What’s the problem with “Anaconda”?

A lot of people don’t like Nicki Minaj. Specifically, a lot of white people who don’t listen to rap don’t like Nicki Minaj. I know because I used to be one of those people. To the casual observer, Minaj looks like a bizarre half-robot, half-Barbie doll that gained sentience and signed with a major record label. For a long time, I didn’t even know Nicki Minaj was a woman, let alone a prolific female rapper. Her outlandish and hyper-sexual appearance has made her a target for ridicule.

Even those who don’t listen to her music came out of the woodwork to spew hate for her recent single “Anaconda”. People laughed, and an uncomfortable amount of women decided to shame the music video for being sexually objectifying garbage.

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But before I go on, dear readers, I’d like to take a moment of your time to talk to you about twerking. And if by some miracle you don’t know what twerking is, this video from Atlanta dance crew Twerk Team should clue you in.

Outside of hip-hop dance circles, twerking is often considered pretty vulgar. It’s something associated with classless women “acting like whores” on the dance floors of sleazy nightclubs. Which is odd, considering it’s so fucking hard to do*. The amount of muscle control and isolation needed to twerk effectively is kind of astounding. You have to admit the skill is impressive, even if you don’t find it appealing or entertaining to watch.

[*Don’t ask how I know that.]

Which brings us back to “Anaconda”, and a question it inevitably raised: can a woman sexually objectify herself? Why is it so gross and shameful for Nicki Minaj to write a song about the unprecedented awesomeness of her ass? Considering that so much of rap contains power fantasies aimed at young black men who live in poverty and oppression, “Anaconda” actually fits that mold quite nicely. The only difference is that this is a power fantasy aimed at women.

What's the problem with "Anaconda"?

“Anaconda” is a song about a completely sexually liberated woman who gives zero fucks what anyone thinks about that. She boasts about how men flock to her, and how her sexual prowess is unmatched. And I think this is where a lot of people get confused. In a media culture saturated in content that objectifies women, many have come to consider women’s sexuality as negative and degrading.

Although “Anaconda” may blur that line for some, there is a definite difference. Minaj is completely in charge of the sexual tone of the song. For it to be objectification, she would have to be a helpless set decoration. In general, a good way to determine whether someone is being sexually objectified is the Sexy Lamp Test, and it goes thusly:

Can the person in question be replaced by a lamp and have the video/song/content lose nothing in translation? If the answer is yes, congrats: they’re a sex object.

What's the problem with "Anaconda"?

It’s understandable to confuse the two when it’s so rare to see a woman portrayed as a sexually charged bad-ass in her own right. Where sex is something she does to men, and not for them. But, understandable or not, the confusion continues to cause a lot of problems for female celebrities. So can we please stop all the hate for Nicki Minaj? I mean, at least until she does something legitimately messed up. If she starts eating kittens, then she’s fair game.

[This article is dedicated to Betty Butt, a talented dancer and founding member of Twerk Team who was recently shot and killed at her apartment complex. The completely not-veiled racism that’s manifested itself since her death has shone a light on the way our culture views women and people of color in our media. It’s disgusting, shameful, and completely unacceptable. This one is for you, Betty.]

What's the problem with "Anaconda"?

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  • I don’t mind the sexual power fantasy, but how about a song that isn’t awful?

    The lyrics are about her having sex with drug dealers for money, shouldn’t a power fantasy be about her being powerful rather than her using sex to extract wealth from criminals? Which is almost the definition of whorish.

    Half the song is just repeating a mix of “Oh my god, Becky. Look at her butt.” How is that good?

    It is not the sex that is the issue, it is that it is just bad music.

    • Murry Chang

      Yeah but it’s empowering whorishness, not the standard paternal whorishness forced upon women by the patriarchy.

    • Cristiona

      y u h8 wimmen ;_;

  • Faulkner

    As painful as it is for me to do this, I must concur with you. The song is complete garbage, but it is a female power fantasy. It is sad, though honestly not surprising, female power fantasies seem to be centered only around material wealth. If Western women weren’t the most priviledged group of people to have ever existed in the history of mankind, I’d feel sorry for you.

    • Magdalen

      Please continue to send me comments. I read them aloud to my friends in funny voices, this is very important for my social life.

      • Jonathan Campbell

        I remain quite thoroughly convinced that he is just your dupe account and this is all just a cynical ploy to drive up the comment numbers on your articles.

        And frankly I won’t stand for it.

