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Paula Rivera

Special Correspondent

Since 2009, when her first mixtape was released, Nicki Minaj has had a slutty party girl reputation. In recent years, she has transformed greatly in appearance and musical style.

When her first popular album, Pink Friday, came out Nov. 19, 2010, with the top of the charts single “Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj had this image of being a bit crazy and rebellious. The one thing that has remained the same throughout Minaj’s career is that she always tries to empower herself and break down barriers by making it known that she doesn’t believe that women should be shamed by their sexuality.

Minaj is very talented lyrically; the topics and themes of her songs have grown so much within the past five or so years. Her songs originally revolved around partying and drinking and being reckless, but in more recent albums, she has shown her raw, true self.

Even through Minaj’s wardrobe she has always shown interest in being different and being proud of her body. A typical outfit for Minaj in the past has included a large whimsical wig, with elaborate costumes, and insane makeup. Recently, Minaj has picked up a much more sophisticated and sexy look. Though some closed-minded people may shame her for showing off her body, she is empowering herself and is proud of her image. I think this is an incredible achievement. Especially when someone in Hollywood is always being looked at and scrutinized, the fact that she has the confidence to put herself out there is admirable.

This years album Pink Print includes some slower songs that you can tell come straight from her heart. These songs reflect more of her personality and what she believes rather than the type of songs she has released in the past that are more for radio singles and party songs.

In this new album she references her family and how she desperately wants them to excel in life.  In the first song of this album, “All Things Go” she sings, ‘I want Caiah to go to college just to say we did it/ My child with Aaron, would’ve have been 16 any minute/ So in some ways I feel like Caiah is the both of them/ It’s like he’s Cai’s little angel looking over him’. In this song she also references the child that she lost when she was 15 years old. We see a different, more sensitive side of Minaj as she reveals a more personal side of her life.

At concerts and interviews she always tells her fans to stay in school and to continue on with their educations. In an interview with Wendy Williams, Nicki states “Don’t chase these boys and all that stuff, go to school, go to college, don’t depend on anybody. Don’t be having babies. Do your thing.” I think this is an incredible message that she is sending to young girls because she wants her fans to be able to live for themselves and love themselves.

She has also spoken about the sexism within the music industry and even in her music. In her song from this year’s album “Only,” she mentions how just because she works with these other male artists and is signed in the same contract as them and that she is the only female in the Young Money productions, does not mean that she had to sleep around to become famous.

Even though Nicki’s songs may have her come off as a sultry, explicit, sex driven woman, she keeps her dignity and reputation in the real world clean. In an interview with MTV’s Rap Fix she confesses “No matter what my lyrics were saying, when I got around these guys, I was a prude, because I didn’t want anyone in this game to ever be able to say ‘I had sex with her’ or ‘when she needed a deal, she had to…’ No. And ‘til this day, not one single man in this industry can say that and I pride myself on that.”

In a video interview that was posted by Rossalyn Warren onto Upworthy.com, she spoke about how it was no problem when Wayne was telling people how he wanted things to go, but “When I am assertive, I’m a b*tch. When a man is assertive, he’s a boss,” said Nicki Minaj. This double standard is present everywhere, and it’s important that Minaj has pointed this out as a major issue in all industries.

Nicki Minaj has not received the respect or press that she deserves. She has evolved so much and has become an incredible role model. The media loves to show the not-so-flattering side of celebrities, but they are always reluctant to show growth or when artists are spreading good messages to fans, just because they don’t fit the model of a “cute, good girl.”

Nicki Minaj is a beautiful example of a strong, intelligent, talented woman who stands up for herself and her opinions. Nicki will keep pushing boundaries and promoting sexual equality even though today, it still seems “wrong” for women to express themselves.

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