Though it seems impossible that this week did not end on Tuesday, which was the day after the Met Gala that Nicki Minaj declined to attend because she isn’t vaccinated, time has marched on, bringing us to today’s developments: Nicki Minaj is once again using her massive platform and following for evil by appearing to share personal information of some reporters looking into her claims about her Trinidadian’s cousin’s friend’s balls.
Minaj began this week by casually tweeting about her refusal to get vaccinated and the alleged adverse side effects from the vaccine that caused a friend of a friend of a friend to experience testicular swelling. This claim has been debunked by the minister of health in Trinidad and Tobago as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was asked about this debacle in an interview on CNN on Tuesday. Ideally, the news cycle around this kerfuffle would’ve ended there; there is no evidence that supports the claim that the vaccine causes testicular swelling, and everyone should refer to what the evidence does state, which is that getting a vaccine against covid-19 will greatly reduce your chances of getting deathly ill from the virus.
However, on Friday afternoon, Minaj hopped on Instagram and posted screenshots to her Story that allegedly show a conversation between a reporter in Trinidad attempting to contact some of her family members. One assumes that this reporter must be doing so in order to verify the claims of swollen balls, but we will likely never know the truth, because Minaj also used her Story to attempt to dox the reporters by posting a picture of a business card, a name and a phone number, followed by a few pictures ganked from Google of the reporter in question. (Linking to the Story in this piece would be irresponsible, so if you’re so inclined to watch this sort of drama play out in real time, you can certainly find it for yourself.)
Though this might seem extreme, it is all a part of what Minaj does when she feels like her supremacy is under attack. And also, in light of her husband’s ongoing legal issues, it’s clearly nothing more than a very big distraction.
Arguably, Minaj’s cultural relevance is slipping, as both Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion have filled the space she once occupied so handily, so her attempts at lashing out against detractors and naysayers are just a callous power play to get back in the press by any means necessary. But the specific act of activating her stan army to find the reporters covering these stories is not new, either.
In 2018, Minaj deputized her fans to come for a freelance writer who tweeted an opinion about Minaj’s music and engaged in similar tactics when a writer for Billboard simply aggregated the news that her tour dates had changed. This is all part of her playbook, an attempt to regain her place at the top—and it’s not necessarily political. Despite QAnon’s gleeful embrace of Minaj’s antivax rhetoric and her temporary anointment as the celebrity embodiment of their ideals, Minaj’s concern has never been in service of a particular political ideology. Power is the issue at hand and always has been. She wants what she used to have and will do whatever it takes to get it.