Nicki Minaj took to the hallowed stage of Saturday Night Live this weekend to perform her new single, ‘Chun-Li’, and her performance is drawing some criticism revolving around accusations of cultural appropriation.
During the performance, Minaj rocked traditional Chinese and Japanese garb, while having all-Asian dancers and a Japanese-inspired set. It seems that she would be toeing the fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, but some people think she may have crossed the line.
why is no one talking about nicki minaj’s blatant cultural appropriation???
— janae (@janaexmiller) May 20, 2018
Is no one gonna talk about the fact that Nicki Minaj's performance on #SNL included cultural appropriation or???
— no justice no peace (@leahmillar97) May 20, 2018
However, other people are pointing out the fact that the song is reference to the video game character of the same name, and the performance is an homage to that. It’s also being noted that Minaj is of Indo-Trinidadian descent.
So I do not read @NICKIMINAJ's portrayal of Chun-Li as "appropriation" but as an embrace of a strong female character, both transcendent of race, but also as a nod to the long cultural connections between the African American & Asian communities. /end.
— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) May 20, 2018
Watch the performance below and decide for yourself. Minaj’s highly anticipated fourth album, Queen, is out Friday, 15th June.