Many argue that Minaj's lyrics and image do not make her a positive role model for young girls. Like a majority of top record-selling male artists, Minaj's lyrics involve sexually and otherwise explicit language and themes. It seems to me that Minaj has been placed in a hot seat simply for being a woman. Yes, I am aware that some critics are consistent in their critiques of the corruption rampant in mainstream hip-hop, however Minaj is getting an undue amount of attention for talking openly about sex while male artists with similarly offensive lyrics are not held to the same standard. Also, Minaj has come under fire for challenging the heteronormativity that characterizes hip-hop and even once suggesting that there will be a widely revered openly gay male emcee in the near future. Reporters have interrogated Minaj about her own sexual orientation because of LGBT storylines that appear in her rhymes, but she does not allow herself to be boxed in and proudly rejects applying labels to her sexual identity.
At my age, I realize I'm a little detached from the pulse of popular culture, but I do find her music as good as, if not better than that of her peers. However, I must add that I think hip-hop could do better and the industry would benefit from a toppling of its upside-down reward structure that places the most positive and creative artists at the bottom while highlighting offensive artists with trite lyrics at the top. I'm happy to see Minaj paving the way for women in rap, but I can't help but feel nostalgic for the music of great pioneers like Mc Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill and even Lil Kim. (The only reason I mention the Queen Bee here is because she was unique for her time and created the "Black Barbie Multicolored Hair" image that Minaj prouldy promotes.)