Analysis Essay: Examining Lyrics
On this bright early morning, I was rushing for my dear life. Summer is about to end, and classes are about to start. I remember this day so clearly, it was the morning of my first day of freshman year in college. I don’t think I even got sleep that night, because of how nervous I was. I also tried going to sleep early, but as soon as I opened my eyes, next thing you know I’m out the door. That was one of the fastest night, I’ve ever experienced. I was so nervous, nervous to even go take the subway. All my life, I’ve always walked to school, or my older brother would drive me wherever I had to go. Taking public transportation scared me, because of the fear of being lost. I remember the night before, to save the map and instructions to go from house to college. I got on the train, and sat all the way in the back. Where I know now are for the disabled. From my seat, I was still able to see where the train stopped at each stopped, and that’s all I really needed to get me going. I pulled out my headphones from my bag, and just hoped that some music would help me get through this train ride, without just staring into nothing. I put my headphones in, went to my downloaded playlist and put it on shuffle. The first song that happened to play was by Nicki Minaj, called “All Things Go.” Onika Tanya Maraj, known professionally as Nicki Minaj, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and model. I’ve heard the song “All Things Go” a couple of times before, but during this train ride it moved me. The lyrics spoke to me in a way no other song has. The song itself shows how a artist is just like any other person, and deal with real life issues. And that everyone has a backstory, no matter how successful you get. In this song she touches base on her abortion (she’s never really spoke about it, but she did through this song), family, and her past relationship.
Nicki Minaj starts off by saying: [Verse 1] Yo, I had to reinvent, I put V in vent I put the heat in vents, man I been competin’ since. She repeats the word vent because she’s trying to convey how long she’s been hustling for, by “over exaggerating” since the invention of vents. Goes on by saying, I look beyond what people sayin’, and I see intent. Then I just sit back and decipher, what they really meant. Nicki says she looks into what people are saying to determine whether or not they’re really using her or trying to manipulate her. Then, like she said she sits back and tries to decode whether their intentions are genuine. Continues on by saying life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel. Similarly in movies, in real life we all have plot twists and have to deal with problems. Cherish these days, man do they go quick. Just yesterday, I swear it was ‘o-six. Ten years ago, that’s when you proposed. I looked down, “Yes, I suppose.” Don’t take the time you have for granted and to cherish those moments, because you won’t be able to go back in time. Nicki recalls when her ex boyfriend, proposed to her back in 2006 when she wasn’t as successful. She remembers this day like it was not too long ago. She says Yes, I suppose because during that time she wasn’t feeling confident with her decision to get married at the time. Follows up with the [hook], all things go (4x). I feel one minute, yeah, we got it then it’s gone. While we keep waiting for a moment to live for. So can’t nobody ever tell me that I’m wrong. Nicki is saying that nothing in this world lasts forever, she’s trying to take in everything one day at a time. In order to achieve all her goals and aspirations, and to live a happy life she has to pull through the tough situations she’s dealing with.
In [Verse 2] she starts off by saying, I lost my little cousin to a senseless act of violence. His sister said, he wanted to stay with me, but I didn’t invite him. Why didn’t he ask, or am I just buggin’? Cause since I got fame, they don’t act the same. Even though they know, that I love ’em. In 2011, Nicholas Telemaque (Nicki’s cousin) was shot and killed in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Relatives thought the shooting must’ve been incidental. And that Nicholas was mistaken for someone else and killed for no reason. (Sulla-Heffinger, Anthony. “Rap Star Nicki Minaj’s Cousin Shot Dead in Brooklyn.” New York Post, New York Post, 5 July 2011, nypost.com/2011/07/05/rap-star-nicki-minajs-cousin-shot-dead-in-brooklyn/.) In this line, she goes on to say that she thought it was clear that she all loved her cousins equally. She’s asking herself why didn’t her cousin ask to stay with her. Nicki feels like she wasn’t clear enough to them. Going forward, Nicki wants to let them know that they are family, and it’s never a bad time to bother her.
Final [Verse 3] she says let me make this clear I’m not difficult, I’m just ’bout my business. I’m not into fake industry parties, and fake agendas. Rock with people for how they make me feel not what they give me. Nicki does not come to industry parties to waste time. If it’s not regarding business or doesn’t help her improve her craft which is music, then don’t invite her. Next line, even the ones that hurt me the most, I still show forgiveness. Even though people in the past hurt Nicki, she wants to let them know that she’ll forgive but won’t ever forget. I love my mother more than life itself, and that’s a fact. I’d give it all, if somehow, I could just rekindle that. She never understands, why I’m so overprotective. The more I work, the more I feel like, somehow they’re neglected. Nicki always has held a strong stand about how important family is. She’s had a tough childhood growing up in Queens, New York. Her father was a drug addict, and was in serious trouble before with the feds. He even set her family’s home on fire, by attempting to kill her mother. Ever since then, that drove her to be successful, and that was the only way to change both their lives. (Editors, Biography.com. “Nicki Minaj.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 10 Sept. 2018, www.biography.com/people/nicki-minaj-579.) Nicki hasn’t been seen with her mother in public too much, because she is trying to protect her from being in headlines. But the more time Nicki puts into her music, the more family time she loses. My child with Aaron, would’ve been sixteen, any minute. So in some ways I feel like ‘Caiah, is the both of them. It’s like he’s ‘Caiah’s little angel, looking over him.When Nicki was 16 years old, she reveals that she had a abortion and let’s out the name of dead child’s father, who was Aron. Caiah is short for Micaiah Maraj, Nicki’s youngest brother. By the time this song came out, Micaiah turned 16. Nicki feels like Micaiah is the both of them, and that her dead child is living through him. Nicki finishes off the song with the last line gee, we did it, let’s leave this imprint. Just finished writing, this is the Pinkprint. Gee we did it means, she’s finally finished the first song, the song “All Things Go” is the first track on the album The Pinkprint. She literally meant by imprint, because her album cover is her actual thumbprint in pink. Nicki believes that, the album The Pinkprint will last in the music industry for years. The Pinkprint went double platinum, and in 2016, she won the Best Female Hip Hop Artist award at the BET Awards for the seventh consecutive time. It was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016.
This song “All Things Go” has to be one of my favorite tracks by Nicki Minaj. Some people think most of her other tracks that she puts out, really have no meaning or that it’s all related to drugs, money, and sex. This track really shows how much of a great songwriter she is, and how she came literally from nothing. Dealing with family issues as a young girl, to being nominated for the Grammys is a big win! She touched base on real life issues: relationship and family problems, violence that still goes on today, and more. Nicki Minaj’s story is an example, of not matter how tough you have it, you can always push through it. Which pushes me to work hard everyday, because it will all be worth it one day.
Editors, Biography.com. “Nicki Minaj.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 10 Sept. 2018, https://www.biography.com/people/nicki-minaj-579574
Sulla-Heffinger, Anthony. “Rap Star Nicki Minaj’s Cousin Shot Dead in Brooklyn.” New York Post, New York Post, 5 July 2011, nypost.com/2011/07/05/rap-star-nicki-minajs-cousin-shot-dead-in-brooklyn/.