Looks like rap’s reigning queen is feeling a little unappreciated. There is no denying the strides that Nicki Minaj has made for females in hip-hop, and on the same day she released Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up the YMCMB hit-maker dropped the video for her new single, “Freedom.”
The Colin Tilley-directed clip isn’t nearly as animated as Nicki’s last video for “The Boys,” but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, Minaj delivered a visual rich with regal symbolism to match her endearing track. MTV News watched it over and over and broke down three key transitions.
Crown of Thorns
In Christianity, Jesus Christ is heralded as the ultimate martyr sacrificed on a cross while wearing a crown of thorns. The imagery has been recreated in hip-hop before on Tupac Shakur’s Makaveli The Don Killuminati album cover and in Nas’ 1999 video for “Hate Me Now.” Nicki, of course, puts her own spin on things in the black and white “Freedom.”
“They’ll never thank me for opening doors/ They ain’t even thank Jesus when he died on the cross,” Nicki spits wearing a long-sleeve black dress and a crown of thorns on her head while aiming her bars at her female rivals who are now well-positioned for success.
For the song’s second verse, Nicki takes a more aggressive tone with her raps and switches her look to reflect her rhymes. “Who I wanna work with? Nobody/ 99 percent of them is nobodies,” she rhymes while sitting in a throne.
In another scene during the same verse, the “Super Bass” MC is wearing a queen’s crown and glittery dress. It’s clear that Nicki isn’t too broken up about the lack of credit that she gets in the rap game.
Fade to Color
As “Freedom” beats on, Nicki grows stronger. The somber vocals that she set the track off with turn into full-on self-proclamations of her greatness. Before the final verse, Tilley’s black-and-white frames start to bleed with building color. The sky glows a purplish-blue and the ground beats with a lush brown. “I feel free, I feel freedom,” she sings to begin her close.
My, how Nicki has grown.
Which Nicki Minaj look was your favorite in her new “Freedom” video? Let us know in the comments