Nicki Minaj Isn't a Drama Queen, She's Savvy
Some people may have mistaken Nicki Minaj for a trouble-starter after she called out Miley Cyrus at this year's VMA Awards and didn't even try to hide her disdain for the controversial singer. Whether you agree or disagree with Minaj's methodology — you can argue the show was not the ideal right place to air one's grievances — you would be wrong to assume Minaj is simply trying to stir the pot and drum up publicity for herself (I mean, she has done a pretty good job of generating publicity without Cyrus). In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Minaj didn't shy away from discussing Cyrus and the bone she has to pick with her. But the thing is, her reasons for doing so aren't at all petty.
Just to jog your brain a bit, their feud began after the VMA nominations were announced and neither "Anaconda" nor "Feelin' Myself," the 32-year-old rapper's collaboration with Beyonce, were anywhere to be found in the Video of the Year category. It instead acknowledged Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." Minaj responded by tweeting, "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year." Swift revealed that she felt insulted, but wound up apologizing and making nice with Minaj. The same could not be said for Cyrus, who told The New York Times that she didn't respect the rapper's statement because of the anger associated with it, and accused Minaj of making things all about herself.
Not so fast. Minaj cleared up any confusion by explaining exactly why Cyrus and her statement infuriated her, and why she felt justified in taking that disagreement to the VMA stage:
The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls. You’re in videos with black men, and you’re bringing out black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how black women feel about something that’s so important? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad. If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn’t not want to know that.
Well said. The fact that some people criticized the way Minaj handled her anger — she famously called Cyrus a "b*tch" while accepting her award — overlooks the fact that she has something important to say about the way she feels black women are treated by society and within the music industry. I get that her blunt manner may not be everyone's cup of tea, but dismissing Minaj because you find her delivery too abrasive is like throwing away a Wagyu steak because you dislike the parsnip side dish that came along with it.
Minaj proves in this interview that she is intelligent and has a strong point of view that needs to be heard. Take her quote about calling out an interviewer who asked her if she feels flattered by the Drake / Meek Mill feud — in just a few words, she shows how the bigger issue is how women are spoken about and treated:
That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you? Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask? To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.
A woman should stand up for herself and demand that others treat her with respect and acknowledge her voice. Minaj does so without any regard for proper protocol, which may throw some people off. But she's doing what she has to do to get her point across. Sometimes, luring people in with honey alone isn't going to cut it.