No, Nicki Minaj didn't endorse Mitt Romney

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

4 September 2012

Settle down, rap fans and Republicans. Despite excitable reports from Politico, RapDose, and so many others, Ms. Pink Friday probably hasn't gone red state.

Here's what The Hill has to say:

Rapper Nicki Minaj gave Mitt Romney an expletive-filled endorsement in a Lil Wayne song released Monday.

The pop star, rumored to be a new judge on "American Idol," also took a shot at President Obama on the eve of the Democratic convention.

“I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy bitches are f------ up the economy,” she rapped on "Mercy," the fifth track on the Lil Wayne's "Dedication 4" album.

Only... that's not what happened at all. Do any of y'all listen to rap music? 

I don’t know how Nicki Minaj plans to vote, but this doesn’t sound like an endorsement; it sounds like a song. It’s very much in the mould of rappers asserting their success by parodying the habits of the financial elite. (c.f. Obama supporters Jay-Z and Nas claiming to be “Black Republicans” or Kanye West saying he'll make his son vote GOP.) Voting for Mitt Romney is something rich people do, and Nicki is demonstrating her wealth by claiming to engage in behavior identified with rich people. Also, and most importantly, it means she gets to rhyme “Romney” and “econ’my,” which seems to be her overriding concern.

See, something you don't understand if you don't actually listen to rap music is that hip-hop involves a lot of play-acting. We don't really think Snoop Dogg is a pimp or Rick Ross a drug kingpin. We expect rappers to stretch the syntactic and semantic possibilities of words. Minaj, after all, also claims on record to have male genitalia and commonly raps as gay male alter-ego Roman Zolanski. But fiction aside, in real life, Minaj's beliefs on healthcare seem to be to the left of most Democrats.

EDIT: She's done this before. From the "All I Do is Win" remix:

You could talk slick all the way down to the welfare
Ask the IRS, bitch, I'm paying for your healthcare

Tags: Election 2012, Hip Hop, Mitt Romney, Music, Nicki Minaj, Rap Music

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