On top of having to deal with her alleged child-rapist brother and having her boyfriend possibly land in jail again, Nicki Minaj is probably more stressed out than leggings around her rear end right now. However, there’s more ish for her to worry about. The Human Rights Foundation is urging the rapper to choose integrity over generous blood money.
Nicki currently has a December 19 gig in Luanda, Angola, as part of Unitel’s “Christmas Festival.” Unitel is owned by billionaire businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angolan dictator Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and is footing the bill to have Nicki perform her hits. The problem, says Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen, is Angola has a huge human rights crisis on its hands thanks to dos Santos’ corrupt and murderous regime.
Halvorssen wrote the 33-year-old Pinkprint rapper a letter detailing just how freaking bad the human rights issue is in the African nation and what makes the dos Santos family so horrible.
Ms. Minaj, the payment you are receiving from your Angolan sponsors is the result of government corruption and human rights violations. During their brutal three-decade authoritarian rule, the dos Santos family has exploited Angola’s diamond and oil wealth to amass an illegitimate fortune while maintaining control over all branches of the government, the military, and civil society. Dos Santos has made it his policy to harass, imprison, or kill politicians, journalists, and activists who protest their rule.
In Angola, independent media are subject to systematic legal and physical persecution. Journalists are routinely arrested, beaten, and even disappeared when covering corruption matters and exposing the dos Santos criminal enterprise. Beyond censoring through violence, the Angolan regime owns the only national radio station, controls the only daily newspaper, and exerts control over Angola’s television stations. Artists such as yourself are not allowed to freely express their opinions in Angola, where criticizing the government is a crime punishable with fines and imprisonment.
Halvorssen’s letter further urges Nicki to cancel the performance and instead advocate for the release of Luaty Beirão, a rapper thrown in jail in July 2015 for “attending a meeting to discuss democracy and non-violence” in Angola.
Nicki has yet to respond to Halverssen’s plea. If she does perform at the festival, she’ll join Mariah Carey, Sting, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Kanye as artists who have all accepted sketchy dictator money worth millions. Yeah, there was backlash for their performances, but people quickly stopped caring and forgot. I predict the same here.