Dang. All right. I woke up to this. It’s the cover art for Nicki’s new single “Anaconda.” To be clear, we’d never see this on Beyonce’s Instagram and it’s not because Bey has more respect for herself than Nicki does. The Young Money Queen is feeling that pressure to stay in her Starship. Explore the issue after the jump.

T.I. and Iggy Azalea are playing a kind of chess with listeners. They understand that Iggy is the white version of Nicki, at least as far as fans who can’t tell the difference. They are selling the same thing: sex over beats. They also know that the white version of anything gets unearned attention, lavish praise and, most importantly, stacks on stacks on stacks.

Point taken. Nicki Minaj expressed some shade about this impostor’s game while saying, slyly, there was no shade at the BET Awards. This means there is concern in the Nicki camp. Iggy Azalea, as an artist, doesn’t hold a candle to Onika. Like not even one of those really small birthday cake candles. F it, she can’t hold a MATCH to Nicki lyrically, musically, and maybe personally. Nicki’s IQ score is higher, her jokes are smarter and fresher and she puts most rapper-turned-actors to shame with her antic performances in film. (Yes, there is a part of me that hopes Nicki reads this and takes this compliment for what it really is: yo what up doe.)

The Nicki Minaj of recent maneuvers has been disappointing, mainly because she engages in this gnat-swatting over Azalea, an inferior by every standard. Granted, every person should be allowed their sexiness. Women aren’t usually allowed to have their sexiness and all other traits that make them fly. Nicki cracked Pandora’s Box long ago, knowing that once she went the way of sex appeal, it would be her selling point. And in a way, that forces her to compete on the basis of how sexy she is forever. That’s the real sad part. She has merits. She can show her ass, all day and night sure. She could also do a sex tape, I guess, or a Playboy pictorial or put Safaree on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta to get more shine for his “dance career.” But she doesn’t do those things because she’s maintained an allure based on demanding respect as a performer. Her physical endowments, both born and bought, are nice to look at. They propel her career, in part, because everyone (stunningly) likes to look at nice things.

This Instagram picture though…smacks of desperation and singularity. On that slippery slope of sex appeal, it’s the grease that will race her to the bottom of the hill. Plainly, Iggy Azalea is younger, more supple at this moment in time, and Nicki’s age will show sooner than Iggy’s will. No use fighting a losing battle around looks when she wins in every other regard. Unless, of course, she doesn’t believe her merits can keep her at the top.

And that’s really our fault.