Nicki Minaj had some strong words for her one-time friend and collaborator Kanye West during her set at Essence Festival on Friday, July 1. Before launching into the Kanye-track “Monster” (which was one of Nicki’s early career successes), she seemed to take aim at Ye, as her DJ played a portion of the track. “Hold up! A monster though! A monster though!” she said. “But we don’t f**k with clowns.”
The Barbz are not happy with Essence Fest, and apparently, Nicki Minaj isn’t happy with her longtime friend and collaborator, Kanye West.
— lovelyti (@lovelyti) July 2, 2022
It’s not entirely clear what the reasoning was for Nicki, 39, to cut the track from her setlist. Some fans have also said that her performance was cut from Hulu’s livestream of the Essence festival in New Orleans. In another clip from the festival, Nicki seemed to imply that part of the “clown” diss was related to rappers similar to herself. “All these clowns with all these mini-mes, with all these wanna-be Nickis,” she said.
It’s not clear if Nicki cut the whole song or just portions with the Donda rapper. A fan tweeted that she had cut “Kanye’s part” along with the clip of her making the clown comment. The song is also listed without any commentary on the show’s Setlist.fm page.
The festival appearance came the same day that Kanye, 45, appeared on the new song “Hot S**t” with Nicki’s rival Cardi B. On the new track (which also features Lil Durk), Yeezy rapped about the recent press surrounding his relationship with his family. In fact, Kanye isn’t the only one that fans have thought that Nicki is throwing shade at. Fans read a line in The Pinkprint rapper’s song “We Go Up” from March as a diss directed at Cardi. “After all of that surgery, you are still ugly,” Nicki said in the track.
Other than Kanye and Cardi, Nicki hasn’t held back in speaking about her feelings towards other members of the hip-hop community in recent months. When asked about the possibility of collaborator with rising rap group City Girls, Nicki said it wouldn’t happen because the duo isn’t fond of her in a February interview with The Morning Hustle. “Why would I work with someone that doesn’t like me?” she said.