Songwriter and rapper Nicki Minaj is generating backlash from parents and other media advisories after releasing album art on Aug. 4 and a music video on Aug. 19 for her new single "Anaconda," in which clothing is scarce and intimate interactions abound.
The video broke Vevo records by gaining 19.6 million video views in 24 hours, surpassing Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" record from last September, the New York Post reported. Now, only nine days since its release, Minaj's video has more than 88 million views.
But as video views continue to increase, some prominent parents have expressed their disgust with the sexual content.
Al Roker and Natalie Morales, news anchors on NBC's "Today" show, discussed the suggestive material after Roker's children brought the video to his attention.
"It is causing a lot of controversy because just when you thought you saw it all on video, you haven't seen it all," Morales said. "These are young kids, I think, still that like her music, they look at her as a pop star or a rap star and it's horrifying."
"She's twerking, she's gyrating, the other dancers doing it's just vile," Roker said.
Chuck Creekmur, father and CEO of AllHiphop.com, also disapproves. After viewing the album art for Minaj's new release, Creekmur penned an open letter to Minaj both as a parent and an industry insider on Mommynoire.com.
"Now, the most popular, current black female rapper starts overtly pushing her hyper-sexualized image again? Just my luck. I’m trying to raise a young girl that will eventually grow into someone greater than the both of us," Creekmur wrote.
"I can’t lie. My kid barely knows who you are and if she does, its rooted in 'American Idol' or something like that. ... I’ve sheltered her on purpose though, all the while letting her read about heroic females in music and culture. As she gets older, it will be harder for me to limit her exposure to you, especially if you continue to do headline-grabbing moves like the 'Anaconda' cover."
Creekmur then spoke directly to Minaj, calling her by her real name, Onika Tanya Maraj, questioning if she understands the impact she can have.
"For a moment, forget my daughter and let's talk about you. My interactions and observations tell me you are this sweet, kind person at heart," Creekmur said.
"When you get a quiet moment answer the following questions: How is Onika Tanya Maraj doing? How does she truly feel about Nick Minaj right now? What is your higher purpose with young girls (and boys)? What is the message you are sending when you determine how you will inspire these young people?"
The Parent's Television Council also made a statement regarding Minaj's content leading up to her performance on the Aug. 24 MTV VMA awards show.
"I think we can probably guess it won’t be appropriate for children and teens," the council posted.
Since the release of Minaj's music video and after her performance at the MTV VMA awards show, many viewers have expressed their opinions on Twitter.
Nicki Minaj's Anaconda video made me sad. It's degrading and disgusting. It's literally made for her attention, not the music at all. Dum— Kayla (@kaylajasper) August 24, 2014
Just watched Nicki Minaj's Anaconda Music Video. Biggest mistake of my life. "Disgusting trash" is the nicest way I can describe it...— Seth (@GlitterLikeGoId) August 20, 2014
I swear Nicki Minaj's new track "anaconda" is like a porn video.— Walid Kaawach (@WalidKaawach) August 27, 2014
While many dislike Minaj's recent video, she told ABC News that the video turned out exactly how she had planned.
"I wanted to reinstate something,” Minaj told ABC News. “Because of the shift in pop culture, even hip-hop men are really glorifying the less curvy body.
“I wanted to say, ‘Hey ladies, you’re beautiful,’ ” Minaj said. “Hopefully, this changes things and maybe it won’t change things, but I love it.”7 comments on this story
Minaj's performance on Aug. 24, at the MTV VMA award show however, was not considered as racy as her music video. Although her outfits were revealing, the Parents Television Council was grateful they didn't compare to Minaj's look in her music video.
"It wasn’t as racy as we were anticipating,” Melissa Henson, the director of the Parents Television Council told "Page Six." "What we were expecting to see was what was in the video — a guy up on the stage and her performing lap dances. ... The elements were there, but the most offensive content was edited out."
Whether Minaj chose to go a different route or MTV had an influence on the performance is unknown. But Henson expressed gratitude that some sort of censorship took place.
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