Nicki Minaj’s bailout on Sunday night’s Hot 97 Summer Jam caused a minor ruckus, but by Monday, everybody should have woken up with a cooler head and sent apologies all around, right?
On Monday, 24 hours after skipping her set at the annual hip-hop festival where she was by far the biggest star on the bill, Minaj had a lengthy conversation with Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex, whose colleague Peter Rosenberg made the on-site announcement — that “Starships” was “bulls—” and “not real hip-hop” — that drove Lil Wayne to pull his entire label roster, including Minaj, from the show.
What should have been a hatchet-burying summit ended up being a pretty contentious radio conversation. Minaj and Flex spent the first 10 minutes arguing about the timeline of events on Sunday, and who tweeted what when. Then Minaj launched into a diatribe about Lil Wayne’s life lessons. “Wayne gave me a very, very valuable lesson last night on knowing my worth,” Nicki told Flex. “After that disrespect, I still was going on that stage. And you know what? Shame on me. Lil Wayne gave me a valuable lesson on self-worth.”
It devolved from there, boiling over when the pair disagreed on whether or not Rosenberg’s comments were sexist. It’s a lengthy conversation, but the ebb and flow of the exchange is pretty hypnotic—especially when it becomes clear that Flex is just trying to make the segment longer. Give it a listen below (the person named Ebro they keep mentioning is Hot 97 station manager Ebro Darden).
This has rapidly become one of those scenarios wherein it’s difficult to decide who the good guy is. Rosenberg clearly shouldn’t have trashed his own station’s headliner headliner on his own show, Minaj probably shouldn’t have bailed out so late on a commitment she was advertised for, and Flex certainly shouldn’t have thrown all that gasoline on the fire. Still, at least this beef is happening via Twitter and cell phone and not with guns outside the studio.
Meanwhile, Minaj got some support from Lauryn Hill, who ended up performing with Nas during the slot that was to be taken by Nicki. “No disrespect to Nicki, but I need to clear up an inaccuracy,” Hill wrote in a statement. “I was not scheduled to be a special guest on her set at Summer Jam, I was invited by Nas to perform with him. I don’t have details on exactly what transpired between the station and the artists, but I do support artists standing by their beliefs and walking with integrity.”
So who has the integrity here?
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