Nicki Minaj made headlines on Tuesday, and this time it wasn't for her arguably misogynistic lyrics. The rap princess spits a line on Lil Wayne's track "Mercy" that has the media in a full on tizzy. "I'm a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy bitches are fuckin' up the economy."
While the immediate reaction to Minaj's lyric was to take her rhyme at face value, many sources are saying that Minaj's words are in jest. As Brandon Soderberg of SPIN writes, "She's doing that thing rappers do where they make things up, and contrive the weirdest, wildest ways to say some pretty basic stuff like 'I got more money than you do, and I don't give a fuck' — Romney's M.O., no? — which I think is what Nicki is saying."
Rappers and hip hop artists are known to rap politics on their tracks. On the Nas/Jay-Z collaboration "Black Republican" the lyrics go "I feel like a Black Republican, money I got it comin' in." Jay-Z, for his part, is a very vocal Democrat. Full disclosure, the lyrics of "Black Republican" continue on to express some pro-Obama support saying, "On the positive side, I think Obama provides hope and challenges the minds of all races and color to erase the hate."
Other rappers, have skipped all the sarcasm and just publically touted their Obama-love. The Jay-Z Mary J. Blige track "You're Welcome" features the lyrics "It's Ms. No More Drama
And Barack Obama rhymers feel honored." Or, my personal favorite from the Maino track "All the Above": "When I think that I can't/ I envision Obama."
Whether or not Minaj is supporting Romney, we have to look beyond the lyrics at face value. Rap is rife with sarcasm, and double entendre. Minaj might indeed be voting Romney, but the "Mercy" lyrics don't tell us that for sure.