why nicki minaj pulled the plug on a magazine interview

“Why would a grown ass woman thrive off drama?”

by Emily Manning
07 October 2015, 7:21pm

Image via @nickiminaj

Nicki Minaj has had enough drama. On Twitter, at the VMAs, and apparently, in her Trump hotel room. That's where Vanessa Grigoriadis interviewed the rapper for her New York Times Magazine cover story -- before Minaj booted her out.

Let's backtrack a little. This morning, the magazine published The Passion of Nicki Minaj, Grigoriadis' profile of the best selling female rap artist of all time. The piece is truly compelling for many reasons, some of which include Minaj's poignant responses to white female pop stars needlessly inserting themselves into the far more important points she's making about race and representation. But perhaps the story's most fascinating aspect is its own story: the events and exchanges that motivated Minaj to pull the plug.

Grigoriadis asked after the state of affairs at Cash Money, the record label where Drake, Meek, Wayne, and boss Birdman are presently embroiled in some of the most high-profile rap beefs and lawsuits in recent history. Although the writer noted how Minaj has powerfully risen above the conflicts involving some of the men she loves the most, Grigoriadis ultimately dropped the D-word. Nicki wasn't having it.

''Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness—'' Grigoriadis asked, noting her intentions later in the text, but admitting her misstep. ''That's disrespectful,'' Minaj rightly retorted. "What do the four men you just named have to do with me thriving off drama?'' she asked. ''Why would you even say that? That's so peculiar. Four grown-ass men are having issues between themselves, and you're asking me do I thrive off drama?'' she said, before delivering the interview's most powerful blow: "To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they're children and I'm responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that's not just a stupid question. That's a premeditated thing you just did.''

It goes without saying that the entire text is well worth the read. It illustrates precisely how problematic "drama" discourse is. Which is why her words to Cyrus shouldn't be read as a media constructed cat fight, but a response. Addressing Miley, Nicki told Grigoriadis: ''If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn't not want to know that." 


Text Emily Manning

Nicki Minaj
New York Times Magazine