So, are Nicki Minaj and Kanye West officially beefing, or what?!
The 39-year-old rapper appeared at the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana over the weekend, delivering her first live performance in more than two years. And while the performance (mostly) went off without a hitch, there was one very interesting moment in which she appeared to throw some kind of shade at… Kanye West?!
A large portion of Nicki’s set was dedicated to a medley of some of her guest verses on various tracks, including Young Money‘s Bedrock and Drake‘s Make Me Proud. And while those were fan favorites throughout, when one notable song was queued up on stage — Ye’s 2010 single Monster — Nicki put a stop to things IMMEDIATELY!!
A camera captured the moment during the set, in which Nicki commented about the track to her rapt audience. In the comment, Nicki appears to have said:
“I’m all Monster-ed out! I’m all Monster-ed out! We don’t f**k with clowns.”
Before things could get really dramatic, Nicki deftly transitioned into a commentary about how much love she has for the city that was hosting the cultural event by saying she wanted to “give a shoutout to New Orleans” in lieu of performing the song. She then took a left turn and performed her verse on New Orleans native Birdman‘s YU MAD instead, according to Setlist.FM.
And Minaj’s whole performance then supposedly got scrapped from the Hulu livestream, according to fan accounts of the weekend on social media! Oh, man! Apparent livestream issues aside, you can watch video of Nicki’s eyebrow-raising moment for yourself HERE.
As fans of the two artists will recall, Minaj and the 45-year-old Chicago-born rapper have collaborated multiple times before, including on Ye’s Dark Fantasy and Nicki’s Blazin. They’ve also worked together on West’s 2018 track Violent Crimes, as well as a joint collaboration on 6ix9ine‘s MAMA. So there’s definitely some history there!
The duo teamed up for New Body, which was meant to be on Ye’s ill-fated album Yandhi a few years back, too. However, the whole project hit a roadblock when Ye opted to instead go in the gospel direction with Jesus Is King. After that missed connection, Nicki spoke to The Shade Room in October 2019, saying:
“What’s funny is that I did a song with Kanye, that he now wants to transform into a gospel song. I done wrote three different verses child, and I don’t know. We ain’t seeing eye to eye on it. I don’t know, but of course, I love and respect Kanye, and Kim, we’ll see what happens with that.”
It didn’t seem as though the pair was feuding at that point, but a later misfire on a fashion collab with the Yeezy brand could have proven to be the eventual tipping point. In that instance, as Minaj later told radio host Joe Budden, she reached out to Kanye regarding a fashion idea, saying:
“Hey look, I’m about to do something and I just wanted to make sure I spoke to you first.”
According to the Anaconda rapper, Ye supposedly responded:
“‘Well, if I did something with you, I think my wife probably wouldn’t love that idea because I should be giving that to my wife instead. If I was doing a female version of the Yeezys or whatever, it should probably go to my wife.’”
So could that incident be the tipping point?!?! Or maybe it’s Ye being featured on Cardi B‘s new track Hot S**t, linking himself up with Nicki’s old nemesis right before her performance down in New Orleans?! There’s definitely a lot to go on here!
What do U think, Perezcious readers??
Sound OFF with your take on the matter down in the comments (below)!
[Image via Patricia Schlein/MEGA/WENN]