By Caprece Cotton-Sturdivant
I fell in love with hip hop in its early years, back when it was more widely regarded as rap. Rap music came on the scene and blew our minds!! It was music that spoke just to us made by guys and girls, who looked like the people in our neighborhoods. It was our story told by the people who lived it, and for me it was life-changing.
Growing up, my mother never censored the music that I listened to. She never feared that I would be led astray by NWA, Public Enemy, or Ice Cube. She even took me to buy my first rap album, it was Salt N Pepa‘s Hot, Cool & Vicious, and I played it so much I nearly broke the tape. I loved everything about Salt N Pepa — their tight clothes, their edgy haircuts, their sassiness — but they were not my role models!
Yes, the question of celebrities as role models has been raised once again with the release of Nicki Minaj‘s video for her latest song “Anaconda,” which samples Sir Mix A Lot‘s “Baby Got Back.” Who can forget the hip hop classic about Mix A Lot’s love of big bottoms while he conveniently perched atop a big bottom. The imagery was controversial, and “Anaconda” is no different. Minaj stays true to the song with enough booty-bumping and gyrating to give Fred Sanford one of his signature heart attacks.