The sense of urgency to automatically hop out of my seat and dance when I hear the magic words, “I was on a plane with Dwayne…” still remains the same, even twelve years later. On Friday, Nicki Minaj reissued her “Beam Me Up Scotty” mixtape on all streaming platforms and for a few seconds it felt like the world stopped. Black Twitter was in a frenzy, for good reason. Nicki Minaj has been doing the mom thing, the wife thing and I love that for her but I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t missed within the rap/music space. In my mind, I instantly time-traveled back to 2009 at midnight when the mixtape was reissued. Back then, I was a sophomore in high school, and what a time that was! I can still see the blunt hair bangs, the bamboo earrings, the flat mesh sandals or Uggs, with a Tahitian treat soda, eating a platter from Crown Fried Chicken with my girls! It took me back to those hot as all hell one dollar house parties where we’d be packed in but when “Itty Bitty Piggy”, “I Get Crazy”, “Kill da DJ”, or any song from this mixtape came on the energy completely shifted and the girls went crazy. “Beam Me Up Scotty” is such a nostalgic mixtape from start to finish. The type of emotion that it evokes for the people (yes, I said people is in both women and men because I know a lot of straight men know the words to some of her songs on this mixtape, don’t front) of my generation is limitless.
I honestly have no clue as to what my life would even be like without music. For any feeling I have ever felt, I can instantly think of a song or an album that ties along with it. Music is also very good at taking you back to a time. You hear a song that you haven’t listened to in years and it’ll quickly place you back in that time frame and there you are, reminiscing. “Beam Me Up Scotty” does just that for me and so many other Black people. At the time when it originally came out, a lot of us were young, carefree, and probably bill-free, too. Life is different now. Adulthood isn’t always glamorous but it’s not as bad as people sometimes make it out to be. Hopefully, we are still youthful at heart but just filled with responsibilities now. Of course, I had listened to “Beam Me Up Scotty” since 2009; thank God for Soundcloud, Youtube, etc. but being able to listen to it from a streaming service, like Apple Music, that we use every single day is such a beautiful moment. The many facets of adulthood seemed to pause as we relished in the moment of this monumental mixtape that was now so easily accessible.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Nicki Minaj is the Queen of Hip-Hop/Rap of my generation. We could easily reflect on her longevity in the music industry, her unpredictable personality, her albums, and even her features on songs by artists of many genres. Time and time again Nicki has shown us that she is not one to play with when it comes to rapping. She has bars and on the perfect beat, she really goes off every time. On hard beats like “Seeing Green” and “Chi-raq”, two of the five new tracks that Nicki added to the “Beam Me Up Scotty” tracklist, you can still hear that raw, fierce, and hunger filled woman who we’ve been listening to for over a decade. She’s continuously hit many milestones within her career, one including being the first woman in music history to have one hundred appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
I am forever going to give Nicki Minaj a standing ovation for her work as an artist, period, but especially in a male-dominated industry. On so many different occasions she’s stood up for women, primarily Black women, and not only showed us but reminded us that there is nothing we can not do. Her return is everything we had hoped for and then some. Even if it’s only five new songs, I’m so happy to hear her giving us bars, new IG captions, and continuing to add to her legacy. Without a doubt, I will be enjoying my summer safely while taking it back to 2009 with “Beam Me Up Scotty” on blast!