Let’s face it, expecting any modicum of class in a video where the most repeated word is “Ass” makes about as much sense as expecting a vegan selection on the menu at a steakhouse.
Still, I can’t help but be disappointed in Nicki Minaj’s participation in the video for Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)" remix released this week.
If Minaj wants me to look at her completely as a candy-colored cartoon character, which I do most of the time anyway, she’s pretty much accomplished her goal. The wide-eyed X-rated Barbie doll act is wearing thin though. And with each project, it becomes easier to dismiss her talent as a rapper and focus on her as some brightly colored object that distracts momentarily from anything else in view, but is forgotten the second she is out of the picture.
[More after the jump...]
Maybe I’m over thinking it and Minaj’s shaking her bountiful ass in the video isn’t so much a giant slap in the face (or ass) to artists who take themselves seriously so much as it is Minaj taking advantage of the fact that her ass gets talked about anyway, so she might as well have some fun with it.
However, at a time when she’s the only female rapper on the charts, it seems a little sad that her “ass-ets” seem to be as much a selling point as any musical talent. To be sure, we’ve loved some of her musical contributions, such as on Kanye West’s “Monster,” but too much of the time, the appeal is the freak show, not the music. I wonder if someone like Missy Elliot could even make it now if she weren't willing to strip down?
I understand Big Sean’s fascination with booty, but I am trying to figure out what is the possible upside to Minaj’s career in watching her shake her ass, while she raps, “Somebody point me to the best ass eater...kiss my ass and my anus because it’s finally famous.” Have we reached a point where nothing is considered too crude? This video makes Sir Mix-Alot's "Baby Got Back" look like a Disney production.
Anytime someone criticizes a female artist in this way, the usual response is that she’s just having fun and lighten up, but can you imagine how hard we’d be laughing at Eminem if he were parading around in union jack shorts or an outfit made of seatbelts shaking his junk in the camera, as Minaj does here, and then we were expected to take him seriously? And no, I don’t want Minaj to hide her abundant sexuality: for example, I think she’s adorable in the sultry, sexy video for “Super Bass.” But her crass participation in “Dance (A$$)” makes me think of a very special episode of “Sex And The City” where Charlotte’s boyfriend wanted to have anal sex and she declared she didn’t want to be known as the “up the butt” girl. It may be too late for Minaj.