So I just read an article by Noelle Blood about Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”. It’s no secret that white women are butt hurt AS FUCK about her saying “fuck skinny bitches” at the end of the song. I even got into a heated discussion on Facebook some time ago with some of my brown girls (shouts to Year of the Brown Girl for the squad love) with this fat white girl who was really pissed about “skinny shaming” from Nicki. The sad part was I wasn’t even trying to negate the fact that it wasn’t a form of body policing. I was more so pissed about the fact that this person, a fat person, was really going in about skinny shaming as if that actually exists.
But before I get into my earlier Facebook exchange and the article specific to this particular rant, let’s talk about “Anaconda” in a simple stupid way and put this shit to bed cuz I for one am fucking tired:
Anaconda is not about fat versus skinny. – No matter how much white feminists focus on the end part “Fuck the skinny bitches in the club” we need to realize one thing: white women and black women have VERY different standards, ideas and perceptions of the body. It is why racist statements like “I don’t like black girls” exists.
- As a black identified woman and female rapper, Nicki Minaj spits African American Vernacular (AAVE) in every.single.song. – So as you can imagine skinny bitch doesn’t mean what you think it means. When white feminists talk about Minaj’s “skinny bitch” you most certainly better believe they do not mean our (black and brown) kind of skinny. They mean the white Eurocentric shop in the children’s section of the mall throughout your adult life skinny. And don’t get me wrong, that’s not exclusive to white people. However, in this instance as the white feminist feels personally attacked, the assumption is that type of skinny is exclusive to white women, which lies the initial problem. THIS SONG AIN’T ABOUT YOU. Don’t know what AAVE is? You should probably turn the station…
This song took the most misogynistic classic (Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby got back”) and turned it into the ultimate spit in the face. – While white women sit back and cry because Kylie Jenner challenge’s aren’t enough, Nicki stepped in and LITERALLY objectified the highly praised male hip hop figure. She named the song anaconda y’all… Come the fuck on! She is rapping about using guys for sex and money with no shame and how hip hop men become dumb over sex and body parts. If that doesn’t scream empowerment in sexuality then you know what, I’m just gonna take a nap right here… And what kills me most about it is how hurt these white girls are over this song but if “Baby got back” comes on, they’re the first one’s jumping up and Miley “twerking” as if Sir Mix-a-lot didn’t actually use physical representation of skinny white women in his video to explicitly express his body shaming politics towards white women and their bodies. But maybe I’m too old to actually have remembered that happened so I guess we’re forgetting it happened? Cool.
Lastly, Nicki as a black woman is writing ABOUT BLACK WOMEN. – it amazes me that for years white womanhood was clearly protected and held to such high regards so much so that white woman and black women were kept separate. But every time a black woman says something, here comes fucking Marsha in cornrows and a dishiki trying to wiggle in on the oppression. But where the fuck were you when your men were raping us and saying we couldn’t actually be raped because we weren’t even human? I love how the white girls on my campus praise Beyonce (also can we speak on how they’re all clinging to these black woman celebs who’ve been bleached and whitened? Oh, tea too hot?) yet have no analysis on how them using a black woman as a symbol of their feminism is objectifying but cry when they get called out on being racist. I would like to hear by motion for all white feminists to sit the fuck down. There’s some seats somewhere for y’all and if you can’t find them then just start crying, I’m sure some conversation somewhere will be derailed and a seat will be made available for you. In the meantime I really need you to get that you can’t sit with us. Thanks, bye.
Overall, it annoys me when white feminists take courses on race, gender and sexuality and start in on how this song was problematic. Yes in your white woman world this makes no sense to you but for us in our bodies it makes perfect sense. Especially because we have to occupy so many perspectives as women in the middle of something like hip hop that isn’t necessarily here for us. To be honest, black bodies have no discourse in white feminist spaces so why are we even talking about this? Of course when Nicki comes out with something like this black women immediately will jump to Nicki’s side. She’s lived an experience we can relate to which is why we can sing “fuck the skinny bitches” and actually know our skinny friends won’t leave the club in tears.