        • Magdalen

          Oh, if that were only the truth. That would be amazing.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “Amazing” probably isn’t the word I would have used….

            I’m keeping a close eye on you, Ms. Magdalen…..whatever your surname is (O’Reilly?).

          • Magdalen

            Hey you know what’s stupid? The cultural tradition of women being expected to take their husband’s last names when they marry. Because when you drop said husband 3 years later it’s insanely hard to change it once you’ve using it all over the internet. My last name is Rose.

          • Jay_Bay

            So it’s not O’Shaunessey?

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Okay then.

            I’m keeping a close eye on you, Magdalen Rose.

          • Agreed, though I have to be really careful about saying that out loud. Turns out some feminists (that I know personally, so, you know take that with a grain of salt) who chose to take their husband’s last name take it as a personal attack when I bring that up around them. Who knew that “outdated tradition” was up there with the C word in terms of offense for some people. O_O

          • E.Buzz Miller

            I mean I think it’s a judgement call. I know plenty of not exactly ‘traditional family values’ women who did take their husbands name (either in full or hyphenated), but yeah expecting to do it? For the birds.

          • Danielle Osgan

            Reminds me of this nice old lady who came into work the other day. She recently went through the process of changing her name back on all her cards because after being widowed 3 times she didn’t know what to call herself anymore.

          • SithSmurf

            After her being widowed three times, I know at least one last name I *wouldn’t* be adding…

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Oh, I would find that downright hilarious. And it would leave me with a sigh of relief, that it would be Magdalen, who would be posing as a stupid MRA-Troll. the fact, that those guys are really OUT there, is something that is making me shaking my head.

            I Mean – here we are, in 2014, soon 2015, and still men are thinking, that women should go and make us sandwiches and stupid crap like that.

      • Faulkner

        You keep replying to them, so I must assume they are important to you somehow.

    • E.Buzz Miller

      Is it really healthy that Niki equates empowerment with blowing drug dealers for…well blow though?

    • Danielle Osgan

      Because male power fantasies are so noble and pure?

  • Okay, but can we shame her for basically just making up her own stupid lyrics to “Baby Got Back”? This is the kind of shit a grade schooler could make on their laptop in about ten minutes.

  • Moppet

    There certainly is a thin line between being sexually empowered and being sexually objectified. It’s no real wonder the video has so many people on both sides of the fence all disgruntled. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the video or the song. That’s just me, and I’m not interested in shaming her, or anyone that does or does not like it. It’s just my personal taste, a song not to my taste.

    As for Nicki herself? I’m not a big rap fan, but it’s never bothered me. The Rap Critic and Todd in the Shadows have both weighed in, from their own perspectives. They, and I’ve seen other people do this as well, tend to view Nicki as a person that has a lot of talent and potential, that often doesn’t use it, preferring the low and easy road to fame and money. I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that, but to some of her critics it’s what makes them look at Anaconda and see her just exploiting the female body again for easy money.

    Is that true? Is it not true? I don’t really know, I don’t know Nicki, I don’t know why she does the things she does or who has say on her work in the background.

    I do know that it whatever the truth is, and while the video and music are not to my taste, that it doesn’t bother than me in the least that this exists. Things exist that aren’t my thing all the time, getting all grumpy about seems sort of pointless. Live and let live. I figure people can sing or rap about, and wear, what they like, and I’ll wear what I like. I’m sure that the world won’t end just because people do things I don’t do, or that I do things other people don’t.

  • Tobias

    So my wife comes up behind me while I’m almost reading about the Sexy Lamp Test and have the second picture at the top of the screen.

    Wife: “And this is…” (said in the “this should be an interesting explanation” voice.)

    Me: *smack the home button to jump to the top of the page* “It’s Nycea! She wrote a new article. It’s a Nycea article!”

    Wife: “Awesome!” *Sits down to read the article with me*

    Glad to see another article, Nycea. Really good points and it kicked of a discussion between us. Can’t wait for more.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I’m pretty sure most people hate “Anaconda” because it sucks, and represents a complete betrayal of all the goodwill Minaj gathered from her raw talent. This, combined with her being exposed as a liar who claimed to be bisexual to exploit her female fans AND the fact that she hasn’t laid down a decent verse in years is why people don’t like her.

    This has been Hip Hop History with Mendo. ^_^

  • David f White

    America is more reactionary now than it was 10 yeas ago!! It’s still sliding down hill faster each year!!!

