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Nicki Minaj vs The World: Why her bankability outweighs her likability

Nicki Minaj is the biggest female rapper on the planet bar none, probably of all-time.

The Jamaica, Queens native is the first artist to receive BET’s Best Female Hip-Hop Artist four years in a row. She’s the first solo female rap artist ever to perform at the ‘Grammy Awards’ and the first female rapper to sell 5 million units per album.

The list continues… Minaj has passed the late Aretha Franklin for the most total appearances on the Billboard 100 in its 58-year history racking up 76 Hot 100 entries and is also worth over $50 million.

Apart from her billboard success, her character and personality is a brand worth mentioning in itself. She has a staggering 90 million followers on Instagram, 20 million on Twitter and a fanbase that is as rabid as they come.

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Yet, somehow, Nicki Minaj has done more damage to her reputation in the past week than she ever has in her decade-long run as a rap star. Minaj’s likability is plummeting faster than the economy in the 30s and she’s in the driver’s seat with blinders on.

And it’s all how she’s handled the release of her fourth studio album, Queen, which dropped Aug 10th.

The first cause of concern came just four days after releasing Queen when she, inexplicably, went after her ex Safaree and others in a deranged interview with old foe Funk Flex on his Hot 97 station.

She said:

“You don’t know the f*cked up sh*t he did to me. It don’t give you a right to lie about someone’s craft just because you know that they’re a woman and people will believe you. So now years later you want to come back and say ‘I lied’ after you’ve tried to tarnish my image. I’ve gotten over it now because you can go and listen to Queen and hear it for your mothaf*cking self.”

She continued:

“For one person to do something like this to me out of sheer weakness and passive aggression and just hatefulness and vindictiveness because you got caught sh*tting on a person who was taking care of you for years and years? Because you got caught sh*tting on a person who was taking care of you while you were paying for prostitutes and stealing their credit cards?”

Even after, she went on Twitter to further air out dirty laundry between the two in what could only be explained as marketing tactics.

Safaree has before claimed he wrote some of Nicki’s songs while they were together but has since walked back those claims. Even Tyga caught a stray.

Venting, seeking revenge or whatever you may call it, a star of Nicki’s caliber surely should have more poise and class, no? But Nicki was only getting started.

The weekend following her Hot 97 fiasco the results came in for the week’s sales which revealed that Queen failed to top the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 2 behind Travis Scott’s Astroworld. 

Nicki Minaj then proceeded to legit lose it, coming completely unhinged online. Minaj tweeted along with the screenshot:

She then tweeted:

Minaj went on to tell her Twitter followers,

Nicki didn’t stop the finger-pointing at Travis and Kylie.

Minaj also called out Spotify for threatening to “punish” her as retaliation for debuting Queen too early on her new Beats 1 radio show over at Apple Music, and alleged that her label, Republic Records, backed down from that fight out of fear that fellow Republic artist Ariana Grande’s numbers might be sabotaged, too.

In a statement given to Variety, Spotify denied Minaj’s allegations, adding, “The company continues to be big fans of Nicki.”

Remember, we’re talking about the biggest female artist in music right now and she’s blaming merchandise sales, streaming platforms and an infant for her album dropping at No.2; all publically, having absolute zero chill(!)

That following Monday, as you can imagine, Travis Scott had his and Kylie’s seating changed for the MTV VMAs. They moved their seats from behind Nicki to the other side of the room real close to the Pinkprint rapper’s rival, Cardi B. Later that evening, trust, Nicki continued her tirade, this time comparing herself to civil rights hero Harriet Tubman.

“All the QUEENS I remember, SHOOK S–T UP!!!!!!!! Queen of the week may go to HARRIET TUBMAN!!!!!!” Minaj wrote. “Had she just sat there & ate her rice, you n—-z history would’ve been a lot less triumphant.”

The following Tuesday on her Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio show Nicki came after Travis and Astroworld yet again for what she believes to be “unfair” promotional tactics. She claims,

“When Scott realized that Queen was about to [be] the No. 1 album in America, he and his label decided to have Kylie and baby Stormi put up a tour pass… He had her post and say, ‘Hey, me and Stormi can’t wait to see y’all.’ How are you selling something that does not have anything to do with your album but it is being counted on Billboard as album sales?”

