It’s been a rough week for Nicki Minaj, and a still rougher week for those who respect her. Without wading into the bog of petulance and bad calls she’s subletting, I merely want to highlight a particularly egregious quote of hers from her Beats 1 show Queen Radio show that aired Tuesday.
Minaj claimed that she had wanted to perform at the VMAs alongside 6ix9ine, with whom she raps on the hit “FEFE,” but MTV powers that be that be didn’t allow it. She presented this as evidence of her character—good character, one assumes she was implying (say, someone who is loyal, who gives credit where it’s due), not the questionable character of someone who would collaborate with and then repeatedly defend a guy who pled guilty to use of a child in a sexual performance, admitting he’d posted sexually explicit videos of a 13-year-old girl, which he also appeared in (though he himself was not engaged in intercourse with her).
Here’s Nicki’s full quote (listen above):
I wanted Tekashi to perform with me at the VMAs and somewhere along the line he didn’t get approved to perform by the powers that be. I don’t want anyone to think for a second that I would not have asked him to come on my stage to perform his amazing hit fucking record, “FEFE.” I want everyone to know my character. I would never ever ever, okay? And I really, really fought. It is what it is. The thing, like, with me, I don’t give a...yo, when I know somebody there’s nothing you can tell me about them. That’s just how it is.
There’s Nicki’s character for everyone to know. “When I know somebody there’s nothing you can tell me about them,” is actually a terrifying thing to hear someone with so much power say. After her brother Jelani Maraj was accused of raping a 11-year-old girl in 2015, Minaj reportedly bailed him out and then posted a picture with him on her Instagram. Jelani Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault on a child in December 2017.
And while we’re here, just a brief word about this stream of negativity, self-righeousness, and defensiveness that’s been pouring out of Nicki lately: An effective ruler knows how to pick her battles and she doesn’t pay much mind to the opinions of commoners. Even before you get to her character, it’s plainly clear that her narrative is askew during this Queen album era.
I’ve reached out to MTV for comment on Nicki’s allegation and will update this post if/when I hear back.