It turns out it's possible to let bygones be bygones. On Wednesday, Nicki Minaj was interviewed by Irving Azoff at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Pollstar Live conference. In the hour-long interview, the Queens rapper talked about regretting recording "Anaconda," Deborah Dugan's allegations about the Recording Academy, and even shed a few tears remembering the life of Kobe Bryant. If Azoff's name sounds familiar to you, you might have caught the infamous two-hour Queen Radio episode where Minaj named him "Cocksucker of the Day," claiming he and Travis Scott started a smear campaign against her in 2018. Apparently, Minaj has put that beef to rest because Azoff is now her manager, but one look at her Twitter tells you she hasn't exactly forgiven everyone.
At Pollstar, Azoff asked the Queens rapper for advice for emerging artists. "Keep your eye on the bigger picture, is what I would say," she said. "If I had to, I would have redone the whole thing and just kept my mouth shut. Put my music out and shut the hell up." The answer will shock anyone aware of her outspoken nature, and it runs counter to the string of fiery tweets she lobbed at ex-boyfriend Meek Mill earlier that morning, as Azoff pointed out.
"I was hacked," she jokes. "Listen, it never fails. Every time I do it, five minutes later, I'm like, Why the fuck did I…?" Every single time. But it's a good lesson in knowing how to master your anger and emotions. So every time I do that, I like to give myself a talking to in my head, like, Okay, you played yourself, you shouldn't have did that. You learned your lesson again. How many times did I learn that lesson? So I gave myself that talk today, sir."
What began as a seemingly innocent slight at an altercation during Grammys weekend at a store in West Hollywood between Meek, Minaj, and her husband Kenneth Petty grew into serious claims on Twitter on Wednesday. Minaj accused Meek of not only being violent to her but to the women in his family, too.
"You beat your own sister and taped it," she tweeted. "Spit on her & taped it. Kicked me in front of your mother and sent her to the hospital."
Meek's response was equally as malicious. "The only way you can try to kill my career is to say I beat women…" he wrote. "[T]alk about ya brother convicted of rape and you been knew and paid for his lawyer… ya little brother touched that lil girl too! You know I know…" The Championships rapper went on to deny Minaj's allegations. "For clarification I don't hit women and I won't let my interviews be filled with question about her or any situation to do with her when I come out to do press for my new album! No devils tricks"
In 2017, Minaj's brother Jelani Maraj was convicted of sexual assault and child endangerment; in January, he was sentenced to 25 years to life.
Wednesday's rant wasn't exactly the first time the rapper has admitted to tweeting something without thinking of the ramifications. In September, she announced her retirement in a now-deleted tweet. "I've decided to retire & have my family," she tweeted. "I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it to da death of me. X in the box- cuz ain't nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE."
She mentioned that episode to Azoff. "Once again, another time where I shouldn't have had had social media on my phone," she said. "Have you noticed when you take social media off your phone, you as a person feel happier or more at peace? You guys should really try it. I promise you. Because it's too much of just nonsense and nothingness and looking at what everybody else is doing and comparing yourself to people. When you're having a great freaking life. We wake up in the morning and we're good. And then we go on social media and make ourselves depressed."
The irony of Minaj calling Meek Mill #TwitterFingers on the app is that she ultimately became the type of impulsive tweeter she has claimed to despise. Minaj's advice to younger artists carries the air of counsel from an OG: Do as I say, not as I do.
Kristin Corry is a staff writer at VICE.