Notes on Pride

Bossed Up: Nicki Minaj's My Time Now

June 12th, 2021

"So if I turn up to a photo shoot and you got a $50 clothes budget and some sliced pickles on a motherfuckin’ board, you know what? No. I am gonna leave. Is that wrong? Wanting more for myself? Wanting people to treat me with respect? You know what? Next time, they know better. But had I accepted the pickle juice, I would be drinking pickle juice right now.” (Nicki Minaj, “My Time Now”)
"You have to be a beast. That’s the only way they’ll respect you.” (Nicki Minaj, “My Time Now”)

This speech lives rent free in my head, not just because I am a die hard Barb. It’s vintage Nicki greatness. She’s giving us that cotton candy wig and Mattel mirror as Charlemagne gasses her up from behind. It’s mixtape Nicki and we still miss her! But these two minutes are also an iconic polemic on being taken advantage of, the racist and sexual inequalities of feeling (who has the right to anger), and the right to be a bitch to anyone who disrespects your time. It’s the Papa Pope “You have to Work Twice As HARD” speech, but also remixed. Rather than simply burying your head and doing the work (which rings of meritocratic sentiment) Minaj instructs us to be a bitch. Really to be THAT Bitch. So much so that no one misrecognizes you for the “one” ever again. She reminds us that not only his being nice overrated, but that kindness is used to specifically restrain people from calling out the unkind things being done to them. She teaches us that being a bitch, letting people know you do have the time is not petty, but a valuable lesson in self love and preservation.