  • Jay_Bay

    Did you…..did you try to twerk, Nycea?

    • maarvarq

      Did it work? … I’ll let myself out …

  • JD

    Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.

  • seasnake

    It’s not empowerment it’s pandering. And pandering is equal opportunity bad. There’s no message of female power, there’s just sex selling like it always does. Lady knows if she shows off her body people will watch.
    That’s what’s wrong with it. If she had the same exact lyrics but sang sitting at a microphone in a three piece suit she misses out on clicks. So sorry, no deeper meaning, just a hot girl hoping being hot and sexy will bring her money and fame. Men do it all the time too.
    Does this site do funny things anymore or is it all college kids and baristas wanting to sound deep and progressive? What happened to bad movie recaps or funny shows like Manly Musicals or Saturday Morning Glory? It’s starting to sound like the movie Crash in every article here, everything’s an article decrying racism and sexism. Both are bad, but come on let’s laugh again.
    Also all your posters are white with the possible exception of Tedesco, who’s show I tried to watch once and my brain thankfully has since deleted. He could be a transgender Chinese albino for all I remember. Please remember that on the next rant involving underrepresented minorities.

    • tcorp

      Could I interest you in funding my kickstarter for my book “Hip Hop and the Representation of Transgender Chinese Albinos”?

    • Magdalen

      I’m not even sure you know what your point is.

      • seasnake

        Actually I’m sure you do and I get why you wouldn’t want to respond. I challenged both the conclusion you came to as well as pointing out the site’s growing lack of relevance and entertainment value. I can see why you’d be easily confused based on the original post’s attempt at critical thinking, so let’s try one more time.
        At the end of the day she’s, as so many others have pointed out, pandering to men’s desires for porn and sex for money. This isn’t empowerment. If she was ugly or unwilling to strip down she wouldn’t have the same fame or wealth. She’s relevant so long as she gives men what they want, eye candy. Your own web site has a decent article on the Bechtel test that talks about Sucker Punch and how it’s the same: pandering to man’s sexual fantasies while presenting a narrative of “female empowerment.” Women are empowered … to give men what they want? Go girl power!
        As for the rest I stand by it. This web site used to be funny. It’s not anymore. And it’s a shame, it was a written version of mst3k.

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Oh, but you can FIND funny articles and contributions on this website. Nycea herself did a great run on the sailor-moon-live-action-show, we have Mr. Mendo, who is doing the more humour-based reviews, Solkir is doing his/her best, to be funny, Sofie, the Film Renegado, all those poeple are doing hilarious reviews.

          Heck the contributors of TGWTG don’t all do the same thing – you have your funny ones (NC, Linkara, SFDebris, Cinema Snob, etc.) and you have the more analytical (The Chick, Leon Thomas, SFDebris, etc.)

          • MichaelANovelli

            Aw, thanks! ^_^

          • danbreunig

            “I see awesome people with every view,
            deep thinking critics who are funny too,
            and I say to myself what a Booth-derful world.”

          • trlkly

            Actually, no I can’t, because the navigation sucks. There is no place that is just the articles, and nothing organized by series reviewed. You have sort by series, but that lists every episode and has nothing sorted by letter and only shows a few per page.

            This is a solved problem. Go look at how other websites that have both video and text content handle things.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Actually, I wouldn’t say that the navigation is sucky – just go to the search-bar, enter the stuff you want to look at – done.
            the other option is to look for stuff of a certain reviewer, e.g. Sofie, Solkir, Renegado, Mendo etc.

        • Magdalen

          I don’t know what to tell you, bro. You fundementally don’t understand the concepts you’re trying to argue.

        • Justin

          I don’t care about the girl-power part enough to comment on it one way or the other, but I can’t agree enough that this site’s kind of a mess nowadays. Adding video recaps has more or less stripped the soul from the Agony Booth and turned it into something else entirely. This wouldn’t have to have been the case if a tighter lid was kept on the kind of content that gets published–some can keep to the original spirit of the site in a video recap (Cecil is fantastic, FearFan also, Ryan from Saturday Morning Glory and Stan from Manly Musicals in their heydays).

          Then there are others, who end up mugging for the camera more than they should be, doing bits that have little or nothing to do with what’s being recapped, cut away with the regularity of a Family Guy episode, and make the recap more about basking in their internet character instead of the subject matter. There are some people who can do this fairly well, and others who are just downright abysmal. And it seems like the worse you are, the more content you seem to put out.