Nicki is rapping about her experience as a black woman navigating a world that shames her sexuality and boils her down to the sum of her parts. She takes “Anaconda” as an opportunity to say “these niggas ain’t shit unless they’re breaking bread”. Sir Mix-a-lot didn’t have a problem saying “women are just asses to me”. White women learned the word intersectional and started losing their minds, damn.
So with that being said, let’s delve shall we?
The first fatal mistake Noelle Blood made was use white feminist theorists to breakdown the song “Anaconda”. Don’t get me wrong, on any day you can catch me quoting Judith Butler’s theory of performativity because it’s dope and fairly relevant. But as someone who identifies as a black woman, Butler’s theory doesn’t fit here. Butler is talking about performaitivity as it relates to those who’s had agency to perform in their identity freely. Black women have been going with the flow and trying on what fits for years so here, this theory is extra. Blood focuses a lot on fat and the body in general when from the beginning Nicki wasn’t concerned with the body at all. Let’s sing along:
“Boy toy named Troy used to live in Detroit Big dope dealer money, he was getting some coins Was in shootouts with the law, but he live in a palace Bought me Alexander McQueen, he was keeping me stylish Now that’s real, real, real, Gun in my purse, bitch I came dressed to kill Who wanna go first? I had ’em pushing daffodils I’m high as hell, I only took a half of pill I’m on some dumb shit”
Now I won’t go into the AAVE of the song because I’m a firm believer in code switching as a tactic of survival for black and brown folks and also keeping white people out of that, but already in the first verse she’s boiled this cat Troy down to his capability of getting money and what he’s worth in terms of it. Just like Sir Mix-a-lot’s line “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hun”, Nicki is saying here that you can’t have a piece of her unless you have something equally as valuable. And as she states “came dressed to kill” she obviously is not interested in any kind of loyalty to Troy as anybody could get it because she’s there to slay and no amount of money is actually worth her time. So he’ll still be pouring out cash and still unable to afford her.
And for the bridge:
“By the way, what he say? He can tell I ain’t missing no meals Come through and fuck ’em in my automobile Let him eat it with his grills, He keep telling me to chill He keep telling me it’s real, that he love my sex appeal He said he don’t like ’em boney, he want something he can grab So I pulled up in the Jag, and I hit ’em with the jab like… Dun-d-d-dun-dun-d-d-dun-dun”
So here is an exchange of the relationship between Nicki and her suitor. Blood takes this part and says how the line “Let him eat me with his grills” as a metaphor of consumption and how black women are objectified and commodified. Blood is reaching… Nicki is only talking about a simple sex act wile naming the status of this suitor by mentioning his grills. This specific line is powerful because let’s keep it real, cunnilingus is not a widely accepted sex act between black heterosexual couples or at least talked about in a popular forum so by her mentioning this, she’s bringing up her power in the situation and exchange and by saying she fucks him in the car states how she has no plans of settling down with this person but just use him, let him blow her head up- “he keep telling me it’s real” (see Lil Wayne song “She will” chorus) and keep it moving. But it’s clear that this man has no substance in her life, only a good time. The only mention she brings up about body is “he can tell I ain’t missin no meals” which is also a mention of personal status. It’s no secret that Nicki is thick. Her not missing a meal symbolizes that and how some men in the black community appreciates a thick woman. Hell most people appreciate thick women, no shade whatsoever. “Not missing a meal” meant that you are fine/sexy/attractive/fit/appealing. Though a sad conclusion but, in the world of cat calling and aggressive flirting, if someone told you that they knew you didn’t miss a meal, that meant you were visually appealing. Classic line in AAVE.
Questions so far?
