture. There are many issues with this situation that delve into the psyche of hip hop.
Here are some of the most blatantly ironic socio/cultural observations within this “beef.”
1. In this context, you have Nicki Minaj; one of the most successful women within the hip hop genre right now, being “told” when and when not to perform by the men around her…and folks REALLY BELIEVE that Wayne just told Nicki not to perform…and she listened. Really?
2. You have a group of men (Flex and Rosenburg…and later Ciphasounds) from Hot97 threatening (idly) Nicki and promising to ruin her career. Really? Is there a heightened sense of self- importance by these men? Possibly.
3. Nicki Minaj, a New York MC, that doesn’t seemingly have the full support of her hometown cancels her show hours before the performance; adding to the “she’s too Hollywood” perception.
4. Nas, an older and more established artist and NY veteran, and past Hot97 villain, fills in the void by bringing out the beloved and misunderstood (on the opposite spectrum of Nicki Minaj), Lauryn Hill.
There is so much here to dissect and discuss. I would love to be in a graduate level Sociology of Hip Hop course to debate this one. On the surface however, this simply looks like generations and egos colliding.
What are your thoughts? Does sexism in hip hop have implications into this (embarrassing) display of ego and control? Was Nicki wrong to back out? Was Rosenburg wrong for going at the headlining Nicki Minaj?
DC's own Wale, and neighboring Virginia's Trey Songz and Pusha T performed on the Summer Jam stage.