Onika Tanya Maraj known as Nicki Minaj was born in Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Raised in Queens, New York City, she gained public recognition after releasing the mixtapes Playtime Is Over (2007), Sucka Free (2008), and Beam Me Up Scotty (2009)The Trinidadian is a rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and model.
Nicki signed with Young Money Entertainment in 2009, where she released her first studio album, Pink Friday (2010). She had huge success and peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was ultimately certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Nicki has worked with a lot of Jamaicans including, Beenie Man, Gyptian, Mavado and Sean Kingston. The rapper has incorporated some dance-hall reggae in some of her songs which has proved to be a hit.
With this background, the issue lies with her Trinidadian roots and how she has not embraced the Trinidadian culture in her work. In 2015 Trinidadians started hating on the rapper after her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Their bone of contention was that her music represented more of the Jamaican culture and not necessarily Trinidad where she was born.
Nicki Minaj went on to do , Trini Dem Girls, in tribute to the island of her birth, suited up in full carnival gear in a patriotic mood, but Trinidadians didn’t buy into it and they made their distaste evident. Following that performance, she even went onto social media on a Vogue post saying her performance was “All in honor of my beautiful country, Trinidad”.
Nicki got heavily criticized after the performance with people even insulting her accent saying it was a fake Jamaica one. “The only thing Trinidadian about that performance was the costume, nothing else was, with your fake ass Jamaican accent,” read one post.
“You can’t even call yourself a Trini,” it continued.
The bitterness also stemmed from the fact that she has worked with numerous Jamaican artists but no Trinidadians like Bunji or Machel.
Is this bitterness really necessary? Is it a Jamaica vs Trinidad and Tobago beef? Why do people have to necessarily adhere to a particular culture just because they were born in a certain geographic location anyway. Surely there has to be more to it, like environment and what you hold dear in life. This is very similar to the Tinashe Kachingwe the American singer and songwriter who has many Zimbabweans up in arms after she stated that she wasn’t Zimbabwean.
Nicki do your thing. The rest of the world couldn’t be bothered. The reggae and dance-hall community look forward to more jams with you.