Nicki Minaj needs to have a word with her fans who have ruthlessly defended her online for years: Chill.
The "Barbie World" rapper asked her Barbz to cool it with the threats that have earned them a combative reputation, especially when anyone speaks ill of Minaj.
"Dear Barbz," she wrote Sunday on her Instagram story, according to a screenshot of the now-expired missive. "Be sure to never threaten anyone on my behalf. Whether on the internet or in person. Whether in jest or not. I don't & never have condoned that."
The hip-hop star didn't cite a specific incident or say why she was prompted to address the threats. She then pivoted to the promotion of her long-awaited album, "Pink Friday 2."
"We have an amazing album right around the corner 12/08/23. It feel so surreal & euphoric," she wrote. "Wishing you blessings on blessings."
Representatives for Minaj did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times' requests for comment.
Minaj, 40, and her fans have been accused of bullying in the past. In 2018, she had issues with an unresponsive Tracy Chapman over clearing rights to use a Chapman sample on her 2018 "Queen" album, prompting Barbz to go directly to Chapman themselves. That same year, she dragged freelance journalist Wanna Thompson after Thompson questioned the maturity of her music.
“Got the nerve to have a Trini flag on your page... Just say you jealous. I’m rich, famous, intelligent, pretty and go! ,” Minaj said in direct messages that were posted online.
Citing the "Stan culture epidemic," the Daily Beast and Hot New Hip Hop have rounded up instances in which Minaj seems to have sicced her fans on writers and critics, sometimes simply by liking a tweet or posting missives with suggestive emojis. In 2021, "Old Town Road" rapper Lil Nas X — a self-proclaimed Barb who once operated a fan account — said he would stop talking about Minaj after feeling the heat from her devoted fan base.
"to the barbz who feel i’m using nicki’s name for attention, the song i released last night ['Sun Goes Down'] was recorded last year. and it’s about my life which 6 of those years were dedicated to nicki. it’s no fake love. but i understand how it looks so i will no longer mention her," he tweeted.
Last year, YouTuber Kimberly Nicole Foster threatened to sue confrontational Barbz after tweeting that the rapper is "so clearly a horrible person" and "negativity sticks to her like glue." Not surprisingly, she said, the tweet prompted backlash from Minaj's followers, near-constant harassment, doxxing and other threats.
“It was normal, annoying stuff where I was like, ‘OK, block and move on,'" the pop-culture commentator told the Daily Beast. "The messages became more threatening and dark, and then it started to be, ‘We’re gonna find you. I’m gonna kidnap you. I hope you get raped.”
"Stan culture," which gets its name from rapper Eminem's 2000 song "Stan," has been a topic of debate for years. Taylor Swift's Swifties, Lady Gaga's Little Monsters, BTS Army and Beyoncé's avid Beyhive have been particularly fervent and often influential (see Eras tour-Ticketmaster drama and Donald Glover's "Swarm").
But the hyper-defensiveness that comes along with Stanning extends beyond the music industry. Film, video game and genre fandoms, especially those that are active online, have been called out repeatedly for exhibiting similarly toxic behavior and online bullying.
Late last month, Minaj announced that she had again pushed back “Pink Friday 2" to Dec. 8 — her birthday — and insisted that it'd be “the biggest gift I’ve ever given humanity thus far.”
“Pink Friday 2” has been five years in the making, and its lead single, “Super Freaky Girl,” dropped in August 2022. The album was supposed to be released Oct. 20, then was pushed to Nov. 17. But the latest setback, the Young Money Entertainment artist said, had to do with her label being unable to receive vinyl copies in time for the planned Nov. 17 release and a decision not to compete with labelmate Lil Wayne’s plans to drop his joint album with 2 Chainz on Nov. 17.
“The new album date for this incredible body of work, that I am so proud of, is on a very special day to me and to the Barbz,” Minaj said on Instagram last month, adding, “I’m so filled with emotion about it because as y’all know it’s been a long time coming ... I have never in my life been so in love with something that I’m working on.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.