MCs have cultivated a competitive culture that thrives off claims of grandeur. Being at the top of the game is the aim and the subject of virtually all rap battles. There is nothing surprising about a rapper boasting about being a genius. However, how many times has one been heard attributing their success to being sexually abstinent? We can think of Andre 3000 during the making of ATLiens or this Big Sean throwback. Celibacy isn't heavily promoted in this hypersexualized culture. Although Nicki Minaj infused her brand with sex since her debut, she's been on a different tip lately.

Some lyrics off her next album speak to the issue:

"Abstaining from sex had to zen my body
I ain’t giving, so don’t ask, I don’t lend my body
He gotta be king status to get in my body."

She tells Elle Magazine, “Becoming single was one of the things that made me feel strong and powerful. The fact that I am a young woman who doesn’t need a man for money. I don’t need a man for a job. I’ve never had to fuck for beats. I’ve never had to fuck for a record deal. I don’t have those pressures. I get up when I want, shop when I want.”

Now some might ask how this is possible after seeing Minaj half-naked on the cover art for the very album she claims was inspired by abstinence. It's actually quite simple: she makes the distinction between sex and sex appeal. Still, she feels guilty for promoting the type of image that might encourage aspirations of becoming a stripper or an Instagram model. Minaj refers to them as "modern-day prostitutes."

Apart from the low-key shaming of sex-workers, Nicki Minaj is pushing a progressive narrative as she juxtaposes sex appeal with abstinence. It demonstrates how the way someone dresses is not a direct reflection of their sexual life. It also inadvertently introduces a mainstream audience to the idea of sexual transmutation; the use of sexual energy as a creative force. When asked about her upcoming album that was inspired by her singledom, Nicki keeps it simple: "I really think it’s gonna be the best album of the year."

Listen to her latest single "Rich Sex." Ironic, I know.