Nicki Minaj Schools Miley Cyrus in 'The New York Times Magazine': If You Want to Enjoy Our Culture, Then You Should Also Want to Know What Affects Us


It’s been more than a month since Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus clashed onstage at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, and whereas Nicki’s microphone was eventually cut during that heated moment, she’d later be given the opportunity to fully address Miley in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that went live this morning.

Here’s what Nicki had to say:

‘‘The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls. 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? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad. 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.’’

During the interview, Nicki was also asked for her thoughts on the Meek Mill versus Drake beef, and she admitted that she hated it.

Things took a turn for the worse when the interviewer asked Nicki whether she thrives on drama. Find out what happened below.

‘‘Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness—’’

The room went quiet, but only for an instant.

‘‘That’s disrespectful,’’ Minaj said, drawing herself up in the chair. ‘‘Why would a grown-ass woman thrive off drama?’’

As soon as I said the words, I wished I could dissolve them on my tongue. In pop-culture idiom, ‘‘drama’’ is the province of Real Housewives with nothing better to do than stick their noses where they don’t belong. I was more interested in a different kind of drama — the kind worthy of an HBO series, in which your labelmate is releasing endless dis tracks against your boyfriend and your mentor is suing your label president for a king’s ransom. But the phrase I used was offensive, and even as I tried to apologize, I only made matters worse.

‘‘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 pointed my way, her extended arm all I could see other than the diamonds glinting in her ears. This wasn’t over yet. ‘‘That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you?’’ she asked. ‘‘Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?’’ she continued. ‘‘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.’’ She called me ‘‘rude’’ and ‘‘a troublemaker,’’ said ‘‘Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way’’ and, at last, declared, ‘‘I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’

I found myself back in the lobby, with its Trumpian brass fixtures and huge chandeliers, with the black bikes stamped ‘‘Trump Hotel’’ tied up in front, and the men in their blue suits coming down the steps jingling change in their pockets, and the regular Upper West Side scene — bankers walking their dogs, tourists on Citibikes going the wrong way, the sound of an express train coming up through the subway grates. Minaj’s actions made sense, in some ways: Even though I had no intention of putting her down as a small-minded or silly woman, she was right to call me out. She had the mike and used it to her advantage, hitting the notes that we want stars like her to address right now, particularly those of misogyny and standing up for yourself, even if it involves standing up for yourself against another woman. I didn’t know how much of it Minaj really felt, and how much it was a convenient way of maintaining control. I only knew that, in that moment, she was a boss bitch.

To read the full cover story, click here.

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