[caption id="attachment_26147" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Photo: Baron/Getty Images"][/caption]
Marilyn mania is back like it's the 1950s. Following last night's premiere of Smash, the TV show based around the idea of a creating a Broadway musical hooked on Ms. Monroe's life, and the critical success of the My Week With Marilyn, hip-hop diva Nicki Minaj has dropped "Marilyn Monroe." Minaj's track, which includes her repeatedly wondering, "Is this how Marilyn Monroe felt?" is rumored to be from her upcoming Pink Friday: Roman's Revenge album. But it's far from the first time rappers have referenced the original blonde ambition minx in rhyme -- as these five lyrical picks prove.
Over one of Watch the Throne's most intense grooves, Jay-Z ponders the racial dimension of notions of female beauty by declaring, "I mean Marilyn Monroe, she's quite nice/ But why all the pretty icons always all white?" Then, after metaphorically flashing his Museum of Modern Art membership card (platinum tier), Jigga balances his musing by telling all his Beyonce-a-likes that "You belong with n***** who used to be known for dope dealing/ You too dope for any of these civilians" -- a line he quite obviously lifted from Hallmark's 2012 Valentine's Day card range. [Listen here.]
2. Drake, "Thank Me Now"
You know Drake -- he's the guy who admits he's "shallow" but also "deep enough to have gone swimming." It's a personal trait that means he always ends up with the "wrong women," in this case including "the Marilyn Monroes who was there before it all" and are quick to want to "get married at 'Hello'." It's a characterization that well-known 1950's film buff Drizzy presumably coined after reading up on Monroe's three failed marriages and accompanying divorces, to James Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. [Listen here.]
3. Da Lench Mob, "You and Your Heroes"
It ain't always a love-fest when it comes hip-hop and Marilyn, as Ice Cube's boys Da Lench Mob explained on their raging rant against white pop culture icons. After calling Madonna "a motherfuckin' slut" and explaining how "You can show your butt and jimmy's still won't get up," the trio of J-Dee, T-Bone and Shorty politely informed how "Marilyn Monroe was a ho for the Kennedys." Rumors that the song inspired Jay-Z's verse on "That's My Bitch" are totally unsubstantiated at the time of writing. [Listen here.]
4. Brianna Perry, "Marilyn Monroe"
A full-on ode to Marilyn's iconic style, here ropey rapstress Brianna Perry spits short phrases that are presumably meant to come over as sassy and sexy. Alas, boasts like "I'm Hollywood, arrogant/ Don't I look good?" come off less like rhetorical questions as the gaggling ramblings of a failed American Idol contestant. Still, in positive news, at least Perry bothered to rock a fake beauty spot in the video. You get points for consistency! [Listen here.]
5. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, "Live and Let Die"
"You bitch-ass rappers'll get fucked/ And you'll be one ho like Marilyn Monroe/ Left on death row/ Because I let the gun go." So threatens Kool G Rap, as the glitzy white girl's image is transported to the grimy underbelly of NYC crime raps. Elsewhere in the song G Rap follows the delightful image of shooting someone's "motherfuckin' brains out" with the disclaimer that "you need more detergent to get that motherfuckin' stain out." With her wardrobe of white dresses, it's domestic advice Marilyn would have surely agreed with. [Listen here.]