Nicki Minaj Goes Back to Hip-Hop Roots in ‘Up in Flames’ Video
Her success speaks for itself, but if there's a weakness in Nicki Minaj's empire, her detractors would say it's her tendency to focus on the pop side of her musical personality at the expense of her prodigious rap skills -- a complaint that should be silenced with her latest single, 'Up in Flames.'
Minaj recently debuted the video for 'Flames' via World Star Hip Hop, adding a surprisingly subdued visual component to a song that finds her recounting a tale of triumph over adversity with lines like "Anyway, little n---a don't test the kid / Even Maury Povich couldn't test the kid/ Even R. Kelly couldn't touch the kid/ And even with all your bars, you couldn't text the kid."
MTV notes that Minaj stood behind 'Flames' during a recent interview, pointing to her verses on the song as an example of her rhyming skills -- and an indictment of sexism in hip-hop. "If a dude was on a that song with me, everyone would've talked about it and they would [argue] 'who had the best verse,' but when I put a song out by myself," she argued. "[It's] because men run the hip-hop game. Let's be honest, they're the [radio] program directors, they wanna be able to rap stuff and they're not gonna recite a female [verse]. They just feel funny and it is what it is."