On Saturday night, Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to make a comment that was so banal it shouldn’t have caused controversy, and yet, of course it did.
The rapper posted a screenshot of the iTunes top 10 Hip-Hop/Rap chart, which included eight white rap groups and only two black ones with the caption, “It’s a great time to be a white rapper in America huh?
The post immediately inspired debate on Twitter and Instagram. Many fans supported Nicki’s decision to call attention to the disproportionate white presence in the charts for a historically black artform, while others criticized her for “singling out” white artists. There was enough discussion for Nicki to clarify her views with a number of edits to her post. “S/O Em & Post. Two of my faves. Congrats to Em on his new album,” she added to her caption.
Later on, she responded directly to those who opposed her post. “blocking all u sensitive dick riders. It IS a great time to be a white rapper in America,” she said. “I wanna sign one for my new label. U know anyone? I spk my mthafkn mind n if u don’t like it gtfo my page dick rida! Y’all can never wait to ride the Queen dick! Sensitive ass ig thugs. Gtfoh.”
In a subsequent post, she pointed to a clip of J. Cole speaking about his song “Fire Squad,” which addressed the topic of increased white presence in black art in 2014. “I went to the iTunes Jazz page and I was like, ‘Oh!’ It hit me,” he says in the interview. “The entire page of iTunes Jazz is 99.7% white people… Jazz is a black form of music in its origins. And not only is it a black form of music, it was the hip-hop of its day. It was that much of a rebellious music.”
After instructing fans to “be mad at this too,” Nicki shared further thoughts on the outrage her post had inspired. “whenever a black woman speaks on ANYTHING she’s labeled as “mad” “angry” “bitter,” she wrote in her caption. “I’m on 4 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. I’m blessed & highly favored thx to my amazing fans. But I’ll spk on whatever the fuck I want to whenever the fuck I want to. I love being a smart successful woman. It’s never been cool or funny to be illiterate or uninterested in your own industry & how it works.”
Nicki has since deleted all of her posts.