I would not be at all surprised if Nicki Minaj ultimately joined Beyoncé in her self-imposed exile from interviews with the press. On one end, you want to celebrate the fact that the New York Times magazine opted to recognize Minaj for the pop cultural behemoth she has become. And the you read the actual article and realize how ironic that this profile is for the publication’s cultural issue and the woman interviewing Minaj is clueless.
Immediately, I noticed that when naming female stars of pop music, Vanessa Grigoriadis touts “Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and, as always, Madonna,” but conveniently leaves out Janet Jackson. Jackson has influenced numerous of the aforementioned names, and if we’re truly keeping it funky, actually has a song being played on the radio, unlike Madonna. Then there is Grigoriadis’ musings on female artists reclaiming the word bitch, but leaves out Lil’ Kim, who not only did that and then some, but also helped pave the way for the very pop-rap crossover stardom that Minaj presently enjoys.
But of course, she tried to tie Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga, which Minaj not surprisingly dismissed as being “so old.”
The lack of insight is almost comical until you realize how this is yet another piece on a Black star penned by a often condescending antagonistic writer who didn’t deserve the assignment. Therein lies the frustration Minaj ultimately shared with Grigoriadis after she posed a rather sexist question about the rift between her labelmate Drake, and her boyfriend, Meek Mill, as well as the lawsuit filed by Lil’ Wayne against Baby.
Grigoriadis asked, ‘‘Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness.”
And that’s when Minaj went off. Rightly so. “That’s disrespectful,” Minaj said. “Why would a grown-ass woman thrive off drama?”
Then, she really let her have it: “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.’’
Minaj went on to dismiss her as “rude” and a “troublemaker” before declaring, “Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way.” Ultimately, the boot came: “I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’
Still, not getting it, Grigoriadis closed this piece by opining, “I didn’t know how much of it Minaj really felt, and how much it was a convenient way of maintaining control.”
Read the rest at VH1.