Nicki Minaj: US Prison System ‘Is Like Slavery’
Rapper Nicki Minaj has had a helluva year in terms of her artistry and political stances. Her album, The Pinkprint has sold 682,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Music. The album is also number 1 on Billboard’s rap albums. She has dominated headlines for calling out the biases of the music industry, misunderstandings with Taylor Swift and “beef” with Miley Cyrus’ constant cultural appropriation, and standing up for herself to unfair double standards in the media world.
In an interview with Billboard magazine, the Trinidad and Tobago born rapper opened up about politics, her personal life and upcoming ABC Family/ Freeform TV show depicting her life as a kid and documenting the difficulties of being Trinidadian and immigrating to the USA.
She reveals that she has been involved with the many different phases of production of her new comedy. Minaj has also revealed her stance on mass incarceration proclaiming it to be like “slavery.”
“What it has become is not a war on drugs. It has become slavery. Or something crazier, ” she says. “When I see how many people are in jail, I feel like, ‘Wait a minute. Our government is aware of these statistics and thinks it’s OK?’ The sentences are inhumane. I love the president for trying to be a voice for people who no other person has ever tried to be a voice for.”
Her stance reflects the saddening numbers that Black people are 10 times more likely to be imprisoned for drugs when Blacks and whites used them roughly the same. America holds 25 percent of the world’s inmates and spends the most on prisons.
When she was asked about the President’s visit to the El Reno prison, outside Oklahoma City this summer:
” I thought it was so important when he went to prisons and spoke to people who got 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years for drugs. There are women who are raped, people who are killed and [offenders] don’t even serve 20 years. I was blown away, watching the footage of him speaking to the prisoners. They never felt like anyone in the White House cared about them. I loved that he made them people again. Because we all make mistakes. I think about how many men may have made a mistake to feed their families and then had to pay for it forever.”
Minaj also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, Sandra Bland and the current presidential race on Billboard’s year-end issue.