Summer 2015 was chock full of blockbuster movies, binge-worthy series, and plenty of online squabbles (if that’s your thing). The last three months yielded enough beef to satisfy the most iron-deficient among us: Everyone had a problem with Iggy Azalea, Australia wanted to ban Azealia Banks, and even Drake found the time to write diss tracks about Nicki Minaj’s boyfriend.
Minaj herself was dragged into a Twitter altercation last month by a not-so-gobsmacked Taylor Swift. It all started when Minaj expressed her frustration over the lack of representation of black artists among MTV’s Video Music Awards nominees. She found it strange that her video for “Anaconda” wasn’t up for Video Of The Year, despite its undeniable popularity and all the ass-dropping it inspired. Minaj’s tweets called out MTV and the music industry in general for rewarding only certain types of artists (and bodies):
“When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination. If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.”
Swift—who probably has her notifications on for all tweets including the words “celebrates” and “women”—assumed these comments were about her because she was nominated for the top video award for a video in which she joins forces with slender supermodels and actresses. She admonished Minaj for “pitting women against each other,” despite all the supposed love and support she’d shown her from afar.
Minaj quickly responded, somewhat dumbfounded:
The two artists went back and forth, but eventually Swift backed down, acknowledging that she had misinterpreted the tweets and offering to share the stage with Minaj in the event that she won. And because MTV loves a preplanned spectacle, Swift and Minaj performed at Sunday night’s show, singing a medley of “The Night Is Still Young” and “Bad Blood.”
But while that particular spat turned out be more of a turkey burger, Minaj was able to redirect her ire toward VMAs host Miley Cyrus over some dumb comments the erstwhile Hannah Montana recently made. A New York Times reporter asked Cyrus to weigh in on the Swift-Minaj brouhaha—which, it should be noted, was already long since settled—to drum up speculation of a non-Kanye variety about the VMAs. Cyrus nonsensically said she couldn’t respect Minaj’s criticism of the status quo because it did not come from a place of love, calling Minaj “not too kind.”
So when Minaj took the stage to accept her Best Hip-Hop video award for “Anaconda,” she called out the Bangerz singer for talking out of turn. Cyrus babbled that all performers have had their words manipulated by the press, a response that didn’t seem to satisfy Minaj. Audiences were left wondering if the exchange had been staged for ratings, and if this latest beef wasn’t really just a Boca patty.
Neither Minaj nor Cyrus has followed up on their remarks, but the latter did manage to piss off a few more folks with her pre-show antics. The singer, who has been accused of cultural appropriation in the past, showed up in her Rachel Dolezal-best by sporting a blond dreadlock wig. During a pot-brownie skit with Snoop Dogg, Cyrus referred to her grandmother as her “real mammy,” and then she also had Chance The Rapper (and most of Twitter) to contend with. Chance tweeted his disbelief at how casually Cyrus invoked one of the longest-standing racist stereotypes in this country.
At this time, Cyrus hasn’t responded to anyone’s comments, and she’s even less likely to do so with a new album out. We’ll probably have to wait on clarification until The Washington Post asks Selena Gomez for her thoughts on the matter.