Nicki Minaj previewed her new song tentatively titled “Yikes” on Instagram last night. And while she only released a 51-second snippet of the recording, one line from the song is getting people talking.
In Nicki’s song, she says: “All you b*tches Rosa Parks, uh oh, get your ass up.” Nicki’s bar was clearly a reference to Rosa Parks, the legendary civil rights icon who took a public stance against segregation on public buses more than 50 years ago. In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man as she was required to do under the law and instead continued “to sit.”
Her refusal to give up her seat led to her arrest and time spent in jail where she was undoubtedly mistreated. Rosa Park’s sitting, however, and arrest lead to the boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system. The year-long boycott broke the back of the bus system economically and led to the desegregation of buses in Alabama. That win led to other refusals by Blacks “to move” or “get up” and ushered in the dawn of basic civil rights for African Americans in America.
Given the strength that was required of Rosa Parks to remain seated during a very ugly period of time for African Americans, many believe Nicki’s line was unnecessarily disrespectful to Rosa Parks – and in Black History month no less – with at least one Twitter user calling Nicki Minaj “trash.”
Here are some responses on Twitter:
This isn’t the first time Nicki has been accused of disrespecting a historic African-American figure. In 2014, the family of Malcolm X took issue with her using a photo of the legendary activist looking out the window holding a gun for the artwork of her “Looking Ass N*gga” single.