In Nicki Minaj’s music video for the song “Only” ft. Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, the images, as well as the lyrics, objectify Nicki in a sexual way throughout the entire piece. The raps from Drake and Lil Wayne both include lyrics about how they would fk Nicki and that she needs a man. This could be incredibly hard to understand why she would subject herself to this kind of objectification in her own song, but through the lens of McMillian, we can see that there is more to it than that. Nicki is making herself the subject of the lyrics in a way that represents how she is sexualized and viewed by media, but she is performing this sexuality in a way that gives her the control of the gaze rather than being the un-wanting subject. Nicki begins the song by saying “Yo, I never fked Wayne, I never fked Drake”, which implies that she was addressing rumors that she had been and assumptions that people were making about her. Instead of shutting down the rumors in a super obvious way, she does so by satirizing and overexaggerating the rumors with the help of the rappers involved. Also, while she is performing a role of a sexual object in some ways, she does not entirely conform to being in the subjective gaze because throughout the video she is in a position of dominance even though this may clash with the lyrics of Lil Wayne and Drake. She is very clearly in charge and we are shown that she has kidnapped men and beaten them, rendering them helpless in comparison to her. The lyrics of the raps may be degrading Nicki, but she shows that she is more powerful than their words. Lil Wayne’s lyrics imply that Nicki “needs a man” when he raps “I never fked Nic and that’s fucked up, if I did fk she’d be fked up. Whoever is hittin’ ain’t hittin’ it right cause she act like she need d*ck in her life”, but clearly through her imagery Nicki shows that these men can’t tame her and that she’s powerful and independent. Other women are shown in positions of power in comparison to the men in the video as well. Nicki is reclaiming this sexual objectification and owning it to express confidence and power, while also dismissing sexist remarks being targeted at her.

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