As silly as pop culture can sometimes be, it can leave us with bright little gems of philosophical greatness that last long past the artist that says them or the situational context it is in. Today’s example is the Harajuku Barbie herself, Miss Onika Maraj (aka Nicki Minaj). Jump the jump and peep Nicki talking about respect around the 28sec mark – the particular anecdote I’m spotlighting ends at 1:27.
The truth. Though parts of this clip are about the double standard in music, the biggest part I relate to is the “pickle juice” anecdote and her following comments about respect. In her own fun and adorable way, Nicki brings to light a really great point. When you work to develop your craft and give it everything you’ve got, it’s quite discouraging (dare I say disrespectful) when someone tries to diminish it by belittling you or not treating your work with the respect it deserves. I know many dancers, designers, musicians, and the like who have horror stories about clients or situations who devalue their work and treat it like it’s a little hobby or cute pastime, only for the client to get upset when the artists corrects them or refuses to work under those conditions. The devaluing of that work is hurtful and degrading; these people make careers out of creative work and they deserves to be compensated just as someone would pay their doctor for looking after their health.
When I first heard Nicki’s rant it instantly struck me as clear and well thought out. Even though the situation is a little outlandish (I really hope they didn’t step to her with pickles on a platter, that’s plain unacceptable even for common layfolks. Well, unless you like pickles…). Not too many people expect a woman who creates songs like this and produces concepts like this to say something so profound. You know what though, that’s the exact reason I love it so much. The combination of outlandishness, Nicki’s persona, and the fact that you would expect that to come from her mouth is all the more reason this video and message sticks in my mind. Also, just for the record, I don’t drink pickle juice. Number 1) that’s ghetto, Number 2) it tastes horrible!!! Bwahahahahaaaa!!!!