We’re not calling out Nicki Minaj. We’re calling her in.
Minaj’s impact shouldn’t be surprising. Black celebrities, especially those in music, have always had a singular place in Black culture. Stretching back to the West African griots, the traveling musical poets who preserved oral history, Black musicians have been in constant dialogue with their community. The music of many of these artists has sustained Black Americans through impossible times, from the trauma of enslavement to the trauma of this pandemic. An intimacy and familiarity with the artists who make this music can’t help but develop.