Nicki Minaj posted a pretty nondescript screen capture of the iTunes top 10 charting Hip Hop/Rap songs Saturday night. But it wasn’t the chart itself that got people talking so much as Nicki’s commentary on the melanin deficiency of the artists on the chart.
“It’s a great time to be a white rapper in America huh?” Nicki wrote in the caption of her now-deleted post. “These are the top 10 rap songs on US iTunes. S/O to Em & Post. Two of my faves. Congrats to Em on his new album. #Motorsport put dat thing in sport.”
The chart has since been updated, but you can pretty easily read between the lines and see what Nicki was referencing. Of the 10 songs listed, Migos’ “Motorsport” and N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon” are the only two performed by artists that self-identify as black.
Nicki wasn’t saying anything that hasn’t already been said about race in rap (or other genres perceived as predominately black) by the likes of Solange, Azealia Banks or even Eminem himself. Defending Post Malone in such a discussion seemed like a curious choice.
It’s possible Nicki considered an Instagram caption wasn’t the best place to try and have a nuanced discussion about race, privilege and music because she ended up updating her caption.
“Update blocking all u sensitive dick riders,” Nicki further wrote. “It IS a great time to be a white rapper in America. I wanna sign one for my new label. U know anyone? I spk my mthafkn mind n if u don’t like it gtfo my page dick rida! Y’all can never wait to ride the Queen dick! Sensitive ass ig thugs. Gtfoh.”
That post was followed by a clip of J. Cole’s 2014 interview with Angie Martinez, where Cole also discussed the perception versus reality of genres of music traditionally performed by black artists.
“Whenever a black woman speaks on ANYTHING she’s labeled as “mad” “angry” “bitter,” Nicki wrote in a similarly lengthy caption. “I’m on 4 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. I’m blessed & highly favored thx to my amazing fans.”
Before the posts were deleted, Nicki captioned that she was posting “on new developments within the music industry.” There’s plenty of historical context and data to disprove the theory of white artists gaining increased popularity in predominately black spaces isn’t a new development, but that’s somewhat of a moot point now because Nicki’s posts have been deleted.
Much like Nicki’s infamous “What’s good, Miley?” moment and the multiple subs thrown at Iggy Azalea, this might lead to some substantive dialogue beyond an Instagram caption.