          Hell, the site even ‘hilariously’ mocks text recaps now. Or did at one point, for a while. EVERYTHING YOU LIKE ABOUT THE RECAPS ONLY WITHOUT ALL THAT STUPID READING or some such. I call bull on that one.

          I had an idea for a while to try and submit a text recap for the site, only to write it in the same style as a video one (cut to clip from Futurama, mug at camera that isn’t there, have argument with alternate persona-character that goes on for 1/5 of the recap, etc). I was sure it’d never get published and if it somehow did it’d be panned. Which was mostly the point, but I could never bother writing something up just for that. And it ended up not mattering, since apparently new submissions are being denied now anyway, which is strange since this site needs some fresh new talent badly.

          Anyway, long rant that has nothing to do with the topic over. Just something that I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a while as a reader of this site since before video recaps were even introduced.

  • Alexa

    While this a really bad and annoying song, its not nearly as bad as Jennifer Lopez’s song Booty, which was the most painfully cringing song I have ever heard, done by someone who is REALLY desperate to stay relevant. Anaconda is bad, and personally I feel like Minaj was kind of being exploited since it was mostly men who was in charge of creating the song and video ( she seem to have very little creative input beyond just being okay to be in the video). But with all of that I’d watch Anaconda over Booty every single time. That song is that terrible. But in general I have no problem with women being sexy, but there is this undeniable pressure for many female performers to sex it up. How they go about this is their business, but at the same time they seemed to be forced to be obnoxious as seen here as well as with Miley Cyrus, who I will admit I am fine with her being sexual, I just wish she wasn’t so in your face about it :/

  • Guest

    Over all I don’t think that “Anaconda” is a good song, but can appreciate what she is trying to say in the song. The thing is is that, I think that Nicki Minaj could have written a female power fantasy.

    • Magdalen

      She has written a lot of songs that have powerful messages for women. They don’t get as much coverage as Anaconda.

  • Muthsarah

    It still feels like this song – and its video – is pushed more to re-enforce stereotypes of women as ideal sex objects for far-more-socially-dominant men (Nikki out-and-out drops drug dealers as her perferred beaus-de-jour). Combine that with the constant images of Nikki in sexually-submissive poses – when men appear shirtless and ripped and sexy or whatever, in their own videos they tend to be surrounded by women in similar postures, often dancing or dressing identically, to re-enforce their perceived identities as disposable sexual objects, whereas Nikki is bent-over, wearing practically nothing, posing like she’s meant to be seen by the camera, not to see others, and when joined by others, is joined by equally-naked women. She is still the sexual object, not the men she’s (occasionally) talking about. Her whole video is filled with images of women, bent-over, skantily-dressed, clearly showing off for the camera. That is still objectification. It’s just a dishonest objectification that claims it isn’t what is so obviously is. The most fundamental relationship of the video (of any video) is still the one between the images on screen (courtesy Nikki et al) and the audience (people staring at women twerking, shaking, jiggling, whatever). That is, thus, still fundamentally a relationship about staring at women in highly-sexualized poses, doing stuff for the benefit of the viewers, male or female. Women as objectification.

    I’m not going to comment on the musical merits of this song. I don’t like rap. I don’t like pop. I don’t like the rap/pop fusion that seemingly makes up the majority of female pop artists these days. But I HAVE read the lyrics, clinically, for what they are. They do UNAMBIGUOUSLY lionize the drug dealing male as a sex partner, while STILL drawing very limited (as in exclusive) contraints for feminine beauty “slim waist, big butt”, basically, with a chorus/refrain repeating the imperative to stare at a woman and judge her accordingly. The men are attractive because they are dangerous and rich, active participants in a risky arena of society, and apparently successful at it, and the women are attractive because….they have a pleasing physique and they perform sex well. Seriously? How does this not send up red flags?

    Granted, there is a certain amount of confidence in this song, and not just in the lyrics, but it’s a confidence born of attacking other women for their body shapes, and of claiming – very simply, very obviously – that Nikki and/or women of her body type are the most sexually-desirable women, that they know how to please their men, even to put them to sleep post-coitus, and to extract financial/material favors for their rendered services. Brand-name favors, too (because we’re name-dropping elements of a luxurious lifestyle far above the means of many/most people out there – great way to identify with your audience, Nikki). All the more specifically-commercial. Dunno how much to make of that bit, but it ain’t exactly endearing me any more to this particular song.

