Nicki Minaj calls out music industry, racism -- not Taylor Swift -- in epic Twitter rant

Taylor Swift, left, and Nicki Minaj at an event on Dec. 2, 2011.

Taylor Swift, left, and Nicki Minaj at an event on Dec. 2, 2011.

(Larry Busacca / Getty Images)

Nicki Minaj sure curdled some bad blood during a Twitter tirade that went down on Tuesday after the 2015 MTV Video Music Award nominees were announced.

The perennially snubbed rapper, who received three nods to Taylor Swift’s nine this year, took to Twitter to blast MTV and the music industry in a series of tweets. Swift, who appeared to believe that the “Anaconda” emcee’s frustration was directed at her, interjected herself in the crossfire and further catapulted Minaj’s gripes to a wider audience.

The whole ordeal, which further hyped the buzzy award show, turned into a commentary about race, feminism and body image, highlighting the bigger picture issues about the music industry glorifying only women who take their clothes off and diminishing the contributions of female African American artists.


“If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well,” Minaj wrote to her more than 19.8 million followers about her viral rump-shaking music video.

“Ellen [DeGeneres] did her own anaconda video and did the #choreo lol. Remember her doing that kick. Even mtv did a post on the choreo @MTV remember?” she wrote. “U couldn’t go on social media w/o seeing ppl doing the cover art, choreo, outfits for impact like that & no VOTY nomination?”

“Anaconda” didn’t get a nomination for video of the year, the show’s highest honor, but did rack up nods for female video and hip-hop video. Swift’s gal pal-heavy “Bad Blood” earned seven nods alone, including the vaunted video of the year. The other VOTY nominees included Beyoncé’s “7/11,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.”

Minaj, 32, capped the initial tirade with: “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.”

She also praised pal Beyonce and said that she was tired of black women being rarely rewarded for their influence on pop culture. She also promised to collect video of the year awards for “Anaconda” and “Feeling Myself.”

The music industry darling appeared to take the rant personally and replied to Minaj’s “slim bodies” tweet saying, “@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.”


The Pink Print rapper insisted that she wasn’t talking about the “Style” singer at all and that Swift was missing the point, then hurled another series of tweets.

“Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn’t say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u should speak on this. @taylorswift13,” she wrote. “I’m still confused as to why u just tweeted me when I made it abundantly clear... Nothing I said had to do with Taylor. So what jabs? White media and their tactics. So sad. That’s what they want.”

Swift didn’t leave it alone, though, and attempted to make peace by posting another tweet. Instead of coming off as authentic, though, she appeared patronizing and self-absorbed and Minaj called her out for missing the bigger issue (though several of her favorite tweets indicated her frustration was directed toward the 25-year-old).

“@NICKIMINAJ If I win, please come up with me!! You’re invited to any stage I’m ever on,” Swift wrote.

The high-profile debacle caught the attention of fans and celebrities alike, including Mars and Sheeran, who attempted to strike up a feud of their own. Katy Perry, the rumored subject of Swift’s “Bad Blood,” also waded into the deep end by tweeting that she found it ironic “to parade the pit women against other women argument” while “one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman.” (But that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

Things got really meta when Minaj started posting the abundant articles that surfaced about the fracas.


“Ryan [Seacrest’s website] posted a headline of Taylor saying she loves & supports me. But not me saying the same to her. Lol. Their headline says I took a ‘jab’?” she wrote, adding, “I’m so glad u guys get to see how this stuff works. Taylor took her music off spotify and was applauded. We launched Tidal & were dragged.”

The former “American Idol” judge shared several articles that furthered her point about black artists being overlooked and several that explained how Swift missed the mark by becoming an interlocutor.

By Wednesday, Minaj posted an excerpt of a Marie Claire article on Instagram that enumerated past nominees and winners — Britney Spears’ for “Toxic,” Robin Thicke for “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus for “Wrecking Ball” — all of whom featured a disrobing female.

“Marie Claire, thank u Time Magazine, The Guardian, New York Times, Complex, Vibe, Karen Civil, TV Guide, etc. The list goes on of news/media outlets who used their voice to help me make a very obvious point,” she wrote. “Thank you so much. Nothing to do with any of the women, but everything to do with a system that doesn’t credit black women for their contributions to pop culture as freely/quickly as they reward others. We are huge trendsetters, not second class citizens that get thrown crumbs. This isn’t anger. This is #information. It’s all love to MTV. Kisses to my fans and thank you for my 3 nominations.”

Swift apologized to Minaj on Thursday, tweeting that she thought she was being called out: “I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki.”

Minaj accepted her apology, responding with: “That means so much Taylor, thank you.” She later added, “I’ve always loved her. Everyone makes mistakes. She gained so much more respect from me. Let’s move on.”


Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.


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