Powerhouse rapper Nicki Minaj is the subject of an illuminating New York Times Magazine exposé published Wednesday and penned by writer Vanessa Grigoriadis. In the tell-all feature, Minaj does what she does best: speaking her mind without reservation and taking aim at what she sees as cultural and racial injustice. Her target? Former Disney child star-cum-singer Miley Cyrus, who has frequently been criticized for appropriating black culture, often in a racist way.
“The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls,” Minaj told Grigoriadis, addressing Cyrus directly. “You’re in videos with black men, and you’re bringing out black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how black women feel about something that’s so important?” Minaj thinks Cyrus should dig deeper.
“Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad,” she said in the interview. “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.”
This is the second time in nearly six weeks Minaj has made a point of publicly confronting Cyrus. Onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30, as she was collecting the best hip-hop video award for “Anaconda,” Minaj called Cyrus out about a recent New York Times interview, in which Cyrus weighed in on a Minaj-Taylor Swift Twitter debacle. In that separate feud, Minaj and Swift butted heads after Swift mistook Minaj’s tweets for a personal attack.
Minaj later blamed the backlash to the social media exchange on the “white media” for overselling the Twitter feud.