Back in 2009, when she was still just known for being featured on Gucci Mane and Young Money songs, Nicki Minaj released a track called “Still I Rise,” about the difficulties of being a woman in the music industry.
Last night, after a year of breaking records and publicly defending black women’s legitimacy in the media, Minaj performed Maya Angelou’s 1978 poem of the same name.
Minaj took the stage for A&E’s Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, and recited Angelou’s ode to black female empowerment with pride. Try not visibly react (like the audience) when Minaj says coyly, “Does my sexiness upset you? / Does it come as a surprise / That I dance like I’ve got diamonds / At the meeting of my thighs?”
The special included many other celebrities appearances to spread awareness about racial injustice and raise money for United Way Worldwide. You can see the full two-hour concert tomorrow, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. on A&E.