Nicki Minaj is at the top of her game. The rapper just released her latest album, Queen, collaborated with Ariana Grande on Sweetener, made Stephen Colbert nearly lose his shit with an NSFW rap on The Late Show, and continues to stun on the cover of national glossy magazines. But even with all of her successes, Minaj says that she doesn't feel she gets the respect she deserves.
Minaj sat down with Ebro Darden for post-Queen Radio on Beats 1 interview on Apple Music, where she revealed that she's tired of being treated like an emotionless Barbie who's not allowed to defend herself against haters and trolls.
"Even people who don't like me, they treat me like I'm a Barbie," she told Darden. "One minute, people tear me down, and then when I come down to the level, they tell me I'm supposed to be on another level. It's always selective... People can say anything about my looks, this and that. But if I do to the next bitch, I'm a terrible person."
Minaj, who alluded to a mystery ex in a handful of songs on her new album, explained that she gets emotional about life's difficulties just like everyone else.
"I've broken down in tears on the radio about my personal life," she said. "I've gone through a couple breakups and it's difficult. If you don't commit fully, you may not understand it. Every breakup feels like a death, it feels like mourning. I still have feelings and had to go through the natural progression of transitioning from being heartbroken to being myself again... Never in a million years would I look at people like they're beneath me in any way. I'm going through the same stuff — heartbreak, insecurity, rediscovering certain things in my spiritual life."
Minaj's comments hit hard on something women of colour have been saying for centuries: Their emotions have been systemically suppressed in a culture that puts more value on white feelings. Simply acknowledging this is an important act of resistance on Minaj's part and will hopefully inspire a much-needed conversation.
As Minaj challenges outdated cultural norms, she also had to focus on finding herself. Because of her fame, she explained that she hasn't had as much time to dig into her spirituality or gain spiritual support. "I wanted to preserve myself and understand who Onika is, and I have no fucking clue," she said.
Additionally, the "Barbie Dreams" rapper said that she's tired of defending herself from salacious rumours, such as the one claiming she is in an ongoing feud with Cardi B.
"Give me a fucking break," she said when pressed about the gossip. "I didn't know Cardi and I had an issue, but I guess we do, since you and other people are saying it. You've got to have thick skin. People say shit about me all the time. You can't expect to be liked and loved all the time. Give me a break."