By: Claude Russell
A couple weeks ago we saw the return of rap battles, lyrics being thrown in the shadiest form reminiscent of a time passed, old school hip hop and rap fans rejoiced in the enjoyment of battle raps return. Enter Nicki Minaj, the powerhouse rapper known for her Barbie lyrics, persona and army of barbs, was thrown her 2nd diss track by old school rap maven Remy Ma. Ever since diss track was released in February Nicki has been under extreme scrutiny for her Lil Kim creative inspiration. With this came, even more, surveillance of her fashion choices. Currently in Paris for Fashion Week, Minaj attended the Haider Ackermann show wearing a black one-shouldered asymmetrical Thierry Mugler blazer covering one breast and silver metallic pasties by Agent Provocateur on the other nipple. The outfit was instantly compared with Lil Kim’s infamous electric purple jumpsuit from the 1999 MTV Music Awards although quite different. Now with being in such a small community as the female rap community is hard to take a piece of inspiration and make it your own without heavy critiques, even heavier when there is diss tracks flying around but is the taking of inspiration not always been a form of fashion? After all, impersonation is the highest form of flattery.
Men in music have always used the female form to enhance and sell their music for centuries with very little thought to the woman or her feelings. Within the rap and hip hop arena, it’s fair to say the bar for objectifying women is set on a pedestal where it is almost worshiped. With the influence of even our current President Trump, some men have been appraised to return to their neanderthalic theory of female ownership. Are we really venturing down the black hole of the tragic past of America’s obsession with oppressing the female body? Was Amber Rose slutwalk not enough to prove that women have controls over their body and can do as they please?
It’s hard to imagine in 2017, people still question the fashion choices of pop stars and celebrities! Regardless of gender, one’s fashion choices especially that of someone whose job is to direct attention to themselves, could actually be questioned. In 2017, it surely understood that not standing out is detrimental to one’s career no matter the career. Artists have been using fashion to express not just their style but their particular taste of individuality, it helps nurture the spirit of creativity so the artist can grow. All through history, there has been people, mostly men, who refuse to understand that art is an expression of the mind and body. They are combined to create a burst of energy that will enchant and lure people to want more, isn’t that the purpose of art?