Yesha Callahan

Nicki Minaj Talks Maya Angelou Poem, Hillary Clinton & Prison vs Slavery



Nicki Minaj recently raised a few eyebrows when she recited Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise” at the Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America. Many critics felt that she wasn’t dressed appropriately to recite such a poem. But in a recent interview with Billboard, Minaj discussed the poem and why she choose it, as well as current today politics.

“It was the most spot-on poem that Nicki Minaj could have ever read. And it’s funny; it ended up proving a point. Because I remember going online after and lots of people said such beautiful things. But there was one lady, an older black woman, who said, “She shouldn’t be reading that poem.” And she discussed how I dressed. I love that she said that, because she doesn’t even realize the poem is discussing sexiness, owning your sex appeal. “Does my sexiness upset you?/Does it come as a surprise/That I dance like I’ve got diamonds/At the meeting of my thighs?” And this woman, she was discussing her PhDs, all this education she had — but she couldn’t put two and two together about the theme of the poem. My entire career has been that poem in a nutshell,” Minaj stated.

And the interesting thing, is that she couldn’t be any more correct.

Minaj also gave her opinion about those in the running for president, specifically Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Billboard interview made mention that the Minaj interview was done way before Trump’s comments about Muslims, I suppose to not get people jumping down Minaj’s throat.

“I support Hillary Clinton as woman,” she said. “Am I convinced that she should be the next president? I still want to be open-minded about everyone.”

“Obviously, I identify with her struggles as a woman. I identify with the fact that when she’s in that room and there are nothing but men there — there’s sometimes something in her that must feel intimidated. But I think that she uses that and turns it into a strength,” she added. “Because that’s what I’ve always done. And so I love her for sticking it out. She has gone through horrifying things, even within her marriage. She has been brave and weathered the storm. And continued being a boss. That’s something that every woman should feel inspired by, no matter if you’re voting for her or not.”

When asked about Donald Trump, however, the blunt singer couldn’t keep herself from laughing.

“There are points he has made that may not have been so horrible if his approach wasn’t so childish,” she said. “But in terms of entertainment — I think he’s hilarious. I wish they could just film him running for president. That’s the ultimate reality show.”

Minaj also opened up about how she felt when she saw the president visiting Federal prisons during a recent airing of a Vice documentary.

“I thought it was so important when he went to prisons and spoke to people who got 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years for drugs. There are women who are raped, people who are killed and [offenders] don’t even serve 20 years. I was blown away, watching the footage of him speaking to the prisoners. They never felt like anyone in the White House cared about them. I loved that he made them people again. Because we all make mistakes. I think about how many men may have made a mistake to feed their families and then had to pay for it forever,” Minaj stated.

And she also compared the present prison situation to slavery.

“What it has become is not a war on drugs. It has become slavery. Or something crazier. When I see how many people are in jail, I feel like, “Wait a minute. Our government is aware of these statistics and thinks it’s OK?” The sentences are inhumane. I love the president for trying to be a voice for people who no other person has ever tried to be a voice for,” she continued.

And for those who care, no, she’s not engaged to Meek Mill.

  1. December 11, 2015 - Reply

    Still not a fan, but Nicki seems to be growing up. Let’s see how she continues to develop over the coming years.

  2. December 11, 2015 - Reply

    The poem is about representing sexiness without having to necessarily be it.

    Nicki Minaj did not embody the poem. Yes, a couple of line represented her but not the entire poem.

    But lets talk about how she read the poem though. HAHA! Now, that was a disgrace. No emotions or anything added to the poem. She just read the poem.

  3. December 11, 2015 - Reply

    I have no problem with many of Nicki Minaj’s views. She is the first person who would say that she made mistakes, but she is right that Maya Angelou was always a free spirit. Many people don’t know that Maya Angelou was a performer, a singer, and a dancer decades ago. Whether people agree with her views or not, Nicki Minaj certainly has more insights on various issues than many other people in the industry. I believe that Nicki was being too nice on Trump. Trump is a total fascist. We all wish the best for Nicki Minaj and we want her to continue to grow as a human being. The prison industrial complex is very brutal. Also, it is important to note that both major parties are complicit in the expansion of the prison system and the War on Drugs. As for her reading the poem from Maya Angelou, she is a grown woman. It’s not that deep.

  4. December 12, 2015 - Reply

    Shes aware, I will give her that. She needs to do more for the community and i takes more than a power to get black people who are woke globally want you for the ride. How about you go to a protest or create an event that helps the victims families of police brutality. There.There is so much more that she could do but she is still on the other side and it will take her awhile to crossover as she does not want to start loosing that white money. Shes at the starting point just got to make the journey.

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