Nicki Minaj Samples Rick James On New Single -Topplaywriting
The pandemic, Nicki Minaj was focused on her family life as she welcomed her first child in September 2020. But Minaj has been ready to return to the music scene for months, having kicked off the year with singles “Do We Have a Problem?” and “Bussin” and teasing her upcoming fifth album.
Her latest single, “Super Freaky Girl,” is a sonic departure from her previous singles released this year. The track samples Rick James’ classic 1981 single “Super Freak” as Minaj raps some X-rated bars over the iconic funk riff, and calls to mind the reinvented-classic feeling of her 2014 smash single “Anaconda.”
Like many other songs today, “Super Freaky Girl” first became a sensation on TikTok. Minaj released a snippet of the song’s first verse, rapping “I can lick it, I can ride it while you slippin’ and slidin’ / I can do all ’em little tricks, and keep the d*ck up inside it.” Naturally, an accompanying dance challenge soon followed.
Ahead of the song’s release, Minaj took to her newly-revived Queen Radio show to discuss new music and much more. She also caught up with longtime friends and collaborators Drake and Lil Wayne, whom she recently reunited with at the Young Money Reunion show in Toronto.
The new single comes days after Minaj was announced as the recipient of the esteemed Video Vanguard Award at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, which she’ll be accepting at the ceremony later this month. She joins Grammy-winning rapper Missy Elliott as the only two women in hip-hop to receive the honor. Minaj praised Elliott for all of her contributions to the culture: “You kicked down this door. Nothing but love and respect for your iconic artistry.”
3 Ways To Tackle Hiring’s Mammoth Bias Problem
The shift toward skills-based hiring is part and parcel of improving racial equity in the workplace, but even the most well-intentioned hiring initiatives can fall flat if bias is not addressed.
The skills-based hiring movement is growing. A Burning Glass Institute analysis of more than 51 million job posts found that employers removed degree requirements for nearly half of middle-skills roles and more than one-third of high-skills roles between 2017 and 2019. And federal, state and private sector employers appear poised to accelerate this trend. This shift is partly driven by the call for improved diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) outcomes in the workforce and the recognition of skills-based hiring as a conduit for advancing racial and economic equity.
But as companies work to make this shift, we’re noticing a risk: Skills-based hiring efforts could fall flat if HR teams do not also invest in addressing the ways in which bias can impact hiring processes.
Skills-based hiring focuses primarily on reducing pedigree bias — the common tendency to prefer candidates who have a four-year degree or B.A. equivalent even when one is not necessary to be successful in the job. But there are other kinds of insidious bias that creep into hiring and can prevent businesses from maximizing DEI goals.
So, how can we transform talent processes to counter all forms of bias, center equity and ensure skills-based practices thrive?
- Develop a shared internal understanding of common biases and how they can show up in hiring.
The first step in addressing bias is accepting and acknowledging that it exists. It may also help teams to understand that bias is not inherently negative and serves an evolutionary purpose. Cognitive shortcuts help us parse millions of bits of information, identify patterns and streamline our decision-making.
However, these shortcuts become harmful when they influence how we assess and interact with groups of people. In the labor market, bias toward white candidates has led to occupational segregation and disparate outcomes in upward mobility.
To secure economic opportunity and mobility for all, we must raise awareness of the many biases behind our decision-making. Beyond pedigree bias, affinity bias and the halo/horn effect are the blockers we see most often in recruitment.
Affinity bias refers to the tendency of interviewers to gravitate toward, and more favorably rate, candidates with similar backgrounds, interests, personalities or work styles to the team and themselves. Statements such as “They would fit right in” or “They have a lot of similarities with the team” may be indicators that affinity bias is at play.
The halo/horn effect describes the tendency for hiring teams to allow one positive or negative trait to sway their first impression and overall ratings. This might look like placing an exaggerated emphasis on a particular response or experience from a candidate, whether positive or negative.
In our training sessions with companies, we find that simply surfacing and calling attention to different kinds of biases and engaging in honest reflection and discussion can have a significant influence on individual and team behavior.
- Update your practices and policies at each step of the hiring process.
Once teams have a shared understanding of the most prevalent biases, focus on redesigning systems to bring more objectivity and equity at every stage of hiring. Guiding questions to consider might include:
Do we conduct blind resume reviews? Removing candidate names, addresses, and the names of higher education institutions listed on resumes can limit the impacts of pedigree, affinity, gender and racial bias on the screening process. This can be done manually or with the help of various tech tools. Several employers are already anonymizing candidate applications, including HSBC, Deloitte and BBC.
Do we use standardized interview processes, questions and evaluation criteria for all candidates in a given search? Keeping the interview format consistent will allow you to objectively evaluate candidates’ skills as opposed to relying on proxies, such as their alma mater, previous company or internal referrals. A standardized scoring template can also help hiring teams avoid hiring based on “culture fit” or “good feelings” about candidates, which are all too often code for affinity bias.
Do we engage diverse hiring panels to make decisions on candidates? Doing so can help uncover hidden biases, add rigor to the evaluation process, and provide greater insight into candidates’ backgrounds.
Though not a comprehensive list, each of the above practices has evidence of reducing bias and increasing the likelihood of hiring historically excluded talent.
- Provide training and design accountability structures for everyone involved in hiring.
It is not enough to institute a new policy or practice — companies must consistently support the people who will be implementing those practices day to day. This includes both training for hiring managers on new approaches, such as standardized interviewing, and accountability mechanisms to support implementation, such as integrating DEI hiring outcomes into performance reviews. Companies who are most successful at both skills-based hiring and mitigating bias are diligent about communicating with and training their people to understand the value of these strategies and their role in enacting change.
Without thoughtful examination of how bias can subvert every step of the hiring process, efforts to take a skills-first approach run the risk of leaving DEI outcomes exactly as they were before. If diverse representation and equity are a key priority, companies must mitigate the many kinds of bias that we all have when making hiring decisions.
What’s more, bias mitigation protocols should not be limited to the hiring stage. They should be embraced as part of a broader strategy, to bolster DEI and support workers at every phase of the talent journey. That strategy will look different for every employer, but understanding your DEI growth areas can help shape and advance it.