By Hillary Crosley with reporting by Sway Calloway
Like Wiz Khalifa‘s Taylor Gang fan club, Nicki Minaj has named herself and those who love her. The ‘Barbies’ are the MC’s legion of fans that know all of her lyrics, hang on her every rhyme and adore her every high-heeled boot. Sway asked Nicki how the term came about during her chat on “RapFix Live” yesterday (October 28) here on RapFix.
“It was just one of those things that … I think all girls say it,” said Nicki of the term. “They call themselves a particular Barbie, like black Barbie or Korean Barbie. I don’t know … Barbie’s been such a staple in our culture that as women, no matter what color you are, it’s almost like there’s always a Barbie that you can relate to, especially when they made Barbie’s that went to work, [and so on].”
As for when Nicki herself adopted the term for her fans, she said it was a happy accident.
“I just said one day, you know I have a Nicktionary, it’s my own little terms and phrases, and one day I said, instead of saying ‘bye’ I said ‘It’s Barbie bitch,’ ” she recalled. “I could just imagine a Barbie becoming like a Chuckee and you think it’s all cute but the head starts spinning or something crazy and the kids just took that and ran with it”
But even before creating a new way of saying goodbye, the femcee said our own Sway couldn’t pronounce her full nickname.
“I was calling myself a Harajuku Barbie, which you ruined,” Nicki told Sway with a smile. “I’ll never forget the moment when you called me the ‘Yukahari Barbie!’ First of all, I couldn’t believe that Sway was even talking about me, or even kinda knew about what I call myself. But when you ruined the name, I literally fell on the floor cracking up. ”
“But anyway, I was calling myself the Harajuku Barbie because a lot of girls on MySpace at that time—this was when MySpace was really big—were calling themselves something Barbie and I wanted mine to be really unique and different,” continued Nicki. “So I said ‘Harajuku Barbie,’ and that’s when I said ‘It’s Barbie bitch’ to say goodbye. Then all of the kids on Twitter just started saying it and then I started saying it. I would call them on Ustream and that’s how I’d say bye. It just took on a life of it’s own.”
And since it’s all about teaching those younger than us how to survive and prosper, the Queens native said that her ‘Barbiez’ are more of a movement than a toy reference.
“It’s definitely a movement at this point,” says Nicki. “People really identify with me through that and I definitely don’t think that when we say ‘Barbie,’ we’re thinking of the plastic little doll with the blond hair anymore. It’s really how we’ve come to define ourselves, but there’s so many surrounding circumstances.
“I always promote the girls to have their own stuff, be go-getters,” continued Nicki Minaj. “Don’t depend on a man for anything, going to school is a big criteria. When you connect with your friends in a way that they feel like they’re a part of a certain club, it boosts their self esteem because they’re no longer a fan, they become a friend.”
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