    Seriously, that still sounds, ENTIRELY, like she’s grading women on their body types and/or their sexual prowess, while boasting about her ability to extract payment from men for her sexual prowess. That….does ring terribly strongly of her acting as a prostitute. Which…well….assuming there’s no coercion involved (though there almost always is SERIOUS coercion involved with prostitution), still makes one wonder why she’s defining herself this way, as an inherently (EDIT: I meant to say “entirely”) sexual being, to be lauded for her sexual attractiveness/aptitude, based entirely around her success of attracting men to her. And that’s without even touching her apparent desire for drug dealers, including coke dealers. Are we supposed to think MORE of a woman who is primarily attracted to dealers of seriously unhealthy, illegal drugs? I certainly don’t.

    Women being sexually-assertive….great. But why should we celebrate Nikki for doing this? While glorifying drug-dealing? While glorifying a relationship based on “I give a man great sex, and he gives me a cut of his illegal drug money”? While glorifying attacking other women as being lesser sexual objects, based on their body shapes? And all while shaking their (and many other women’s) asses to the camera? That doesn’t ring much like female empowerment. It seems more like the same old objectification, but with a highly-dishonest claim to the contrary, based on nothing more than a hollow claim rendered moot by the very visuals that make up the main selling-point of the song/video.

    In theory, I do think I understand your point, Nycea. But in this specific instance, I think the argument you’re making is as hollow as they come. Nikki Minaj is selling her body here for money and popularity, while singing/rapping about the glories of selling ones body (for sexual purposes) for money, all the while putting down other women for their supposed sexual inadequacies in being sexually-pleasing to drug-dealing men. All while pretending there’s nothing at all potentially disturbing about that.

  • $36060516

    The reason I hate it is because she paid for the rights to use a time-worn Sir Mix-a-Lot track and added very little to it other than some shallow lyrics. If you watch the video, there are long stretches where she is doing nothing musical, just posing or dancing as the original Sir Mix-a-Lot track plays in a slightly remixed form. Maybe if the Sir Mix-a-Lot track was a little more obscure she would at least be bringing the world’s attention to a forgotten classic, but “Baby Got Back” has been used very frequently in the past, both in cover versions and in scenes in movies and commercials.

    • E.Buzz Miller

      Yes, me too. I have no issues with the sexualization and the body-image stuff, but the song is literally 75% sample.

  • SithSmurf

    I think there’s a bit of confusion between why some people support it and some people hate it. I mean, besides the quality of the song itself.

    In-universe / watsonian, this is a woman celebrating her sexual power. Arguably feminist. Though if you reversed the genders, I wonder from which side a hue and cry would arise. That’s not me being cute — I really don’t know.

    Out of universe / doyleist, this is arguably a woman’s attractiveness being exploited for sales, which is arguably anti-feminist. And here if the genders were reversed I’m pretty sure there’d be neither hue nor cry. Apparently Chris Hemsworth is People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. I don’t expect marches to result.

  • Fantasy Mission Force

    I guess in the Nicki Minaj video, Drake would be the lamp.

  • Magdalen

    Okay, I’m going to clear up some things I’ve read in several comments here:

    1.) You hate the song, not how Nicki Minaj is acting in the video.

    It’s totally okay not to like Anaconda as a song. It’s one of those songs I enjoy despite fully understanding that’s in not really that great on a technical level. But saying that you’re somehow above the controversy regarding the video is akin to saying, “I don’t even see race/gender!”. Yes, you do. If you were raised in America, you were indoctrinated into a culture that’s still has racist and sexist elements. You lived it- it’s part of you. And pretending it’s not only reinforces the way things are.

    2.) You hate how she’s being exploited by her record label.

    Ninji Minaj is a prolific figure in the rap industry, she’s not just some teen star whose gotten wrapped up in the rat race of the evil music industry. She’s her own brand, allowing her to do exactly what she wants with her image. In interviews she’s been explicit about how people tried to keep her from being so wild and out there, but she ignored them and became hugely successful. We’re talking about a grown ass woman here, she’s not a helpless starlet at the mercy of her label. Painting her that way only proves how uncomfortable you are with women’s sexuality.

    In conclusion, don’t try to rationalize your reaction to Anaconda to me. Take a serious look at how you reacted and challenge yourself to question why you reacted that way.

