Dear Nicki,

I do not know you; I won't even profess to knowing your music. But, that Queen album made a believer out of me. Yes, I've liked songs here and there in the past but my overall exposure to you had been limited. These days, however, "The gonads on this nut," is something that I periodically intone! Fun fact: I am writing this while "Barbie Dreams" is on pause on my television screen. From time to time, I play the video for comic relief and its overall good vibes — and anyone who is wondering why I refer to Nicki as a "nut" can soak in its screaming ardor of "I don't give a shit" — six different ways — for clarity. Today though, I find myself reflecting on you, your presumed plight, and your recent absence from the spotlight.

Before we go any further, some things about me: I am a master's level, forensic psychologist amongst other things, with distinct taste in music. I like fervor and attitude, as music is where I let loose. Thus, it is through these traits that you, Ms. Minaj, tickle my fancy, as I have a passion for words and a mean delivery, and I resound particularly when a woman speaks her ever-loving, (and hopefully evolving) brazen, mind.

You impress me with your depth, transparency, and your ability to firmly hoist those gonads while simultaneously correcting the masses with an authentic feminine persona. You do all this with charm, audacity, and oomph that keeps the boys dizzily afloat and the girls conscious and obsessed with more. You are both an open book and a mystery, and you have successfully penned your way into our history books with your brutal sass.

Yes, others blazed the trail but you lead us through the forest, into a clearing, and then you built us a grand lodge. Now we're all housed and seated — waiting for you, expecting you to deliver the wine, the cheese and the grapes--the telltale signs of our giddy arrival.

Yes, it is unrealistic and sadomasochistic to wait in expectancy, but this is the culture that we have collectively honed and hustled and you're its chic maven. It is your fault that you've pushed the mantle thus far; you've done it all, and it cannot be finessed or repeated. There truly is no way to top you, so I hope that you seat yourself in the conscious satisfaction that you have nothing more to prove.

So, Nicki, this is an important question… How are you? You are human and "being human is hard, on the boulevard!" You must be tired. What you have done is no small task, so you must be weary of the press and the sometimes merciless throng. Plus, you have left us on the edge thinking a lot of things: she is a new wife, a potential mom…she's finding out that it all leads to nowhere…yes, I said it, nowhere.

As the world gasps and grapples with the imperative that Black people should be living unbothered and carefree in this time and age—many are wanting to bother you to juxtapose on their front — on their terms — oblivious to the fact that you're a woman that is smarting and in need of your own intervention.

You've peddled the fantasy of a self-driven fairytale and of girls having "coral pink" fun, and as a woman that's staring down the barrel of a for-two-and-forever situation, I have a strong feeling that you're on the beginning side of finding out that the thing entails very little fun. Plus, with a husband with baggage that requires TSA handling — your life my friend, is not an easy road.

Do not get me wrong, I think marriage is the ultimate sacrifice that bodes the promise of unspeakable reward, but on its face, it is a sacrifice — a difficult and daily one at times — which is why some of us run around before getting sucked into its irresistible and inevitable realm.

You know, with God being a male and all and the toe under which we all profess to marry, there is a specific role for the female that immediately becomes a requiem for us to imbibe — which leaves you, my dear at the door of a wicked conundrum: pivot and flee or admit that it is not the fluffy pillows that you dream on — and soberly carry on in its, sometimes jarring, dimension.

See, ideas of marriage are often incomplete to the reality of marriage, and I see this moment as time to publicly normalize the ill-fitting crux that we women can find ourselves in — especially when we've shown that we can do it all. Many women enter marriage with their own plans of forward movement — as if marriage is a bucket at the store and life is the bathroom that they are anxious to scrub clean. Oftentimes, women see marriage the same way a man sees an attractive woman — as something to own — with no consciousness of the fact that it entails a whole human being with its own mind and muscling motivations.

Women are often anxious for a man that satisfies their desire for intimacy and companionship and they are frequently ready to lead the way in their marriage when this happens — without taking into account the terms of the agreement that they have entered into. As much as women can see miles above a man's head, sitting back and allowing him to discover and lead the way is its own challenge — a necessary and meaningful one when you know that you've picked a partner that you trust — or else, your constant intervention would likely turn him into a churlish and feckless child — and your marriage into a joyless, suffocating logjam.

Marriage is a realm that is always unknown for those who embark on it, as no two marriage is alike. Thus, there is no real script on its success; a person just has to be willing to recognize his/her role in it — which varies from time to time — and be true to its calling of unyielding commitment.

It takes a lot of holding back and letting go to build a successful marriage; silence and mental restraint become your best friends as you learn to build a new persona that is now the "wife," as wifehood is a role that is separate onto itself. The point is that it necessitates a new way of thinking and being, which is only upheld by an acceptance of its role.

The deal here Nic, is that you need us, the public, but not in the way that you have before. In the past, you have stunted on us, dropped bars on us, left us whipped and wussed and agreeably anxious for more and the fact is, we are your mess to clean up — while you are our mess to witness.

We are ready to see the softening up of your steely nerves, as you wilt and cocoon into a being that is self-assured yet, unsure of herself — and able to don a new pose. Regardless of what is next, my hope is that you are able seat comfortably in this new phase — fearless of the prying eyes and the sordid details that may seek to keep you chained in discomfort. Although you may be conscious of some of the losses you must now tow, I am looking forward to you shattering stereotypes, fitting molds and soldiering on glibly as you model for us the obvious rewards of a woman that is tied down and befitted for marriage. We are waiting, Nicki, 'ronaed up in this grand lodge, thinking of grapes, wine (if you have any), and extra cheese because, this is America and all eyes are — mistakenly — on you!

This article was originally published June 29, 2020.


WRITTEN BY

Odetta A Fraser