The recent “twitter beef” between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift was a lot deeper than many people want to admit. Yes, it was two of the most popular female artists going back and forth on a public forum for all to see, but beyond that, their interaction and understanding (or lack thereof) of what the other was trying to say speaks so much loudly than what was actually said.
To get you up to speed if you don’t have a clue what the hell I am talking about, when the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards nominations were announced, Nicki took to Twitter to express her disappointment in her video for Anaconda not being nominated for Video of the Year. In her “rant” she specifically described elements of one of the videos nominated as being the only kind of body type that seems to be acknowledged and awarded. That video was Taylor’s which lead her to respond because as she later put in her own words, she felt “called out.”
What Nicki said, point blank, is that black female artists don’t get the love that white female artists get. Now I will be honest here, I don’t think the video for Anaconda was that great. If fact, I think it was overtly sexually charged for no reason and the whole concept was just dumb. That’s my opinion. With that, despite my feelings about the video, Nicki had every single right to express her frustration about not being nominated.
“If I was a different “kind” of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreography and vid of the year as well… If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year…”
She was not coming for Taylor personally, but that’s how she took it and her response, to me, was very telling because mainly it was insulting. It was insulting of her to say “maybe one of the men took your slot.” It was insulting of her to “invite” her on stage if she wins. These comments are not those of someone who respects their fellow artist; they are snide, low key arrogant remarks that you make to someone you never really thought that highly of. If you feel called out by someone you “love and support” you contact them directly first in private. Period
This whole thing just shows how much Taylor Swift and others like her don’t get it. They have the power to really affect change for a broad range of issues, but instead of doing so, they miss prime opportunities to show support because their egos get in the way which in turn only continues to heighten the racial divide.
After seeing their interaction, the main thing I wondered to myself was, why is Taylor Swift responding and acting the way she is to Nicki, expressing a very clear and present truth? It was either because she really doesn’t get it or because she really doesn’t care. With Taylor coming back saying, “I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki. @NICKIMINAJ,” I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. I do think that she just didn’t and doesn’t get it.
This situation has brought up a lot of different conversations with the “angry black woman” being one of them. I don’t like that every time a black woman expresses herself in a stern unapologetic way that tells the ugly truth, this label is placed on them in order to deescalate the sting of their argument. Some people have even tried to say that Sandra Bland, who was killed/died in Texas while in police custody got a little too “angry black woman” and is why she is dead now.
Going forward, I will always look at Taylor Swift was a side eye because her initial slap back, to me, came from a real place of truth for her which lives somewhere among superiority and white girl privilege. I trust, nonetheless, that she has learned a valuable lesson from this so that the next time she is faced with this situation, even if her initial thought is to go all “I’m better than you” she’ll think twice before speaking on things that are over her head.