    • LionBrainLessonsofLyfe

      If I took a serious look at how I react to things, I’d finally get consumed by my self-loathing and jump off a bridge.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      “But saying that you’re somehow above the controversy regarding the video”

      Okay, I’ve looked through the comments, and I don’t think that anybody ever said that. Nobody has said that they are “above the controversy”.

      “Ninji Minaj is a prolific figure in the rap industry, she’s not just some teen star whose gotten wrapped up in the rat race of the evil music industry. She’s her own brand, allowing her to do exactly what she wants with her image”

      You could say that about the women in the Blurred Lines video as well. AND about pretty much every other star with influence in her situation, along with any woman in the business who is happy to be in these sorts of videos, regardless of their role, simply because they do not feel like they are being exploited, even if other people think that they are.

      They are free to do exactly what they want with themselves and their image as well, and for all you know they were perfectly happy and enjoyed being in that video. But you consider that video to be objectification and Anaconda not to be based merely on the fact that the “object” in question is the star.

      Your argument is that its okay for a woman to want to make these videos so long as she is powerful enough to say “no”, but that means accepting that woman would want to be in these videos in the first place- and therefore, they don’t need to be powerful or not to play a supporting role to a man for it to be okay either.

      Exploitation isn’t an either / or thing. The record company IS exploiting her image for profit because that is what they do; that is their business. And Minaj is exploiting them right back because that is HER business. And the end result is not much different from Blurred Lines in objectifying women- because its the audience that does the objectifying more than the people who make the videos. Its far more an issue of perception (albeit also of fostering and feeding off of that perception) than it is of how or why videos are created.

    • Alexa

      I totally get what you’re saying, and again I don’t find the video offensive just kind of dumb and unoriginal (but again not nearly as bad as Jennifer Lopez’s Booty video which is just a trainwreck of the highest degree). But still I am annoyed about how many women in all kinds of media have this pressure put onto to them in regards to their image. And while Minaj seems to be fine with her wild and sexual image (which is totally okay since it seems to be on her terms for the most part) not all female performers are, nor should they be pressured into being such. Its really hard to conclude whether some women in many forms of media are just naturally sexy or put a lot of emphasis on their looks and body, because its their choice or they feel like they have to be that way because pressure was put on them by social expectations that is reinforced in commercials, movies, and generally attitudes. Really there is no denying that women in media are way more scrutinized than men for their looks, making it seem like their only value comes in how they look and not much else, and that’s what really annoys me. In the end its okay to be sexual or not sexual at all, nothing is wrong with that at all, but as long as its on said person’s terms regardless of gender. Basically they do it for themselves and not some stupid ingrained social expectation…

    • Muthsarah

      Regarding your recent tweet about this article, I hope you don’t get too discouraged about all this. It seemed clear that you knew you were taking an unpopular opinion and stepping into an argument with a lot of people who all have their own individual issues with this song/video. And that’s exactly what you got. No reason not to still own your opinion, or to interpret that there’s no use in opening yourself up by taking these kinds of stands here. My feelings on this video are quite different from yours, but I don’t think any less of you for that.

      • somerandomcommenter

        I thought everyone was having a pretty good discussion. Most of it’s civil, at any rate.

    • tcorp

      “But saying that you’re somehow above the controversy regarding the video is akin to saying, ‘I don’t even see race/gender!’ Yes, you do. If you were raised in America, you were indoctrinated into a culture that’s still has racist and sexist elements. You lived it–it’s part of you. And pretending it’s not only reinforces the way things are.”

      While I get where you’re coming from, I still disagree with this assessment. I think you aren’t giving people enough credit to be able to distinguish between two conceptually different arguments. That is, whether people explicitly state that they understand it or not, they are still capable of distinguishing between the song as a song and the song and music video as a message. A person can react to the former and not react to the latter. I don’t know if that qualifies as “above the controversy” but it certainly borders on a lack of participation therein. Racism and sexism of the collective as a general matter does not equal racism and sexism of an individual in a specific circumstance.

  • somerandomcommenter

    Is it possible to have no opinion on Nikki Minaj? Like, can I be a Minaj-agnostic? Because that’s sort of the reaction she garners from me. Just…meh.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Objectively, having no opinion is perfectly legitimate. Philosophically, however, not having an opinion *is* an opinion…

      • Jonathan Campbell

        “Philosophically, however, not having an opinion *is* an opinion…”

        What if you don’t have an opinion on a topic because you haven’t come across it yet? Or what if you have, but have forgotten the topic and thus any opinion you had on it?