Moving to the chorus “Oh my gosh… look at her butt“. Let’s bring it back to Sir Mix-a-lot. In the beginning, the original line comes from a conversation talking about a black girl’s butt being too big and how she was possibly seeing a rapper because only black women with curves date rappers… (see “I don’t date black girls” and other nasty stereotypes)
Nicki takes this part of the song and cuts out the shit to bring attention to the black woman’s figure. Like yes, look at her butt. It’s round, it’s fly. You want to touch it, BUT DO YOU HAVE DOLLAS?? No?? Keep it movin groupie. This is in no way any type of skinny shaming. If anything, Nicki took fat shaming and flipped it on its ear. By white women constantly needing validation in thinness, Nicki took the butt and said yes “I got a fat ass“. By white women constantly bringing this fucking subject and song up, they’re actually creating a counter narrative as equally as dangerous as what they’re trying to defend: black women are only as valuable as their bodies and how their bodies are perceived. Get off Nicki’s areola’s and her ass. She’s not here for you.
And then the second verse, probably the most important part of the song and the least talked about:
“This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles Dick bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s Real country ass nigga, let me play with his rifle Pussy put his ass to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil Now that bang bang bang, I let him hit it ’cause he slang Cocaine He toss my salad like his name Romaine And when we done, I make him buy me Balmain I’m on some dumb shit”
Nicki in this verse purposely put the penis on a pedestal, stood on the same pedestal, then crushed the penis along with this individuals ego. Possibly in the baddest pair of shoes this duck ass dude bought for her (or herself, cuz she’s fucking Nicki Minaj!). Also can we talk about all the phallic symbolism in the video being destroyed at the hands of one Ms. King Nicki or nah? She only let him hit because he makes serious cash and because he had a large penis. I don’t know what else I can say to you to make you understand how revolutionary this shit is… Also on a similar vein, she mentions another sex act that places her power over this suitor, salad tossing. Please ask any black man if he eats ass and see what he says…
And the fact that she wrote cunnilingus first and then talked about anilingus with someone of a higher status (in regards to a hip hop lifestyle) says a lot about how she’s a conquering heroine. She also talks about how she uses her sexuality in a way that’s crippling to this person as she says “pussy put his ass to sleep now he calling me NyQuil”. All the white feminists seeing this as objectification are trying to wrangle Nicki into the politics of respectability directing attention to the fact that she has sex in exchange for money and other things indicated in the song. This idea that sex has way more meaning and value than it actually does is the problem in the first place. And again, a white feminist issue.
The way black female sexuality was constructed and white female sexuality is defined causes far too much friction for Blood to have open her word document in the first place. We are not equals as their white world has said to us time and time again, I’ma need them to please for fucks sake to stay in their lanes.
And of course, the meat of the subject on everybody’s tongue:
“Yeah, he love this fat assYeah! This one is for my bitches with a fat ass in the fucking clubI said, “Where my fat ass big bitches in the club?”Fuck them skinny bitches,Fuck them skinny bitches in the clubI wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking clubFuck you if you skinny bitches. What? Yeah. Ha-ha, ha…Yeah. I got a big fat ass. Come on!”
I would hope that I didn’t need to explain any part of this song to anyone but since we’re on this “progress” narrative where white people want to understand hip hop culture, a culture we created because we weren’t welcomed in the dominant culture, then I guess I have to since bitches don’t know how to stop fucking up all over creation. So allow me to explain some shit. Nicki Minaj in the black community would be labeled as a thick woman. Though she is considered to be so, if she were weighed and because she has a small waist she is still fairly “skinny” by black girl standards. Her saying fuck skinny bitches in no way shape or form means she’s pointing out women of a specific stature. Even if she is, no one is giving love to the big girls but she is here so…
Now, if we want to have an actual discussion about “Anaconda” we can talk about it in terms of bad bitches still remaining relevant in 2015 by getting by on the dollar of a drug dealer solely for the purpose of higher hood status and respectability politics and whether or not it’s female empowerment for black women. Oh but wait, white feminists don’t know anything about that. Or we could talk about the inherit cis and heterosexist implications Nicki makes about gender and sexuality in the black community with this song. But white.feminsts.don’t.know.about.that.
Ok, so we done? Aight.