No, Nicki Did Not Throw Shade At J. Lo

In case you missed the literal flawlessness that was Jennifer Lopez's jaw-dropping 2015 American Music Awards opening number, then you also didn't catch the .02 seconds that the camera cut to Nicki Minaj in the audience making a pretty expressionless face that somehow the entire Internet interpreted as crazy shade. Only here's the thing, no actual shade-throwing occurred because Nicki Minaj wasn't actually dissing Jennifer Lopez, as the rapper has now explained. She was actually just looking from the screen to the stage. Surprise, surprise: When put in context, Nicki Minaj's shifty eye emoji face was actually nothing more than her simply moving her head.

It's not a shock that the camera cut over to Minaj during J. Lo's number — after all, it happened at the exact moment that Lopez was paying tribute to the rapper's hit "Anaconda" (and doing a kickass dance to it, I might add) — but it's completely unnecessary that this was interpreted as some kind of massive dig at Lopez from Minaj. What the viewer is seeing here is literally two seconds' worth of footage with almost zero context, which could be interpreted as anything, really. To assume that Minaj looking one way and then — gasp! — another is her being some kind of shady diva is not only rude, it's harmful.

Taking to Twitter to deny the rumors, Minaj explained what was really going on when the camera panned over her:

But instead of seeing it as the rapper just looking around (remember, the Internet basically had no context here because it is literally the shortest of cutaways ever), Minaj was once again portrayed to fit the "diva" stereotype, one that ignites some kind of imaginary "diva war" with J. Lo — a pretty sexist interpretation to begin with, to be honest. Not to mention that it also, yet again, paints Minaj as the "angry black woman," an entirely racist and unfair portrayal in all situations, but particularly in one that literally does not even exist to begin with.

So, remember, folks: Next time you think someone is throwing shade (hint: it's a pretty common interpretation at award shows), you might want to wait for some more legit context, because a two-second video clip proooobably isn't enough evidence to prove that it actually happened. You know. Just a thought.

Image: Giphy