Minaj may have had a fair amount of influence over the fact that pop stars are constantly telling us they’re bosses, or they’re bitches, or they’re “boss bitches”, which seems like a contradiction, or redundant, but is said without a trace of irony. A unique figure who draws 10-year-old girls as fans with her Technicolor wigs, sophisticated mimicry and playful attitude, Minaj also assumes a persona as aggressive, dis-happy and vulgar as any man in hip-hop. She electrifies tracks merely by appearing on them, from Kanye West’s “Monster” in 2010 (“First things first, I’ll eat your brains”, she explains) to the electronic dance music artist David Guetta’s “Hey Mama”, with a video featuring her gyrating in a desert scene resembling Burning Man. She’s also the first woman to rise to the very top of the rap game not only as a star but also as a business entity. “My wrists look like I am a jewel thief/But that’s just cuz I am a boss bitch/Now macaroni cheese and grill my swordfish”, she says in a song entitled, appropriately enough, “Boss Ass Bitch”.
Vanessa Grigoriadis, “The Passion of Nicki Minaj”, The New York Times Magazine (11 October 2015), 59.