For as long as she held the crown for women in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj could always count on the ever loyal support of her “Barbz,” the fan club-slash-bully brigade who helped her promotions go viral and lashed out at any critics of their Queen. Today, though, she announced that she was trading in her royal throne for family life and the news has had a reverberating effect on social media — in other words, the Barbz are shook.
The top trending topics as of this writing not only include “Nicki Minaj” but also “Onika,” Nicki’s real first name, which her fans affectionately use for her in moments of exasperation. The reactions range from mild annoyance to outright panic, with fans offering observations, opinions, and jokes both praising and deriding Nicki’s decision.
i can't breathe- i'm telling myself this is a pre album prank to fuck with the haters but— i swear to god onika tanya maraj you better be pulling your bullshit rn pic.twitter.com/O7xUMIzuXT
— 𝖘𝖆𝖒𝖆𝖓𝖙𝖍𝖆 (@samanthabitch9) September 5, 2019
One fan even resorted to outright denial, using Nicki’s preponderance of nicknames and alter egos to argue that the 34-year-old performer can have her cake and eat it too: “We got to remember only Nicki Minaj is retiring,” wrote @Johnnique3, “She ain’t say anything about Roman, The Harajuku Barbie, Nicki The ninja, Nicki the Barbie, Nicki the boss, Chun Li, Nicki Lewinsky, Nicki Teresa, Cookie, The female Weezy, Martha Zolanski, and Onika Maraj.”
We got to remember only Nicki Minaj is retiring… She ain’t say anything about Roman, The Harajuku Barbie, Nicki The ninja, Nicki the Barbie, Nicki the boss, Chun Li, Nicki Lewinsky, Nicki Teresa, Cookie, The female Weezy, Martha Zolanski, and Onika Maraj pic.twitter.com/ghmyCFCkRw
— nique ° (@Johnnique3) September 5, 2019
Some of the reactions weren’t quite as nice, with an airy, “good riddance” vibe to them, while K-pop fans — arguably the only group more ubiquitous than the Barbz, with plenty of overlap between them — joked that Nicki felt threatened by the return of girl group Loona, despite occupying a totally different musical lane.
Nicki Minaj: I’m tired of making music I’m gonna retire
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) September 5, 2019
nicki minaj quitting rap just as loona said their comeback was around the corner… safe to say she was threatened by gowon
— britt (@4jinsouI) September 5, 2019
Whether the reactions were good, bad, or chaotic neutral, collectively they made one fact undeniably clear: Nicki Minaj is retiring as one of hip-hop’s most popular, polarizing, and impactful figures, and any move she makes is worthy of discussion. Check out more fan reactions below.
Onika sweetie, I know you want to get married and have a baby and that fine, but once that kid hops out your coochie can you bless us with another album, I beg. pic.twitter.com/Df6f0DTs0y
— regretfully a person (@Ihatemortals) September 5, 2019
Me when I read Onika’s retirement announcement pic.twitter.com/TUj6dCO1Jz
— Kathiana (@iconkathiana) September 5, 2019
— Antonio Díaz (@aantonixx) September 5, 2019
Nicki Minaj thank you for 10 years+ of memories and hits that’ll last forever. Thank you for always standing and fighting what’s right. And to all always remember life’s a movie and it’ll never be a sequel. love u forever♥️♥️♥️ @NICKIMINAJ pic.twitter.com/m9rs7pgS7r
— NEWYORK TO CHITOWN (@GoodGuyNelson) September 5, 2019
Didn't Jay Z do this, like, at least 5 times? https://t.co/OfxOLSviEE
— Real Carly Fisher (@carlyafisher) September 5, 2019
It sucks that many women have to make this decision. I'm sure Mrs. Petty will be able to do both 🙏🏽 https://t.co/FVkbnNvvc9
— Sowmya Krishnamurthy (@SowmyaK) September 5, 2019
So because Cardi B broke all Nicki Minaj's records, she decided to RETIRE? pic.twitter.com/sHBwjYQ4LI
— Buttercup D 👠 (@DisneyAriel9) September 5, 2019
Nicki Minaj starting a family doesn't come as a surprise. In the past, she's been transparent about her planned timeline of releasing 5 albums before having a baby.
The retirement does come as a surprise though because she once said she was contractually obligated to do 6 albums
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) September 5, 2019