        Or what if you don’t have an opinion on a topic because you haven’t made your mind up yet?

        • MichaelANovelli

          To take no action is an action. Or, as Bruce Lee used to put it, “No way is way.”

          • “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

          • Jonathan Campbell

            The crux of the matter though, is that not having an opinion does not mean you have made a choice at all.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            An opinion is not an action.

            Also, screw you Bruce, I disagree (on a semantic level)!

    • YES cos every generation has their own version of the freaky-ass artists, I mean mainstream society once made out that Elvis ‘The Pelvis’ was corrupting the youth with his hips, it looks to me that Nikki Minaj is just a modern version of that sort of thing.

    • JD

      yes ignore pop music and your life will be better

    • It’s almost like there are two Nicki Minaj’s out there; the rapper and the person. The person (who you can find in interviews, on social media, etc.) seems like a totally awesome person who would be fun to hang around and has some great progressive views. I like the Person Nicki a lot.

      And then there’s the Rapper Nicki. Oy. Just, oy.

      Still want to meet her, but can’t stand her music. Life is funny like that.

  • Sardu

    I don’t care about this, and you aren’t going to make me.

  • Bouncy X

    its a bad song for sure but there’s many bad songs out there so its no big deal. my issue is that its just a terrible cover of an already terrible song. i mean sure she has a few little sections to herself but its mostly just repeating a section of “Baby Got Back” over and over and over and over and over and over…..and over some more. i’m sure Sir Mix A Lot is laughing all the way to the bank so its working out great for him!! but yeah its barely an original song…i get that rap/hip hop samples a lot but like i said, this song is just 90% that same little section being repeated ad nauseum. but hey if its working out for her as well…..all the best to her if she’s getting a hit out of it and making good money.

    and she does have an ungodly big butt, even big for a black woman….so why not. some women make money off their boobs….why not an ass.

    • That is not a cover. It is a remixed sample.
      A cover is when you sing most to all of the lyrics but set to a new key or time scheme so as to give it an original interpretation. Like Marilyn Manson singing “Sweet Dreams are Made of These…”

      A Sample is when you take a chunk of a song, or the beat and play it as a hook or background to a new song. For instance Ray Charles’ being sampled in the song “Georgia Bush” by Lil’ Wayne. Or Eminem sampling “Dream on” for his song “Sing for the Moment”. Will Smith has a sampled beat in a lot of his singles.

      A remix is when you take a chunk of music and mix it with other music, basically the entire techno genre is based on this, mixing songs, beats, sound effects, and vocal performances to create something else.

      Anaconda has an excessive and lazy remixed sample.

  • Jimbo

    Jesus Fucking Christ. Why is this stupid site wasting all its time bitching about a SONG? I thought this was about MOVIE Reviews, which made me think the topic was about that old MOVIE with Jennifer Lopez, and not some song by some chick I never heard of. Instead I see numerous comments focusing on worthless bullshit like VIDEOGAMES. Get your Goddamn heads out of your smarmy poser asses, people.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      “I thought this was about MOVIE Reviews”

      Well, you were wrong.

      • Jimbo

        No. This SITE is all Wrong. Pissing and moaning about worthless bullshit that no-one with any Real Lives would honestly give a fuck about. Five years ago, this site might have been mildly amusing, but now it’s all a waste of motherfucking space full of a bunch of fucking crybabies who deserve each other. And blah blah blah. Now go piss off with your hipper-than-thou garbage. I’m done with ya.

        • Newsflash: A website you don’t own and/or run is under no obligation to cater your whims 100% of the time.

          I promise you, with your smug attitude and childish temper tantrums when you said “done with ya” you did not break any hearts. You shall not be missed.

          • Jimbo

            Yeah, fuck you too.

          • And thus my point is proven.

          • fearfanforever

            I thought you were done here?
            I’m confused.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            He might have just meant he was done with me.

          • Magdalen

            This is a classic type of comment. It’s the traditional “Someone farted in my latte at Starbucks and I’m filled with impotent rage” type.

          • jjramsey

            I’d say it’s more like being filled with impotent rage at Starbucks adjusting its coffee selection and adding new drinks and pastries.

          • Jay_Bay

            Wait…..who farts in lattes? Does it enhance the flavor or something?

        • Jonathan Campbell

          If this site has never risen above “mildly amusing” in your eyes, I really wonder why you are here.

