Opinion: Nicki Minaj's new single 'Chun-Li' and its music video are genius works of art, and may forever change the fighting game landscape

Move over Kanye, there's a new lyrical genius in town

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • April 15, 2018 at 1:49 p.m. PDT

As of the writing of this article, Nicki Minaj's music video for her new song, Chun-Li, is trending in fifth place on all of YouTube, and has 3.1 million views in less than 24 hours. Deservedly so.

Though we're not going to embed the video itself due to its relatively NSFW nature, allowing such a piece of inspired art to go by without proper acknowledgement would mean we're not doing our jobs as purveyors of current fighting game news and culture.

If you haven't already seen the music video for Chun-Li five times yet, please do yourself a favor and go check it out right here. It's more important that you do that than finish reading this right away.

Assuming everyone still reading has hit their five-view minimum quota, I wanted to take a closer look at Chun-Li in an attempt to unravel at list a small portion of the genius behind the lyrical content and video execution.

Minaj's ability to synthesize and juxtapose notable icons from vastly different avenues of popular culture in a way that sheds new meaning on them may be unparalleled.

Before we dig in, that godlike Photoshop of Minaj's face on the Chun figure from the banner was done by our guy DemonDan, and you can view the full image by clicking here:

MvCI Chun or This? image #1
Click images for larger versions

Where to start? As alluded to, Minaj's latest single brings together a fist full of recognizable names from mainstream music, film, television and video games. King Kong, Storm from X-Men, Lara Croft, Prince, 2 Chainz, Scarface and, of course, Chun-Li all come together to promote a very important message for our youth.

On first listen and/or read through, less thoughtful audiences may deem this a cheap spattering of relatable icons in a lazy attempt to reach as wide a demographic as possible, but that's why it's necessary to explore this song at least five times. Once you've done that, you'll surely see the deeper meaning. We won't spoil what it is.

It's no secret that Minaj's status as an A-list celebrity means she likely doesn't experience the daily struggles so many of her fans face, but her artistic choice to convey her entire music video in "selfie-style" as though captured entirely on a smart phone immediately bridges the social gap and puts her on a common level with fans.

The majority of the video sees Nicki in various poses on a couch as she raps, sometimes cutting to quick shots of her breasts, butt or a close up of her in an overly sexualized position to keep viewers appropriately on edge while also challenging pre-established social norms. We won't spoil what those are.

One of the early comments on the YouTube video claimed that listening to this song and watching this video would effectively make someone intellectually dumber. I hope to speak more to people of this mind than anyone else with the next bit here.

I'd like to focus on one verse inparticular as it's one of the to times Chun's name actually comes up in the song.

Borrowing from Al Pacino's famous "Bad Guy" monologue from Brian De Palma's 1983 cult classic, Scarface, Minaj passionately yells, "They need rappers like me! They need rappers like me! So they can get on their f****** keyboards! And make me the bad guy... Chun-Li."

This is a bold choice considering Chun-Li's consistent status as one of Street Fighter's leading protagonists, always aligned with the good guys and never once hinting at a heal turn in the last 30 years. Again, one may be inclined to see this as a lazy inclusion of a recognizable name that has absolutely nothing to do with the current train of thought, but you'd be dead wrong.

Minaj identifies with the Strongest Woman in the World through more than just having considerably thiccer than average thighs. Both are inherantly good and nearly incorruptable, but the widely toxic social media landscape of 2018 can lead to wrongful deformation of character, and even those as pure as Nicki or Chun are not immune to this.

Surely the analysis could go on for hours, as the levels of intellectual excavation to be explored in Chun-Li are seemingly infinite. We'll call it quits here, but would love too hear what messages came through to you as u listened to this immediately immortalized bit of fighting game artistic history.

Feel free too share how it changed ur life in the comments below.

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