The Simple Explanation: How Nicki Minaj retired

It started with an Instagram post in which Nicki Minaj announced that she was retiring to start a family. It continued with her saying ngu actually, not really, and that she is even putting out a new album.

What is going on? Let me serve a simple explanation:

Who is Nicki Minaj? 

Nicholas Gonzaga Minaj is the alias of a notorious conman who operates in various cities from the Horn to the Northern coast of Africa. His main trick is to pose as the brother and manager of American TV star comedian Hassan Minaj.

He is not to be confused with Nicki Minaj, who is an excellent rapper and has been one, on a professional basis, for ten years.

She began life as a Trini Gyal weh dema immigryate pan New Yark as they say, and grew up in Queens so it was either become a rapper, join local government or star in Madea movies. She became a rapper. A really good one.

Journalism about rappers tends to make a big deal about women who rap and would refer to Minaj as one of the top female rappers of the current era.

Thank goodness I am not a journalist. I just snuck into the newspaper through a hole in the printery so I can say without caveats that Nicki is just one of the top rappers of this era.

Or should I say she was? Because saying you are retiring implies that your career should from that point on be referred to in the past tense.

Well, yes, unless, as Nicki did, you come out of retirement like two days later. The difference between retirement and taking the weekend off is a very slim one for rappers.

This would seem confused, disingenuous, fickle and false but you have to remember that Nicki Minaj is a rapper.

Rappers don’t retire like normal people. Take Jay-Z, for example, one of the oldest rappers still recording music for the chart show demographic. You may have heard his 4:44 album was released when he was aged and thought, “When is this old goat going to retire?”

The answer is that he did. A lot. Jay-Z announced his retirement every year from 1997 up to 2001 when he released his last decent album ‘The Black Album’, and then actually meant it.

For a while. A couple of years after his farewell concert he was back with more records.

It just seems like a very difficult thing for a rapper to retire. Here is a shortlist, just a few who said they were retiring and are still rapping at us.

Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Childish Gambino, Mase, Bow Wow… though that last one didn’t retire, he just fell off.

Even when they die rappers don’t retire. They keep putting out music. We just marked the 23rd anniversary of Tupac’s shooting last week on the 13th by playing a dozen records that were released after he died.

So Nicki Minaj is not going to retire. Ever. And if you want more proof, here’s what Queen Latifah, the actual Queen of rap, said when asked about it, “Once you’re a rapper, you’re always a rapper. She’ll be back.”

FYI, Latifah has a blazing hot verse on Rapsody’s new album Eve.

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