Opinion | Nicki Minaj is more problematic than you thought | Part II


Photo courtesy of @nickiminaj / Instagram

Rapper Nicki Minaj lies on top of a table eating Chinese food with a pair of chopsticks. Symbols of Asian culture are prevalent in the photo: her hairstyle has chopsticks stuck through double hair buns, there is a Chinese folding fan and she is showing her tattoo, which is in Chinese script. Columnist Vidhi Patel uses the example of Nicki Minaj to highlight how fame does not absolve people from accountability.

By Vidhi Patel, Columnist

*Trigger warning: This column discusses rape.*

The first part of this series broke down Nicki Minaj’s extensive history with racism and cultural appropriation. However, that behavior was just the beginning of her controversies. Somehow, Minaj manages to get much worse.  

Kenneth Petty, rapist and Minaj’s husband of three years, is a registered sex offender on the count of first-degree attempted rape. He was convicted in 1995 and served four years in prison. When Minaj posted about their new relationship in 2018, she defended him to people that brought up his rape charges.

“He was 15, she was 16 … in a relationship,” she responded in an Instagram comment. “But go awf, internet, y’all can’t run my life. y’all can’t even run y’all own life.”

As common sense entails, rape is rape regardless of the age of the offender. 

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    Minaj, however, seems to think that 15-year-olds are exempt from the basic expectations of consent. This mindset is horrifying and inexcusable, but not surprising considering she has supported not one, but two sex offenders in her family. 

    Her brother, Jelani Maraj, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for child rape charges. Medical tests have confirmed Maraj’s assault on his stepdaughter, yet Minaj commented in support of her brother multiple times

    During the ongoing trial, Minaj wrote a letter to plead for a lighter sentence for her brother, calling him the “most patient, gentle, genuine, giving selfless man I know.” While she has not testified in his case, her written testimonial and silence reveal her support for a child rapist. 

    Research for this column unveiled more and more controversies involving Minaj that remain unaddressed by the music community. As said by another columnist, even if you love her music, it is impossible to support Minaj and call yourself a Barb without implicitly supporting her actions. 

    The entertainment industry is filled with controversial and messed up people, and it is frustrating to learn that people you have supported have done something wrong. Minaj undoubtedly is a trailblazer for women in a misogynistic industry. Unfortunately, Minaj’s wealth and influence have repeatedly swept all of her atrocities under the rug. 

    Minaj’s position as a successful, Black female musician does not excuse her from accountability. She has proven over and over that bigotry is not reserved for white men, so accountability should not be either. 

    It is a duty and obligation for us as consumers, fans and supporters to hold people accountable with the power we have. 

    Sorry, Barbz, but it is time to move on. 


    Vidhi is a sophomore in LAS.

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