Nicki Minaj loves controversy. She must. If she doesn’t, then what other excuse is there for all of the controversy that seems to follow her? From what she wears to what she raps about to what she does in her music videos, she’s all about controversy. Controversy, controversy, controversy!
The most recent controversy that she’s gotten herself involved in started back on Sunday afternoon when she refused to take the stage at Hot 97‘s annual Summer Jam after Hot 97 morning show host Peter Rosenberg made some inflammatory comments about her hit song, “Starships,” during one of the concert’s pre-show events. That led to Funkmaster Flex taking some very venomous shots at her during the course of the concert. And, on Monday night, Nicki even called into Flex’s Hot 97 radio show and got into a pretty heated argument with Flex about a number of different things. It was all very controversial.
Like we said earlier, though, this is nothing new for Nicki. In fact, she’s used the controversy surrounding a number of moments in her career to her advantage and gotten a ton of press as a result of it. So, in light of her most recent run-in with Flex, we decided to put together a list of The 10 Most Controversial Moments of Nicki Minaj’s Career. Check out how she’s managed to get herself into so much controversy over the last few years.—Chris Yuscavage
The Moment: Walking down the red carpet at the 2012 Grammy Awards with the “Pope” and then performing an exorcism of her alter ego “Roman Zolanski” during the actual show
The Date: February 12, 2012
The Controversy: Do we really have to explain this one? Catholic groups were up in arms about Nicki bringing a fake “Pope” to the awards with her. And, music fans were appalled by the completely bizarre mini-movie that she debuted during her performance slot. Even the Grammy producers tried to distance themselves from her after this one.
The Moment: Dissing Lil Kim on the track, “Tragedy”
The Date: April 2, 2011
The Controversy: After enduring the wrath of several Lil Kim disses, Miss Minaj struck back on “Tragedy” with lines like, “You’re a tragedy, I mean a parody/Last name, Ann, first name, raggedy.” Since then, the two have gone back and forth on a number of occasions. Kim even took some not-so-subtle shots at her on Twitter while the Summer Jam controversy was going down.
The Moment: Announcing her “marriage” to fellow Young Money rapper Drake on Twitter
The Date: August 27, 2010
The Controversy: Okay, so looking back, this wasn’t really a “controversy” like some of the other controversies you’ll find on this list. But, at the time, it was certainly controversial for two of the biggest, up-and-coming rappers to announce that they’d gotten married and then continue to say that they were telling the truth for two whole days. Finally, they broke the news that they were just joking on August 29 and everything was right in the world again.
The Moment: Performing alongside Madonna and M.I.A.—who flipped the bird at one point—at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI
The Date: February 6, 2012
The Controversy: Although Nicki didn’t actually do anything controversial during the performance—surprised?!—she did get lumped into the controversy surrounding M.I.A. and the middle-finger-seen-’round-the-world shortly after it happened.
The Moment: Having rumors—and online footage—spread alleging that she had a sexual relationship with fellow female rapper Remy Ma back in 2006
The Date: December 8, 2009
The Controversy: A video clip featuring a young lady that (sort of) looked like Nicki and definitely sounded like Nicki hit the Web. In it, the young lady claimed to have had sexual relations with Remy Ma. But, after people started saying it was Nicki, she addressed it immediately on Twitter and said that it was not her. “So now I…dated remy ma n made a vid dressed as a boy?!?!?!?” she tweeted. “Lmaooooo U ppl r simple.”
The Moment: Quitting Twitter to protest a Nicki Minaj fan site leaking several songs
The Date: April 16, 2012
The Controversy: After the site Nicki Daily leaked a few songs from her album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Nicki got into a brief spat with several fans online and then terminated her Twitter account. “Like seriously,” she tweeted, “its but so much a person can take. Good f*cking bye.” She did eventually return to the social media network.
The Moment: Experiencing a “nip slip” during a live performance on Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series
The Date: August 7, 2011
The Controversy: ABC was forced to apologize for allowing Nicki’s breast to be exposed briefly during their live GMA telecast. But, Nicki also came under fire for wearing a low-cut shirt during her performance that seemed destined to expose her at some point during the show.
The Moment: Having her “Stupid Hoe” music video banned from BET
The Date: February 1, 2012
The Controversy: Raunchy lyrics aside, the “Stupid Hoe” video also featured plenty of explicit material (Nicki in a cage!) and was deemed unfit for TV by the executives at BET. As a result, Nicki was basically forced to abandon the single and move on.
The Moment: Sticking up for Amber Rose after some blogs accused her of sending naked pictures to Nicki’s boyfriend
The Date: July 1, 2011
The Controversy: Nicki usually doesn’t address rumors. But, after Amber’s talent agency CAA cut ties with her after these specific rumors started, she spoke out and said that Amber most definitely did not send any naked flicks to her boyfriend. “I don’t address dumb sh*t,” she tweeted. “And for da record, only reason I addressed this is because it’s costing someone their job.” Amber thanked Nicki for standing up for her.
The Moment: Refusing to perform at Hot 97’s Summer Jam after Hot 97 morning show host Peter Rosenberg dissed her hit song, “Starships,” and then going to war with Funkmaster Flex about it on the radio the following night
The Date: June 3, 2012
The Controversy: Her latest controversy may also be her biggest yet. By not performing, Nicki robbed her fans of what they thought would be a historic performance—whether you choose to blame it on her or not. The beef with Flex also overshadowed all of the good things that happened during the actual Summer Jam concert (doesn’t anyone else realize/care that Lauryn Hill performed!?) and left rap fans undecided over whether to be mad at Nicki or Hot 97. So, what’s Nicki got up her sleeve next?