She continued on her spill, calling Scott the “Ho N—a of the Week” and accusing him of “selling f–king sweaters and telling y’all he sold half a million f–king albums, ’cause he didn’t.”

Nicki criticized Travis’ decisions, saying,

“You stupid f–k! You’re a f–king man! You got your homeboy talking for you, your girlfriend posting tour passes saying you sold albums—stop it! Knock it the f–k off!”

Every day since the release of her album it seems like Nicki Minaj has been concerned with everything but the music itself. Focusing on external factor after external factor, blaming everyone she can for something only she see’s as a blemish.

She’s gotten Donkey of the Day from Power 105.1’s Charlemagne, was challenged by Smokepurpp for calling out his bud, Travis and, ultimately, has lost the favor of everyone that isn’t her already brainwashed constituents.

Luckily for Nicki, bankability is unaffected by likability, especially when you’ve already established a fanbase. Given how she’s acted and the reputation she’s supposedly tarnished, it’s actually very far from her downfall.

Through what seems like a PR meltdown, she still has the number two album in the world, her #QueenRadio program was trending number one Tuesday, she is the second highest streamed artist on Spotify — despite claims of foul play — has the most Billboard Top 20 debuts this decade amongst all female artists with 32, after the single “Barbie Dreamz” charted this week.

It may not matter what Nicki does. She’s done the pop crossover, she’s secured her loyal hip-hop fanbase, and all else is in the wind. She’s playing with house money and the more she moves with reckless abandon it appears that she’s knowledgeable of just that.

It doesn’t matter that she fights with her ex like a highschooler, throws temper tantrums for being number two or feuds with an infant. Bankability trumps liability and Nicki’s brand is just that.

First Muslim woman Olympian gets her very own hijab-wearing Barbie

Ibtihaj Muhammad should be used to making history by now.

She’s already been the first sabre fencer to compete for the United States in the Olympics while wearing a hijab, and she’s also the first Muslim woman to win a medal, taking home the bronze as part of Team USA.

Because of this, Mattel is making history, too, by creating the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll ever.

Muhammad has always loved being active, but struggled to find a sport she could participate in while maintaining proper attire for a Muslim woman.


She started epee fencing at 13 before finally switching to sabre. She graduated from Duke University in 2007, and has been part of the United States National Fencing Team since 2010.

In 2014, she launched a clothing line — Louella — that creates modest active wear and fashionable clothing.

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She represented Team USA in the sport of fencing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. After earning her bronze medal, she lost in the second round of the individual sabre competition to Cecilia Berder of France.

In spite of the early loss, she still became a media darling — both for her tenacity in the ring and for the fact that she is the first woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States.

Muhammad is also the first Muslim-American woman to earn an Olympic medal for the U.S.

Barbie Glory

2017 was a momentous year both for Muhammad and for Mattel. The toy company announced they were modeling a Barbie after Muhammad — complete with her signature sabre and her hijab.

The new doll is part of the Barbie “Shero” program that recognizes women who “break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls.”

Other women who have been included in the Shero program include director Ava DuVernay, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and dancer Misty Copeland.

This new Barbie is especially important for young Muslim women who may feel like they can’t compete in sports because of their religion or their desire to dress modestly or wear hair coverings or hijab.

Muhammad mentioned receiving some criticism during an Olympic interview for saying she didn’t feel safe in the U.S. as a Muslim, and described her home country as a dangerous place, especially during the 2016 presidential race.

Representation in the media has been hard to come by for people of color, as well as women — fewer than one-quarter of speaking roles in Hollywood blockbusters went to people of color in 2015, and women made up fewer than a third of the main characters in movies in 2016.

For children who are learning how to process the world around them, seeing themselves represented in the media can be essential.

Instead of seeing cookie-cutter Barbie dolls on the shelf, Muslim women can now walk into the Barbie aisle and see a doll that looks like them.

It may seem small to some, but this representation is crucial in building confidence and identity for future generations of young Muslim women.

The Ibtihaj Muhammad Barbie doll may be the first Mattel doll wearing a hijab, but with amazing women like this Olympic fencer to look up to, we can bet it won’t be the last.

Her triumphs in both Olympic competitions and in life are just beginning, and we can likely look forward to more progress and success in the future from Ibtiahaj Muhammad and groundbreakers like her.