I generally feel the same way about Nicki Minaj that I do about Katy Perry. I’m a pop junkie, so I like some of their songs but not their personas. (Or excuse me, Nicki Minaj’s persona and Katy Perry’s personality.)
My feelings for Minaj’s Cash Money bro Drake go the other way. (His rapping hasn’t improved much since the Degrassi days.)
Nicki gave a surprisingly less vapid and immature interview with DJ Peter Rosenberg from New York’s Hot 97 than we’re used to on Monday, discussing problems with male-driven society and Rosenberg himself, who caused Minaj to pull out of the Summer Jam concert in Jersey last summer when he called her song “Starships” bullsh*t.
“I know there are some chicks in here waiting to sing along with ‘Starships’ later,” Rosenberg told the crowd before Kendrick Lamar took the stage in 2012. ”I’m not talking to y’all now. F*ck that bullsh*t. I’m here to talk about real hip hop sh*t.”
Minaj addressed his comments by simply telling him that she was a longtime Hot 97 listener who, at the time, had no idea who he was or why he had chosen to single her out at an event she was headlining.
When Rosenberg asked if she thought she was guilty of being a toughass “diva,” she responded with several sentences that could actually be classified as insightful. Super long transcript ahoy…
I handle my business and also, I speak up for myself. But if I was not like this, so many people would have taken advantage of me. What people don’t understand is that, when I was doing this, I took a lot of shit from people. From men who didn’t want me to realize my own worth. Who didn’t want me to know the truth about who I was and how good I was.”
I had people literally speak to labels that wanted to sign me and wouldn’t tell me. I just dealt with a lot of stuff from guys. Plus my father was so crazy, you know, with his alcohol and drug abuse and stuff like that. I’ve just always felt like I’m never going to let anyone pull me down and make me feel small. I’m never going to let a man do that.”
I think sometimes that transfers over into your career as a woman … There’s a chip on your shoulder because you’ve experienced headstrong men, and I experienced my mom not really speaking up as much as I wanted her to when I was young, and that’s all I really saw. I remember thinking “Why won’t she say something, why won’t she yell back?” that’s kind of where it comes from.
But I’m a businesswoman. I run companies. I don’t think people understand that. And so sometimes, is there a diva moment, yeah, but my heart is always in the right place. I never try to be mean to people, but sometimes is there a crazy situation where somebody might get cussed out? Yeah.
In closing, and not to dampen her point at all because I think it was a good one, one Gawker commenter said Nicki “looks like La Toya Jackson if she had been raised by The Fantanas in Elton John’s costume closet.” I’m all about good observations.