Anaconda, A Marxist Reading

October 28, 2014 8:00 am
Views: 1629
Anaconda, A Marxist Reading

More than any other song played at frat parties, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” is an incisive commentary on the shortsightedness of the bourgeois and how this shall allow the proletariat to ultimately wrest control from the upper-class’s limp, ass-grabbing hands. The song begins with a sample from ‘Baby Got Back’ representing the atrophied upper classes, underlining the fact that the bourgeois have not developed anything themselves in the past 22 years. A striking statement, but one that is soon overshadowed by the content of the song’s verses.

The first verse launches into a narrative about Minaj’s “boy toy” named Troy. A drug dealer in Detroit, he represents the Latin American communist revolutionaries and their abandonment of the proletariat’s cause in favor of cocaine money. Troy/revolutionaries uses this money to provide for Minaj/proletariat, but Minaj can see through their lies. The crucial point in this verse is where Minaj decides to grab a gun—which, as Mao Tse-Tsung said, is the source of all political power—and begins to take matters into her own hands. She is “high as hell” without use of any drug other than the self-empowerment (she “only took half a pill,” an allusion to birth control and a woman’s right to decide).

Here we reach our main thesis: “He” (the bourgeois) “can tell that [the proletariat] ain’t missing no meals.” Minaj has asserted the proletariat’s ability to care for itself. “Come through and fuck ‘em in my automobile” is clearly a commentary on the necessity of the Industrial Revolution to allow the workers to seize the means of production. The “grills” that “he” is supposed to eat “it” with are an allusion to the chains that formerly bound the proletariat. But through all this, the bourgeois realize nothing, and insist that they “want something [they] can grab,” at which point Minaj declares that she is going to physically assault them and their lofty lifestyles like “dun-d-d-dun-d-d-dun-dun,” The refrain of “oh my gosh, look at her butt” is a two-sided declaration: on the one hand, this is a rallying cry for the rest of the proletariat to look at her as she walks towards the ongoing revolution, and a reminder of the elite’s fixation on their material wealth instead of the growing discontent of the poor.

It is at this point in the song that we find Michael, who used to ride motorcycles—a clear reference to Che Guevara, who famously rode around South America on his motorcycle. “Dick bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s” is a clever play on words: the Eiffel Tower obviously represents the French philosophers such as Camus that turned their back on the proletariat, and thus Minaj in response turns her back on them. The second part of this play on words is the little-known historical fact that Che Guevara was actually quite well-endowed. The fact that he “let me play with his rifle” is homage to the fact that Guevara legitimately attempted to spread the words and action of revolution. This line is followed with “Now that bang bang bang,” alluding to Guevara’s execution by rifle, and the rest of this verse moves back to the drug lords of former verses that only supported the proletariat in name, because truly they “slang cocaine.” However, at this time there is no one else for Minaj to turn to, so she allows them to “toss [her] salad like [their] name’s Romaine,” an allusion to the successful communist coup in Romania after WWII’s conclusion. But their revolt is similar to Romania’s in appearance alone, for they are also failed bourgeois clad in the false garments of the revolution.

The song then continues with the refrain “little in the middle but she got much back,” a simple reflection of the shrinking middle class and the growing impoverished masses. Finally, “Anaconda” ends with a call to arms: Minaj does not want the false help of bourgeois revolutionaries like Guevara, and she simply states “fuck you if you skinny bitches” (“skinny bitches” being the archetype of the bourgeois). Instead, she calls for the mobilization of all of the proletariat, symbolized by the “fat ass big bitches,” and the song riotously ends with her repeatedly calling them to action.

Tags: