Chun-Li is known as one of the first and among the strongest female warriors in video games. She was created by the game company called Capcom, as part of the Street Fighter fighting games series. Chun-li debuted in the 90’s where she quickly became one of the faces of the franchise and a fan favorite for her strength and technique.
Chun-li and her fantastic Thiccc thighs were developed by a man named Akira Yasuda who loved thighs and giant robots. In 2018 Capcom a released popularity poll on Street Fighter and our main Thiccc thighed Queen listed sixth. Chun-li’s character and lore comes from Capcom, a Japanese gaming company that’s been running since 1983, a character who background is of Chinese origin. She became a well-known character with her feats of power and gracefulness, no wonder why Nicki Minaj identifies with her.
Chun-Li’s name is Mandarin for “spring beauty” (春 chūn, “spring”; 麗 lì, “beautiful”). It is properly romanized as Chunli in pinyin and pronounced “Chuen-lee”, despite westerners commonly pronouncing it as “Chuhn-lee”. The Japanese on’yomi reading of the name is Shunrei.
Older official sources from the early 90’s indicate Chung was Chun-Li’s surname, although it is worth noting this could very well not be the case anymore. In the live-action Street Fighter movie, Chun-Li was given the surname Zang/Xiang, but Capcom has not officially recognized it.
As of writing this, I am currently watching the Chun-Li Music video by Nicki Minaj. As of writing this, I have seen this video about ten times.
Nicki Minaj in her music video Chun-li is the rapper’s newest persona for the release of her latest album after a four-year hiatus. Nicki Minaj refers to herself as “Bad Guy Chun-Li” a name that in itself implies she knows how her performance of an Asian character will be received. She also alludes to the fictional character Laura Croft from Tomb Raider, Storm from X-men and even King-Kong.
Nicki Minaj did indeed get backlash when she performed on SNL doing her rendition of Chun-li and according to Hiphopdx the backlash went viral and spread far out through the internet and resurfaced the controversy surrounding a photo of a white girl wearing a traditional Qipao to Prom. The rapper is far from the first to be criticized for appropriating Asian culture, with the sexualization of traditional female clothing in particular, as in Minaj’s music video and live performance is a recurring theme in pop culture. Nicki Minaj did have exclusively Asian performers on SNL, which could be read as an attempt to engage respectfully.
What do you think of Nicki Minaj controversial performance? Do you think it’s cultural appropriation? (Also, Nicki Minaj has changed her name on twitter to Chun