Does rapper Nicki Minaj have what it takes to change rap's homophobic landscape? That's the question at Out.com. In a wide-ranging feature, the 25-year-old newcomer discusses why "barbie" is a worse insult than "bitch," how she stopped using the phrase "no homo," and that it's an honor to have gay men impersonate her because "they only impersonate the best."
But it's in talking about her own sexuality that the rapper seems most candid:
Her bottom line: No labels. "People who like me -- they'll listen to my music, and they'll know who I am. I just don't like that people want you to say what you are, who you are. I just am. I do what the fuck I want to do." She likes to beckon ladies to the stage at her shows, brandishing a marker for sweaty boob-signing sessions, but 95% of her racy lyrics are about encounters with men. Adding that she'll grab her best friend's breasts for fun far from paparazzi cameras, she says, "The point is, everyone is not black and white. There are so many shades in the middle, and you've got to let people feel comfortable with saying what they want to say when they want to say it. I don't want to feel like I've got the gun pointed at my head and you're about to pull the trigger if I don't say what you want to hear. I just want to be me and do me."
Could it all just be a gimmick? Sure. And is it anyone else's business? Certainly if she's pandering to queer audiences in order to build her fan base. Either way, Minaj is pushing boundaries in ways that other high-profie artists are either unable, or uninterested, in breaking.