After three days of re-watching Taylor Swift hiking up her Urban Outfitters cheekies and trying her very hardest to "do the twerk," the Internet was more than ready for Nicki Minaj to release the new music video for her much-hyped, Sir-Mix-A-Lot sampling "Anaconda." Surprising absolutely no one, Nicki did the damn thing. This video has it all—overflowing beverages, twerking booties, Mattel’s entire Barbie prosti-tot 2014 collection, and Drake with a boner.
Minaj, an avid student of the "show, don't tell" approach to narrative, has made ample use of visual imagery in order to convey the central themes of "Anaconda." Namely, she has a "big, fat ass." But Nicki doesn't just tell us she has a big, fat, ass—that would lack craft and subtlety. Rather, she shows us: that spandex clad ass twerking in the jungle, surrounded by a feral pack of similarly well fed asses? That's Nicki Minaj's big, fat, ass! The line “he can tell I ain’t missing no meals”? That’s a clever, lyrically inventive allusion to Nicki’s big, fat ass (thanks for that analysis, Rap Genius!). That coconut overflowing with sweet, foamy white juice? Well that's just a coconut, pervert. Don't make this weird.
But Nicki isn't just in the jungle to rap about a drug dealer named Troy from Detroit—she's there to take the least effective, most sexual barre class ever. While spreading your legs perpendicularly on a bamboo ledge might not technically be considered a work out, it's a great way to relax and unwind with friends. Just pop a few bananas on a turntable and you've got yourself a casual kick back! Of course, for Minaj a ladies night consists of lining up her girlfriends/jungle ladies-in-waiting back to back and silently stroking their spines while trying to keep her heavy fake eyelashes from gluing together and trapping her eyeballs in one huge fur ball. Stars, they're just like us!
But before you can say, "can someone please sanitize those jungle bars," we've had a complete change of scenery. Now Nicki and her crew are rocking short shorts, kicks, and fanny packs. The girls proceed to execute a chair-based twerkoff that makes that iconic scene from Flashdance look about as erotic as an ad for off-brand Gas-X. My favorite thing about this portion of the video is the fact that Nicki won't let her dancers wear anything more substantive than a toddler's size 2-4, but she will give them kneepads. Apparently twerk-related knee injuries are a real thing.
But Nicki Minaj doesn't just exercise in slow motion once or twice a week. This lady is committed to multiple sessions of pointless, extremely exhibitionist workouts per music video. This iteration of Nicki is gym ready—she's got her tiny pink weights (clearly a missed opportunity for a Shake Weight product placement), her tight pink sports bra, and her ratty old neon pink workout thong. You know, the kind all of us girls have lying around. Minaj might not be breaking a sweat, but that outfit certainly is—if spandex could talk, this complete set would be begging for a raise (or at least trying to unionize with the semen coconut). Nicki's look, while undeniably "strong," is nothing compared to her cohorts' ensembles, which mainly consist of tiny white shorts emblazoned with a bright pink "Bunz."
This scene inexplicably gets even more explicit when Nicki puts on a pair of pink sweatpants, creating a whale tail of Moby Dick-esque mythical proportions. And you thought wearing sheer Lululemons to yoga was narcissistic. Kudos to the one back up dancer in this scene who's actually trying to do a candlestick on her yoga mat—keep fighting the good fight, girl.
At this point, Nicki is clearly worried that her audience doesn’t comprehend that this is a sexy, sexy song about sex stuff. To combat this fear, she went to her nearest farm stand and ordered the phallic special, unlocked the emergency whipped cream safe, popped on a naughty French maid costume and went to work. Nicki isn't afraid to dirty up this prop kitchen—like all great cooks, she knows that if you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few foot long cucumbers. Sure, being a domestic goddess is a messy job, but liberally dousing yourself in whipped cream just comes with the territory (the territory = deep throating an entire family of bananas).
For her piéce de résistance, Minaj makes one awkward, over-excited bar mitzvah boy's dreams come true. Sure, the bar mitzvah boy is Canadian rap superstar Drake, and it's been a decade or two since he hit puberty, but everyone knows you're not truly a man until Nicki Minaj gives you a personalized lap dance. Drake posted a still from this striptease on his Instagram, captioning the pic "MyAnacondaWasWayUp"—because while Nicki needs you to know that she has a big bootie, Drake would really like to call your attention to the existence of his dong.
While every aspect of this video is visually stimulating and intellectually arousing, I would like to specifically shout out Nicki's enthusiastic use of product placement. If you are legally blind and were therefore unable to notice these incredibly blatant plugs, they were for: Beats by Dre, because duh; MateFit, a natural weight loss tea (medically proven to suck out excess flesh from your body and paste it back on to your fat ass); and Myx, a "refreshing fruit infused Moscato beverage" that is actually co-owned by Nicki Minaj. Because while the main message of this music video is "look at my fat ass," the subtext is "I am an influential female tycoon and entrepreneur who has definitely read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In."
In conclusion, Nicki Minaj has a big fat ass, a strenuous exercise regimen, and an Oprah-worthy aphorism for body positivity:
“I said, where my fat ass big bitches in the club?
Fuck the skinny bitches! Fuck the skinny bitches in the club!
I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the muthafuckin' club."