For a long time, it seemed as though Nicki Minaj was one of the very few successful female rappers in the US, charting well and holding her own against the guys at the expense of a talented crop of women who seemed to never pan out past their initial hit singles. Now, though, a plethora of rapping women have stormed the charts, upending the rap status quo and changing the complexion of hip-hop arguably for the better.
However, in a recent Instagram Live chat with her “Boyz” collaborator Jesy Nelson, Nicki expressed some disapproval of the modern wave of female talent in hip-hop, saying that this generation of rappers can’t take criticism. “The new females, it’s almost like they don’t want to be critiqued ever,” she complained. “It’s like everyone is just supposed to praise you 24/7. Why would you even want that? Let me tell you what happens when that happens. What happens is when you put out an album, the sales won’t translate because people have been lying to you, and they haven’t told you they don’t like a song… Then when you put an album out and you thinking everybody love you. I’ve seen it recently happen. You know they put an album out, and it doesn’t sell what they want it to sell. Well, that’s because a lot of people are lying to you for whatever reason. You should want people to be honest with you.”
When one Nicki fan excerpted that clip to Twitter, though, some fans were quick to call Nicki out, cleverly wondering whether “the call is coming from inside the house,” as the saying goes. Certainly, Nicki’s statement appears to — perhaps inadvertently — describe the disappointing rollout for Nicki’s 2018 album Queen. When that album stalled at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart, the rapper conducted a vendetta of lashing out at media outlets and streaming platform companies for what she considered an “agenda” against her. The responses ranged from awed disbelief at what some fans saw as a stunning lack of self-awareness to wondering whether Nicki purposely pointed the spotlight at herself while playing the “my friend has a question” card.
THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! https://t.co/freMZlTwNg
— Is this… QUEcified? (@ChillyVII) October 12, 2021
Can’t take criticism but she was spiraling on twitter because they didn’t put her on rap lists 😭😭😭 https://t.co/CPPuEEiBpE
— KLAYCHEE (@KLAYCH33) October 12, 2021
— Glen CoCo (@chrissy_kreme10) October 12, 2021
Is this a deepfake or is she really this unaware? https://t.co/kXaz1j0dVH
— i gotta get out of here (@Mylifeischaos) October 12, 2021
Not her subbing her Queen album like this. https://t.co/wjRDrT84Kb
— Globethotter 🌍 (@BrianMcLight) October 12, 2021
This level of self unawareness is actually the bliss I desire https://t.co/TTNScrOw65
— FOREVER G 💔 (@FreeKeisuke) October 12, 2021
Nicki’s most loyal fans, meanwhile, took to speculating about which artists she could be talking about, positing Drake, Lil Nas X, and Megan Thee Stallion as possible answers — because the Barbz are nothing if not delusional. For the record, Drake held the No. 1 spot for three weeks while Lil Nas X has had multiple No. 1 hit records and debuted at No. 2 on the albums chart with his debut album — also, neither are women, so chalk up homophobia to the list of offenses from that fan base. Likewise, Good News, Megan Thee Stallion’s debut album, also debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, moving over 100,000 album-equivalent units in its first week and going platinum earlier this year.
Nicki has never gotten mad at real constructive & accurate criticism. If anything she’s ignored those that she felt were inaccurate. She’s only given a reaction to those who’ve used the term constructive criticism to project their personal hate towards her or inaccuracy upon her. https://t.co/nc1S5muoJ5
— Jay Maraj (@TheeBarbieHive) October 12, 2021
Meek need to watch this, bc niggas gassed this album bad https://t.co/HG5xyzk9U7
— Yayo, MBA (@beeyayo) October 12, 2021
This right here is about lil kim
— They call me Maraj (@willyz_wonkaz) October 11, 2021
idk why i think she talking about lil nas
— GimmeGorrilaGrip (@YurrItsB) October 11, 2021
Hopefully, whichever artist Nicki was referring to has learned a lesson and expelled the yes men from their inner circle. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the live stream, Nicki wondered whether she was being algorithmically muted on social media after her vaccine misinformation fiasco. You can watch the whole stream below.