An old friend of mine texted me today, asking for my opinion on Nicki Minaj's song "Beez in the Trap" off her new album. She said, "I think she's losing her mind. She tried to explain it on TV, and it made no sense.WTF is she talking about?"
So I did some research, and the internet delivered. When you break down Nicki's lyrics, the overall message of the song is one espousing the virtue of hard work.
The phrase 'bees in the trap' has two meanings. Firstly, it is an old phrase meaning "I've got what I need, and then some more." Minaj uses this saying throughout her song to proclaim how successful she is.
Secondly, the word "beez" is a Southern slang word that is fairly equivalent to "I'm always." A "trap," also also a Southern slang term, is essentially a crack den or a seedy place where a dealer sells drugs.
In this song, it is used to mean the place where Nicki makes her money. The hook of the song, "I beez in the Trap," means two things: she is wildly successful, and she is always in the office/studio working.
In the first verse of "Beez in the Trap," (all the lyrics are here), Nicki reminds her listeners that while she's been extremely successful recently, it didn't happen overnight. She's been toiling in studios making demo tapes for years, even before her first album hit the top charts in 2010. Throughout the first verse, she makes references to the various producers who turned her down before she got famous and brags that she is just as good, if not better, than other male rappers out there.
The second verse of the song is sung by 2-Chainz, a male rapper. He begins his verse by telling Nicki to essentially hold her horses. He then launches into a laundry list of all the expensive stuff he owns, and how he would be perfectly capable of affording all of these things, even if he wasn't rapping. 2-Chainz basically rebuts Nicki's first verse which asserts she's better and far more successful than her male counterparts.
In the bridge, Nicki wonders out loud what people can possibly be thinking of her. She concludes they must be jealous of her success. Nicki sums up by asserting that she's too awesome to care what other people think. If anyone tries to tear her down, she's not going to let them; they'll find that she's much tougher than she looks. Nicki exemplifies the American attitude of exceptionalism because she thinks that her success is due to her immense talent and resilience.
Nicki responds to 2-Chainz directly in the final verse. She lists all the cities in which she's said goodbye to fans — a list which goes on for quite some time, and a slap in the face to rappers who don't tour nearly as often or keep as busy a schedule as she does. Her third verse conclusively proves that she really is one of the most successful artists out there. Moreover, as she reminds her listeners through the song's hook, her success is due to all of her hard word on the road and in the studio.
For a generation of millenials displaced by the economy and looking for a way to achieve the success that was promised to us, Nicki teaches us to keep a self-confident and positive outlook. As her newest single reminds us, success doesn't come overnight. You must beez in the trap if you want to get anywhere.