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Well, Jim, see ya on the net, and it was nice, that you visited this place. Schreib ne Karte.

    • jjramsey

      I think your comment can be summed up thusly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9gN2hdybFY

    • Magdalen

      I really love that the name is “Jimbo”.

      • JD

        feeding the trolls just gives them validation.
        I will never understand why people even respond to a hate filled comment on a message board. it seems to me responding to their comments is what they want and your just making them happy when you do so. if no one had responded to the original posters comment that would have been the end of it. Yet we get a 1/2 dozen more idiotic/cursing comments from someone who contributed 0 to the discussion.

        • Jonathan Campbell

          Different types of trolls, each warranting different kinds of response.

          Not all trolls need validation, and not all get it from being responded to. There are plenty of trolls you should just ignore, but there are plenty more who think silence means they aren’t speaking loud enough, or who think that if nobody says anything bad about their posts then its okay to say it again in future.

          Also, technically the term “troll” refers to people who are baiting for a response; its hard to distinguish that from other types who are just here to rant about something and don’t care what people think.

          That said, “don’t feed the trolls” is a useful guideline most of the time.

    • It kind of sucks that there are no other posts on this site that you can look at if you want to hear about movies, right? They deleted all of the movie posts and replaced them with this one. Terrible.

  • Jay_Bay

    My 2 cents

    This song is just out there to be out there. Obvious its manufactured. Its no different than any Weird Al parody. Except, you know, we like Weird Al.

    Also, I think Minaj is just a bitch. A bitch that knows how to use her assets to make money, but still a bitch.

    Also Also, DAT ASS THO!

    • Gendered insults? Really? If you were tying to make a point you lost it.

      • Jay_Bay

        Touche Brian. I explain fully. My opinion of Minaj is brash, stuck up, conceited-not overly malicious but is full of themselves. Overall, just a perdon i dont wanna hang with. That what I call a bitch, and that foes to any gender. Hence, stuck up bitch.

        That doesnt mean she shouldn’t think highly of herself. Regardless of how she did it, Minaj is at the top of the female rap game. That deserve some ego., I guess.

        Or the TL:DR version, I’m a dick (hey, full circle)

  • chachi

    The writer of this piece also probably call street whores ‘sex workers’. Please, continue to legitimize the race to the cultural bottom.

    • Please continue to act like people who do sex work aren’t human beings.

      Oh wait, don’t do that. That’s super douchey.

      • chachi

        Keep acting like they’re not walking disease bags. And drug dealers and pimps just provide a service…keep pretending.

        • Keep pretending what? That you aren’t yet another in a long line of assholes who use dehumanizing language? People like you are why a lot of serial killers like to target sex workers first. And why the police feel entitled to abuse them. After all, it’s not like they’re people right? You see it all the time from the Far Right. People they don’t like are never referred to as human beings at all. They’re all “disease bags,” “mongrels,” “rats,” ad nauseum. Look at any genocidal regime throughout history. Their propaganda and your posts don’t have a lot of daylight between them.

        • Jack Slater

          Go to bed grandpa, you’re drunk.

        • $36060516

          no wonder joanie doesn’t love you any more

  • trlkly

    It’s a patriarchal bargain. The “power” she is getting in this is by giving into male objectification. It is possible to do this sort of thing where the woman is celebrating her sexuality. But, when that happens, you don’t need to know who was responsible for the video to figure that out. If it looks like male objectification, it doesn’t matter if a woman actually made it.

    Not that I’m sure Minaj was behind this. Her lyrics in general are much better than this, more insightful, more provocative. This smacks of a lack of effort, perhaps because it’s something she felt she had to do, and not something she really supported.

    Which is all the more reason for calling it a bargain. If you are really sexually liberated, you do it for you, not as a trade for power.

  • Minaj didn’t write this song. It was written and produced by men and she just has a co-writing credit. So yes this song is exploitative of women, and Minaj is complicit by performing it.

  • Florin

    I don’t like ‘Anaconda’ because its basically “Baby got back” for the current generation.But a lot less fun.Like it or not Sir Mix-a-Lot still sang the ultimate ‘but song’ to this day.He pretty much said everything you would expect to hear in a song about butts.All the other songs are just pale imitations.And that’s the problem with Anaconda listening to it i said to myself i liked it better back in ’92 when this stuff still had a certain freshness,now its just a rap artist capitalising on another artist and not trying something trully interesting.